Decarbonization and the future of energy

Net Zero Emissions 2050 and its effect on regulations, standards and incentives. 

The Net Zero Emissions 2050 is being adopted by many countries and is aiming to keep emissions and the removal of carbon dioxide in balance. To keep global warming to no more than 1.5°C, as called for in the Paris Agreement, emissions need to be reduced by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050. 

Three of the key strategies of Net Zero Emissions 2050 are: 

1. Improve operational efficiency 

2. Pursue electrification  

3. Switch to renewable power 

We can already see residential and industrial heating being decarbonized by using electrical heat pumps. Global annual renewable electricity capacity increased by almost 50% in 2023, with photo voltaic (PV) and wind power in the lead. Battery storage installations are rapidly increasing to complement this rise in renewable energy. And a large number of hydrogen projects involving electrolysers, pipelines, heavy transport and industrial applications are ongoing in all parts of the world.  

The clean energy industry continues to grow 
In addition to the Net Zero Emissions goals, the clean energy industry is being promoted at a global level with huge investments in solar power, wind power, battery storage, thermal energy storage and in hydrogen production and its applications. The United States is at the forefront of these efforts with significant funding as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act.  

New regulations, standards and incentives 
These ambitious goals and investments are creating new regulations, standards and incentives across the world. Here are a few of the highlights: 

In the Americas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the Technology TransitionRuleunder the Aim Act that restricts high Global Warming Potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbon, (HFCs) R134a and R410A) from January 1st, 2025.  

In Europe, new F-Gas Regulation came into force in 2024 increasing the phase out of fluorinated gases and introducing new bans. A proposed PFAS restriction is being reviewed for The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)statement 2026 and EU’s adoption of the restriction proposal in anticipated in 2027 or 2028. 

Last but not least, in Asia-Pacific, Chinese chiller efficiency standard GB19577 is under revision and efficiency demand is predicted to increase 10-13%. APAC is following the Montreal/Kigali protocol for HFC phase-down with Japan and Australia in the lead.   

In 2023 alone, we’ve seen synthetic refrigerants R410A and R134a being replaced with more environmentally friendly options including: R32, R454B or R290 depending on application and geography.  

High-efficiency HVAC systems are being promoted by new efficiency standards in all main markets. Heat pumps have grown fast globally, quickly replacing fossil fuel boilers.  

Start the journey towards natural refrigerants with SWEP  
SWEP works closely with customers and suppliers to support decarbonization and develop BPHE solutions designed to support the shift from harmful refrigerants to low GWP alternatives to safeguard the future planet, without compromising on performance and energy-efficiency.  

If you would like to know more how we work with new refrigerants and how SWEP can help you in your applications with brazed plate heat exchangers, contact your local SWEP representative or visit 

The content of this article has been adapted from the “Regulatory & Public Affairs at SWEP” webinar hosted by Eric Mencke, Regulatory and Public Affairs Manager for SWEP.

For further reading, please refer to our website: contact your local sales representative.