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EU finance ministers welcome EIB Group’s scaled up climate action

LUXEMBOURG, 17 June 2022: European finance ministers today welcomed the European Investment Bank’s unprecedented backing for business investment to support recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, record climate action and enhanced development engagement around the world through EIB Global.

At the Annual Meeting of the EIB Board of Governors, taking place in Luxembourg, EIB President Werner Hoyer confirmed details of the EIB Group’s record EUR 95 billion financing last year, including an unprecedented response to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Hoyer also confirmed the EIB’s largest ever support for climate action and environmental sustainability and the successful launch of EIB Global to strengthen development finance outside Europe.

Hoyer said: “I am grateful to the EU Bank’s Governors for their support and endorsement of the EIB Group’s work over the past year. Today’s discussion confirmed the importance of our work in support of EU policies around the world. The EIB Group has been part of the European Union’s response to every crisis over the last decade, from climate to energy security, the financial crisis, the COVID pandemic and, most recently, Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. The commitment and professionalism of EIB and EIF colleagues will continue to assist us as we tackle the challenges ahead. These are all connected: War in Ukraine is the strongest argument in favour of accelerating investment in green energy, to make Europe less dependent from imported fossil fuels. Global partnerships are key to winning the fight against global heating. And the Governors’ support has been crucial in setting up EIB Global, our development and partnership arm, working with other institutions in a genuine and effective “Team Europe” spirit. And last but not least, the EIB’s strong investment in innovation will help ensure we develop new tools capable of resolving the problems created by yesterday’s technology.

“I wish to thank Minister Annika Saarikko for her deft and sure-handed year at the helm of our Board of Governors, and it is a huge pleasure to welcome our new Chairman, Minister Mikael Damberg.”

The European Investment Bank Board of Governors comprises the 27 European Union finance and economy ministers and was chaired by Saarikko, Minister for Finance of Finland.

During the meeting, Damberg, Minister for Finance of Sweden, was formally confirmed as new Chair of the EIB Board of Governors, thereby replacing Saarikko, Minister for Finance of Finland. Damberg said: “As new Chair of the EIB Board of Governors I look forward to working with fellow EU finance and economy ministers to further enhance the impact of the European Investment Bank Group’s unique financial experience and technical skills to better support priority investment challenges, including scaling up climate action, accelerating innovation and enhancing sustainable development.”

Last year, EUR 27.6 billion of EIB financing supported climate action and environmental sustainability, representing 51% of EIB business. Hoyer confirmed that the EIB is currently scaling up support for climate action in developing countries most vulnerable to a changing and more extreme climate. During today’s meeting, Hoyer highlighted how the successful launch of the EIB’s new dedicated development branch, EIB Global, earlier this year, was enhancing the impact of renewable energy, clean transport, water, health, food security and business investment in the Balkans, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific.

The Luxembourg based European Investment Bank is the world’s largest international public bank.

ICOS: Lockdown cut up to 87% CO2 emissions in Europe

HELSINKI, Finland, 24 May 2022: As COVID-19 first hit Europe in the spring of 2020, most countries laid out strong restrictions to limit the spread of the virus. Human economic activity and mobility in cities stopped almost instantly, and many people had to move their work from offices to homes.

A recently published study in Science of the Total Environment by Giacomo Nicolini et al shows that daily urban emissions were reduced by 5-87% during the lockdown period across 11 cities and 13 measurement sites, when compared to the same period in previous years.

According to the study, led by ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System), the largest reductions were seen in Heraklion in Greece; Pesaro and Florence in Italy; Berlin in Germany; Basel in Switzerland and London in the United Kingdom. In London, for example, emissions were reduced by 58%, in Berlin by 63% and in Florence by 66%, the authors of the study reported. In all cases, reductions happened mostly during daytime, except for Vienna, Amsterdam and London, where the restrictions had a clear effect also at night, they added.

“Looking at the diel cycle of CO 2 fluxes, the reductions range on average from 67% in the city centre of Heraklion to about 10% in a residential area of Basel,” Dr Nicolini, the lead author of the paper, said. Dr Nicolini was also responsible for processing the data at the ICOS Ecosystem Thematic Center.

The study was initiated and led by other scientists from ICOS, which produces greenhouse gas data in Europe.

The main reason for the reduced CO 2 emissions in all cities was the reduction of vehicular traffic caused by the limitations on mobility, the authors said. This explains why residential areas saw the quickest rebound of emissions after the restrictions were lifted, they said.

In four cities – Berlin, Pesaro, Amsterdam and London – emissions remained statistically lower even after the restrictions were lifted, the authors said. In Amsterdam, the lower emissions can be explained by fewer tourists in the observed district, they said. Decreased tourism was likely to have affected Pesaro and London, as well, they pointed out.

To effectively mitigate climate change, the authors concluded, there must be a bigger systemic change in cities’ ecosystems and in people’s lifestyles. As the COVID-19 lockdown showed, changes in human behaviour have a direct, immediate and significant effect on urban CO 2 emissions, they said.

The research highlights the importance of measuring urban emissions. To develop best practices in this emerging field, ICOS said it has taken the task to evaluate different observation methods in its recent EU H2020 project, called ICOS Cities.

Professor Dario Papale, University of Tuscia, in Italy, and Director, ICOS Ecosystem Thematic Centre, said: “The ICOS Cities project will bring an extensive urban greenhouse gas exchange data collection for the global scientific community, available through the ICOS Carbon Portal. This data collection will be useful for additional analysis on the complex urban greenhouse gas exchange dynamic.”

Maurizio Orlandi is new Chairman of Eurovent PG: Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

BRUSSELS, Belgium, 28 January 2022: The Eurovent Product Group, ‘Commercial Refrigeration Equipment’ (PD-RDC) has elected its new Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Maurizio Orlandi has become the Group Chairman. Making the announcement through a Press release, Eurovent added that he will be supported by the re-elected Vice-Chairman, Jesus Beraza.

L-R: Maurizio Orlandi (PG-RDC Chairman), Jesus Beraza (PG-RDC Vice-Chairman)

Orlandi, who is Technical Compliance & Intellectual Property Manager, Epta, was elected as the new Chairman of the Product Group during its online meeting on January 14, 2022, Eurovent said. He has extensive experience in Eurovent and within the refrigeration industry. He will succeed Pierluigi Schiesaro, R&D Director, Arneg, who served in the industry as the Eurovent PG-RDC Chairman continuously since January 2005, Eurovent said, adding that the Product Group participants thank Schiesaro for his long-term commitment in supporting Eurovent and accomplishing great work throughout the past years. Beraza, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Koxka, was re-elected for the position of Vice-Chairman, following his previous election on September 28, 2016.

Speaking on the occasion, Orlandi said, “Starting with a personal thanks to Pierluigi for his contribution to this Product Group, it is a great honour for the trust you bestowed upon me, and I look forward to working in the direction of strengthening Eurovent and our industry in the European and global landscape.”

Beraza added, “I would like to show my appreciation to the group participants for having the confidence in me to continue supporting this group as the Vice-Chairman, and to stress my commitment to definitively boost fair competition, one of the main guiding principles of Eurovent.”

According to Eurovent, the next meeting of the group will take place on February 2, online. The group covers refrigerated display cabinets (remote and integral units), walk-in cold rooms, commercial beverage coolers, ice-cream freezers and refrigeration packs. According to Eurovent, it is the largest European working group of commercial refrigeration equipment manufacturers, and the group is supported by the Eurovent Member Associations on a national level.

Eurovent, FAIAR sign MoU

BRUSSELS, BOGOTÁ, 23 June 2021: Eurovent and the Federation of Ibero-American Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Associations (FAIAR) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, underlining their commitment to greater harmonisation and stronger ties between Europe and Latin America, Eurovent said through a Press release.

In the framework of the Memorandum, Eurovent said, the two organisations will collaborate on standards development, codes of good practice and networking events, among others. Eurovent and FAIAR will have their first high-level coordination meeting still this year to identify concrete opportunities for joint action, Eurovent said.

Raul Corredera Haener, President, Eurovent, said: “In order to raise and harmonise industry standards worldwide, Eurovent’s ambition is to strengthen its international partnerships with like-minded associations. FAIAR has proven to be such a partner, and we look forward to working together with our colleagues from Latin America much more closely in the future to bring new opportunities to our industry.”

