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Ecofys, a Navigant company, investigated options for a SF6-free European electricity system

Published: 04/05/2018

Ecofys, a Navigant company, and ETH Zürich have assessed technological alternatives and regulatory options for the reduced use or replacement of SF6 in electrical equipment. The investigation is the first Europe-wide study on the matter, and was conducted over two years on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) under technical supervision of the German Environment Agency (UBA).

In 2020, the European Commission will review the regulatory framework for specific substances (F-gases) in electrical equipment. Currently, the F-gas sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) is of central importance for a significant share of electrical equipment - especially switchgear - in the European power system. Next to many technical advantages, though, SF6 is the strongest greenhouse gas known and therefore relevant to climate policy.

The study finds that alternative solutions are available on the market in medium voltage, while high voltage requires further development. Tapping into additional reduction potentials will also require a reliable regulatory framework to provide industry with sufficient planning security.

Find all findings and recommendations available in the reports at the German Environment Agency: