by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Grenada ratified Kigali Amendment on Hydrofluorocarbons in 2018
- Grenada is only country in Latin America and the Caribbean with commercially available R290 air conditioner systems for sale
- GIZ partnering with TAMCC to establish regional training hub
Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados in 2018 ratified the Kigali Amendment on Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Grenada is moving to significantly reduce the consumption and production of HFCs by 2050.
Ahead of the Montreal Protocol target of 2010 to phase-out Chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs), Grenada like many other countries in the process of phasing out Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs) has introduced hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants which are also considered as having high Global Warming Potential (GWP). Refrigerants such as R134a and R410a were both introduced as eventual replacements for more environmentally harmful and ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon and hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants.
The National Ozone Unit in the Energy Division of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Public Utilities, Energy, Transport and Implementation, is partnering with other key sectors and stakeholders like the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and has forged alliances under the Caribbean Cooling Initiative (C-COOL) to ensure that a green alternative is to introduce into the heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R) industry.
The quadrennial review from the Scientific Assessment Panel of the Montreal Protocol released their Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion in 2018 which showed that the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000. At projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone are scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s, followed by the Southern Hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060.
“If we successfully implement the Kigali Amendment we can avoid up to 0.5 degrees increase in atmospheric temperature by end of the century, which is significantly more than what the Kyoto protocol and Paris agreement can achieve so based on the structure of the Montreal Protocol, it is one of the treaty that is best suited to phase out these chemicals, so our technicians are all guilty of phasing out ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gasses, therefore, I think the onus is on you to do likewise to phase out these chemicals,” said the National Ozone Officer, Leslie Smith.
Smith addressed industry stakeholders and technicians at the recently held Strategic Planning Workshop for a Regional Consortium to address several common issues facing the HVAC-R industry in Grenada and the rest of the region. This workshop was part of the Caribbean Cooling Initiative (C-COOL) and is organised by the UN Environment, United 4 Efficiency (U4E). The workshop was conducted for representatives of training institutions and senior Refrigeration and Air conditioning (RAC) industry association personnel from each of the five partner countries, The Bahamas, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, and Grenada. The outcomes of the workshop sort:
- To identify a pathway toward establishing a common HVAC-R training curriculum throughout the region
- To consider opportunities for encouraging new students to enter the field
- To explore how to make HVAC-R a licenced profession
- To discuss ways to establish a consortium of HVAC-R technician training institutes that fosters a regular exchange of best practices and lessons learned while minimising duplication of effort
- To share information on lessons learned from each participating country
- To identify common challenges and barriers to the uptake of low GWP alternatives and discuss strategic activities to overcome them.
In Grenada, 20% of emissions are due to the refrigerants (so-called Direct Emissions) and 80% is due to the electricity consumption of air condition units (so-called Indirect Emissions).
Smith provided a strategic plan to ensure that these emissions are reduced. “If we introduce low-level Global Warming Potential options and more energy-efficient appliances we can reduce our emissions significantly and contribute towards saving the planet and in so doing Grenada has taken the bold step in adopting the use of natural refrigerants as a long term replacement for these high Global Warming Potential alternatives. Grenada is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean that has commercially available R290 air conditioner systems for sale. I am sure you are familiar with R290 in commercial refrigeration and the R600 in domestic refrigeration, but we are the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean that have on island stock of equipment for sale, other countries may have to import directly from the supplier.”
GIZ GmbH has partnered with TA Marryshow Community College TAMCC) which will provide technical support in the establishment of a regional training hub for natural refrigerants at the college. This support includes over $50,000 worth of equipment to upgrade the laboratory which includes R-290 air-condition units for training.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on 29 October between Dr Jeffrey Britton, Principal TAMCC and Marion Geiss, Head of GIZ Grenada.
As part of the agreement under the MOU, GIZ will provide the following:
- Assist the TAMCC in identifying trainers
- Faculty and staff development in areas that they teach
- Providing training material and developing a training curriculum for natural refrigerants
- Facility enhancement and infrastructure needs of the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning (RAC) programme at TAMCC.
Britton is convinced that this partnership will lead to the further educational advancement of the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning sector. “This is an opportunity to reinforce a highly qualified and skilled workforce within the refrigeration and air conditioning sector with the commitment to improving the capacity and sustainability of the Refrigeration & Air Conditioning in Grenada. We have to consider the dilemma of educating in a world of unprecedented perils, but also unparalleled potential, our approach to education for sustainable development should hold the promise of unlocking new horizon to education and training.”
Geiss was delighted to be a part of this alliance with the college. “Working on capacity building and development together with TAMCC, we have a strong partner who [stepped] forward and has already given various opportunities to train on energy-efficient and natural refrigerant-based appliances. Through the project, we were able to pilot some of the appliances.”
Also present for the signing of the MoU was Kim Frederick, Permanent Secretary with responsibility for Public Utilities and Energy and Loreto Duffy-Mayers, Project Manager of Caribbean Cooling Initiative (C-COOL).
The first in the series of Grenada Cool Training in Natural Refrigerants is earmarked for early 2020.