Record Heat Wave bakes Europe, but what does that mean for air-conditioning in Europe?
Never in recorded history has Paris been hotter than it was in the beginning of August, when the temperature neared 43 C. The same was true of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, as a dangerous heat wave scorched Western Europe.
The hottest summers in Europe in the past 500 years have all come in the past 17 years, scientists say. Several heat waves have been linked to human-caused climate change and in the years ahead, they say, many more are likely to scorch temperate zones like northern Europe.
Temperatures broke records, but while air-conditioning usage is up among Europeans, it remains far less common than elsewhere in the world.
Europe accounts for just 6% of the global share of air conditioners, compared with 23% for the United States and 35% for China, according to a 2018 report by the International Energy Agency. More than 90% of Japanese and American households have an air conditioning system; fewer than 10% of Europeans have one. In Germany, the figure is below 2%.
HFC refrigerant prices continue to fall
With reports of subsiding demand, refrigerant prices continued to fall in Europe in the first quarter of this year.
While prices continue to be several times higher than before the start of the European F-gas phase-down, the latest quarterly price-monitoring report by Öko-Recherche charts price falls for R404A, R410A and R134a.
Prices dropped slightly for lower GWP alternatives, while service companies reported increases for high GWP refrigerants such as R407A and R452A. This latest report received data from 69 companies from eleven EU Member States, although the main respondents were from France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
The development of purchase prices of the most commonly used HFC refrigerants at gas distributor level. Data presented include prices reported by three gas distributors. Prices are indexed to the baseline year 2014 (=100%).
Average purchase prices of the most commonly used refrigerants reported by service companies from France, Germany and Spain in Q4/2018 and Q1/2019.