Odete de Almeida, President, FAIAR, said: “To achieve FAIAR objectives, we understand the importance of integration of related associations of any territorial scope, in order to provide mutual collaboration and exchange experiences in the professional field, which benefit the partners.”

Eurovent said the two organisations have agreed to work together to promote energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, safe and reliable HVACR technologies based on common principles. The HVACR sector, it added, has an important role to play in the welfare of society and in the fight against climate change. The two regional associations, it further added, aim to avoid disjointed regional approaches to these questions, which would turn opportunities for growth and innovation into market barriers.

Criminal trade in climate-harming HFC refrigerants flourishes in EU

LONDON, UK, 14 April 2019: A key initiative in Europe’s strategy to fight climate change is being undermined by an escalating criminal trade in climate-harming refrigerant gases.

The European Union revised its F-gas Regulation in 2014 to phase down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a family of synthetic chemicals hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide and commonly used in refrigeration, air-conditioning, fire protection, aerosols and foams.

But as supplies shrink and prices rise under the EU’s HFC quotas, illegal trade has flourished to meet demand, with non-quota HFCs entering the EU directly from China or via Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Albania.

Key EU entry points and hotspots for illegal trade are thought to be Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Poland and Malta.

Releasing the new Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) report, titled Doors Wide Open: Europe’s flourishing illegal trade in hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) today, Climate Campaigns Leader, Clare Perry, warned: “Cutting HFC use is one of the most effective tools to help prevent runaway climate change – but its impact could be significantly undermined by illegal trade.”

The report is the most comprehensive research of its kind into the criminal HFC trade and documents how, as early as 2016 and despite huge stockpiling of HFCs in 2014, reports of illegal HFCs in European markets began to emerge.

EIA campaigners have since seen an escalation in reported illegal HFC trade, with 2018 witnessing a deluge of illegal HFC use and trade throughout the EU.

A detailed analysis of customs data for 2018 suggests as much as 16.3 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent (16.3 MtCO2e) bulk HFCs were illegally placed on the market, equivalent to more than 16% of the quota. A large number of EU countries recorded significantly increased HFC imports in 2018, despite the major HFC supply cut of 37%.

EIA also compared 2017 customs data to figures reported under the F-gas Regulation. The customs data indicates an additional 14.8 MtCO2e of HFCs placed on the European market compared to reported data, equivalent to 8.7% of the 2017 quota. Significant discrepancies also exist between Chinese export figures and Europe’s import data, which could indicate fraudulent import declarations.

Sophie Geoghegan, EIA Climate Campaigner, said: “There are multiple and large discrepancies between reported and customs data. The 2018 customs data suggests HFC use exceeded the quota by more than 16% – that’s greenhouse gases equivalent to the annual CO2 emissions from more than four coal-fired power plants – and we call on the European Commission and Member States to examine this as a matter of urgency.”

In late 2018, EIA conducted two surveys, one to gauge efforts by EU Member States to comply with the F-gas Regulation and the second to get information on the illegal trade directly from key industry stakeholders.

More than 80% of the companies surveyed were aware of or suspected illegal HFC trade, and 72% had seen or been offered refrigerants in illegal disposable cylinders.

Perry added: “The EU’s doors are wide open to large-scale illegal HFC trade, driven by quick profits and low risk of punitive measures and the absence of a system allowing customs officials to determine if an HFC import is actually legal or not. A functioning licensing system is urgently needed, and Member States need to significantly and demonstrably strengthen enforcement.”

Doors Wide Open’s recommendations include:

  • Implementing a fully functional licencing system, which allows customs officials to determine the legality of HFC shipments,
  • Improving reporting and monitoring of HFC trade with exporting countries,
  • Revising the ban on non-refillable cylinders to prohibit the use of all disposable cylinders,
  • Improving transparency of the quota system by publishing names of new entrants and quota values, and
  • Setting up a system to compare reported data under the F-gas Regulation with customs data and looking into discrepancies.

