LIFE Project Cover Photo

Refrigerant Emissions Alternatives and Leakage - blended learning for low GWP refrigerants

Reference: LIFE16 GIC/UK/000007 | Acronym: REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were developed by the chemical industry as substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are extremely damaging to the ozone layer and were eventually banned in 1992 by the Montreal Protocol. Although HFCs are currently commonly used in refrigeration, air conditioning, foam blowing agents, aerosols, fire protection and solvents, they are often misleadingly considered by their manufacturers as environmentally friendly as they do not deplete the ozone layer like CFCs and HCFCs. HFCs are, however, highly potent greenhouse gases and contribute significantly to climate change. The refrigeration and air conditioning sectorin particular is predicted to emit the equivalent of 70 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2030. To address this issue, a 2014 EU Regulation on fluorinated greenhouse gases (EU Regulation No 517/2014) requires a 70% cut in the consumption of HFCs by 2030, weighted by global warming potential (GWP). Within the air conditioning sector alone, the new Regulation makes possible a reduction in fluorinated greenhouse gases of some 46 000 kt CO2 eq. However, it is estimated that there are over 34 million pieces of equipment/systems that must be replaced in order to achieve the goals of the Regulation. This will require a major awareness-raising and training programme targeted at industry.


OBJECTIVES

The overall aim of the REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE project was to facilitate the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors transition towards the use of low GWP refrigerants, in order to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Specific objectives included: increasing knowledge among the estimated 228 000 technicians working in the sector on the safe use of low-GWP refrigerants; addressing inconsistencies in skills levels across the EU in handling alternative refrigerants by providing training materials; overcoming equipment user and distributor concerns regarding the safety, reliability, containment, efficiency and standards compliance of low-GWP refrigerants; and supporting the effective implementation of the 2014 Regulations requirements for information to be made available by EU Member States on the impact of low-GWP refrigerant technologies on climate and energy policies.


RESULTS

The REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE project reached many industry professionals, policymakers and other stakeholders with a relatively small budget. It created high-quality training materials that will continue to be used well beyond the project end in EU Member States, and provided a demonstrably proven blended learning training programme.

In particular, the project:

  • Increased knowledge levels in the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) workforce about alternative refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP);
  • Addressed inconsistencies in skill levels across more than 13 countries;
  • Addressed user and distributor concerns over the use of low GWP refrigerants; and
  • Supported effective implementation of the F-gas regulations.
  • Key project successes included the extensive liaison and dissemination activities, with numerous stakeholders, including technicians, distributors, trade and professional bodies, regulators and policymakers, as well as EU and intergovernmental policymakers and departments.

    The project created and promoted the uptake of a blended learning training system for low GWP refrigerants, including an e-learning platform and practical face-to-face training for trainers and technicians. All learning materials were provided in multiple languages (17). The training programme provides consistent delivery and standardisation across the EU, with national leads in each Member State and a network of trainers. Training and capacity building impacts included over 4 600 e-learning users engaged, 378 technicians certified, and 105 trainers certified under a train the trainer programme. There is a commitment from the beneficiaries, and a costed after-LIFE strategy including ongoing revenue generation, for project continuation and sustainability.

    The main environmental benefits of the project are relThe REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE project reached many industry professionals, policymakers and other stakeholders with a relatively small budget. It created high-quality training materials that will continue to be used well beyond the project end in EU Member States, and provided a demonstrably proven blended learning training programme.

    In particular, the project:

  • Increased knowledge levels in the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump (RACHP) workforce about alternative refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP);
  • Addressed inconsistencies in skill levels across more than 13 countries;
  • Addressed user and distributor concerns over the use of low GWP refrigerants; and
  • Supported effective implementation of the F-gas regulations.
  • Key project successes included the extensive liaison and dissemination activities, with numerous stakeholders, including technicians, distributors, trade and professional bodies, regulators and policymakers, as well as EU and intergovernmental policymakers and departments.

    The project created and promoted the uptake of a blended learning training system for low GWP refrigerants, including an e-learning platform and practical face-to-face training for trainers and technicians. All learning materials were provided in multiple languages (17). The training programme provides consistent delivery and standardisation across the EU, with national leads in each Member State and a network of trainers. Training and capacity building impacts included over 4 600 e-learning users engaged, 378 technicians certified, and 105 trainers certified under a train the trainer programme. There is a commitment from the beneficiaries, and a costed after-LIFE strategy including ongoing revenue generation, for project continuation and sustainability.

    The main environmental benefits of the project are rel

    ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


    Reference: LIFE16 GIC/UK/000007
    Acronym: REAL Alternatives 4 LIFE
    Start Date: 15/06/2017
    End Date: 14/06/2020
    Total Budget: 703,461 €
    EU Contribution: 422,076 €
    Project Location: Kelvin House, SM5 2JR Carshalton, United Kingdom
    Project Website: https://ior.org.uk/

    CONTACT DETAILS


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Institute International du Froid/International Institute of Refrigeration
    Legal Status: PNC
    Address: 177 Boulevard Malesherbes, 750017, Paris,
    Contact Person: Miriam RODWAY
    Email: miriam@ior.org.uk
    Tel: +44208 2547 846
    Fax: +44 208 2547 846


    LIFE Project Map

    ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

    THEMES

    • GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors
    • GHG reduction in EU ETS sectors

    KEYWORDS

    • public awareness campaign
    • emission reduction
    • greenhouse gas

    TARGET EU LEGISLATION

    • Regulation 517/2014 - Fluorinated greenhouse gases (16.04.2014)
    • COM(2014)15 - Policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030 (22.01.2014)
    • COM(2011)112 - "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (08.03.2011)
    • Directive 2010/75 - Industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (24.11.2010)
    • Directive 2009/125 - Framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products (21.10.2009)

    BENEFICIARIES

    Name Type
    Institute International du Froid/International Institute of Refrigeration Coordinator
    Air Conditioning and Refrigeration European Association, Belgium Participant
    UC Limburg vzw, Belgium Participant
    Institute International du Froid/International Institute of Refrigeration, France Participant
    London South Bank University, United Kingdom Participant
    Associazione tecnici del Freddo, Italy Participant
    PROZON Fundacja Ochrony Klimatu, Poland Participant
    IKKE gGmbH, Germany Participant

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