Concept for SF6-free transmission and distribution of energy

Published: 04/05/2018

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. Besides many technical advantages, though, SF6 is the strongest greenhouse gas known and therefore relevant to climate policy.

Against this background, Ecofys, a Navigant company, and ETH Zürich were commissioned to comprehensively assess technological alternatives and to identify concrete regulatory options for the reduced use or replacement of SF6 in new electrical equipment. This first Europe-wide study on this matter was conducted on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and under technical supervision of the German Environment Agency (UBA) from 2016 to 2018.

Key findings and recommendations of the study are:

  • Alternative solutions are available on the market in medium voltage, while high voltage requires further development.
  • The F-Gas Regulation and Voluntary Commitments in several member states have already resulted in significant SF6 emission reductions. Further reduction potentials are available – but to exploit them further efforts are needed.
  • Industry demands regulatory and technical security. This requires a reliable regulatory framework.
  • Further development and improvement of SF6 monitoring, emission monitoring and reporting is required.
  • Further investigation is necessary regarding the replacement of old plants.

Download the report from the German Environment Agency:

Your contact

Charlotte Hussy
Energy Systems and Markets
Michael Döring
Energy Systems and Markets
SF6 emissions (in tons) from production, operation and disposal of MV and HV switchgear and other electrical equipment (c) Ecofys - A Navigant Company