IRENA report charts pathways to further accelerate energy transformation

Berlin, Germany, 14 April 2019 – As the urgency to take bold climate action grows, new analysis by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds that scaling up renewable energy, combined with electrification, could deliver more than three quarters of the energy-related emission reductions needed to meet global climate goals. According to the latest edition of IRENA’s Global Energy Transformation: A Roadmap to 2050, launched earlier in the month at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, pathways to meet 86% of global power demand with renewable energy exist. Electricity would cover half of the global final energy mix. Global power supply would more than double over this period, with the bulk of it generated from renewable energy, mostly solar PV and wind.

“The race to secure a climate safe future has entered a decisive phase,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Renewable energy is the most effective and readily available solution for reversing the trend of rising CO2 emissions. A combination of renewable energy with a deeper electrification can achieve 75% of the energy-related emission reduction needed.”

According to the report, an accelerated energy transition in line with the Roadmap 2050 would also save the global economy up to USD 160 trillion, cumulatively over the next 30 years in avoided health costs, energy subsidies and climate damages. Every dollar spent on energy transition would pay off up to seven times, the report said. The global economy would grow by 2.5 per cent in 2050. However, climate damages can lead to significant socioeconomic losses, the report added.

“The shift towards renewables makes economic sense,” La Camera said. “By mid-century, the global economy would be larger, and jobs created in the energy sector would boost global employment by 0.2 per cent. Policies to promote a just, fair and inclusive transition could maximise the benefits for different countries, regions and communities. This would also accelerate the achievement of affordable and universal energy access. The global energy transformation goes beyond a transformation of the energy sector. It is a transformation of our economies and societies.”

But action is lagging, the report said. While energy-related CO2 emissions continued to grow by over one per cent annually on average in the last five years, emissions would need to decline by 70% below their current level by 2050 to meet global climate goals. This calls for a significant increase in national ambition and more aggressive renewable energy and climate targets.

IRENA’s roadmap recommends that national policy should focus on zero-carbon, long-term strategies. It also highlights the need to boost and harness systemic innovation. This includes fostering smarter energy systems through digitalisation as well as the coupling of end-use sectors, particularly heating and cooling and transport, via greater electrification, promoting decentralisation and designing flexible power grids.

“The energy transformation is gaining momentum, but it must accelerate even faster,” La Camera said. “The UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the review of national climate pledges under the Paris Agreement are milestones for raising the level of ambition. Urgent action on the ground at all levels is vital, in particular unlocking the investments needed to further strengthen the momentum of this energy transformation. Speed and forward-looking leadership will be critical – the world in 2050 depends on the energy decisions we take today.”

ENGIE announces new version of the Quantum Air

Lindau, Germany, 14 April 2019: ENGIE Refrigeration is redesigning its entire air-cooled Quantum series, the company said through a Press communiqué. The new Quantum air models will be available worldwide from June 24, the company added through the communiqué.

“The requirements for the refrigeration industry have changed in recent years,” said Jochen Hornung, CEO, ENGIE Refrigeration. “Our customers are placing increasing value on greater efficiency and performance in their chillers, for example. We are accommodating these changing conditions by redesigning our air-cooled QUANTUM series.”

Jochen Hornung, CEO, ENGIE Refrigeration

On the launch date, ENGIE Refrigeration will offer 28 basic models of the Quantum Air. Fourteen of these models use the refrigerant R-1234ze, and 14 models use the refrigerants R-134a and R-513A; all of them require lower quantities of refrigerant, the communiqué said. Like its predecessor model, the revised chiller is ideal for use in a variety of industries – from automotive manufacturers and suppliers to the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry, industrial production and data centres, the communiqué said.

According to the communiqué, customers will benefit from additional important advantages in the future – ENGIE Refrigeration has combined the individual machine components in a new way, so that the Quantum Air surpasses even the exceedingly high efficiency of the current series. The chiller is also suitable for applications from 250 kilowatts to two megawatts, the communiqué quoted the company as saying, adding that with this refrigeration capacity, the Quantum Air outperforms not only its predecessor but also all air-cooled chillers from other manufacturers that are currently on the market.

Highview Power, TSK enter JV to develop cryogenic energy storage projects

LONDON and MADRID, 14 April 2019: Highview Power, which provides long-duration energy storage solutions, and TSK, a global engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) company headquartered in Spain, have entered into an agreement to co-develop gigawatt-hour scale, long-duration energy storage systems using Highview Power’s proprietary cryogenic energy storage solution, Highview said through a Press communiqué.

The new joint-venture company, named Highview TSK, will commit to the development of multiple projects in Spain, the Middle East and South Africa, the communiqué announced. An initial number of projects have been identified for several GWh of clean energy storage to be developed from 2019 through 2022, the communiqué said.
“We are thrilled to be working with a global EPC company of TSK’s caliber,” said Javier Cavada, CEO, Highview Power. “They have an impressive track record of deploying large-scale energy projects around the world, and we are excited to work with them to deploy our cryogenic technology. This partnership with TSK will help Highview Power accelerate momentum for our cryogenic energy storage systems in global markets and is ideal for applications like renewable energy shifting, enabling wind and solar for baseload generation, and hybridising cryogenic storage plants with traditional thermal generation systems.”

Joaquín García Rico, CEO, TSK, said: “After looking at a number of storage technologies, we have come to the conclusion that Highview’s cryogenic energy storage is the ideal solution to deliver long-duration, large-scale storage services to our customers. The technology is not only cost effective, it is also scalable, clean, has a long lifespan and can be deployed now. As a result of the joint capabilities of Highview Power and TSK, we expect to progressively grow our footprint and sales to reach target revenues of over 1 billion euro by 2021.”

According to the communiqué, Highview’s cryogenic systems are the only long-duration energy storage solution available today that are locatable and offer multiple gigawatt-hours of storage. That represents weeks’ worth of storage, not just hours or days. Grid operators are turning to long-duration energy storage to help improve power generation economics, balance the grid and increase reliability. At giga-scale, energy storage resources paired with renewables are equivalent in performance to – and could replace – thermal and nuclear baseload in addition to supporting the electricity transmission and distribution systems while providing additional security of supply.

TSK, the communiqué said, has constructed more than 20 GW of generation projects across 35 countries and brings extensive experience in both traditional energy generation and renewable projects, such as solar, wind and biomass, including more than 10 energy storage projects. According to the communiqué, Highview Power has developed the ideal long-duration energy storage technology for large-scale applications with its cryogenic energy storage technology and brings a skilled team that has developed over $13 billion in energy and infrastructure projects. Combined, the Highview TSK team will have over 1,000 skilled engineers and project managers to execute long-duration energy storage projects in its target markets, from their offices in Gijón, Madrid, Cologne, London and New York, the communiqué said.

Highview Power, the communiqué said, has already built and connected two cryogenic energy storage plants to the UK grid. The first plant was commissioned in 2014 in Slough, Greater London, with a capacity of 2.5 MWh, while in 2018, the world’s largest liquid air energy storage plant was inaugurated in Bury, Greater Manchester, with a capacity of 15 MWh, the communiqué said. The Bury plant shows in real time how cryogenic energy storage provides all possible balancing services, including Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR) and supports the grid during winter peaks, the communiqué said. Highview is currently developing several large projects that will be hundreds of MWhs in scale across the United States and Europe, the company claimed through the communiqué.
Besides being the most suitable solution to balance renewables and enable reliable renewable baseload power, cryogenic energy storage plants support and accelerate the energy transition when combined with traditional thermal power plants, the communiqué said. The plants can optimise operations utilising waste heat and cold into their process, which enables even more affordable and sustainable power production, the communiqué said.
As markets around the world focus on drastically reducing carbon dioxide emissions, there is an accelerated shutdown of traditional coal-fired power stations and massive deployment of intermittent renewable energy plants (mostly solar PV and wind), the communiqué said. This is causing grid reliability issues that are dependent on weather conditions, which drives demand of long-duration energy storage in all major geographic markets in order to ensure a stable and reliable grid. When shutting down and dismantling old power stations, the existing infrastructure and connections left behind become the perfect location to install cryogenic energy storage plants, solving the challenge of integrating massive amounts of renewables while retiring traditional assets.

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