The race for net zero places clean electricity at the heart of Europe’s energy supply. This shifts the focus to the grid infrastructure itself: it must not harm the environment, the climate, or people.
Today, electricity grids still rely on SF6 as an insulating gas. Its contribution to global warming potential is 25,200 times greater than that of CO2. The grids of tomorrow could rely simply on Natural-Origin Gases; these have zero impact on the climate, the environment and human health.
This requires the right policy choices now. The negotiations of the F-Gas Regulation will determine which kind of switchgear insulation will succeed SF6.
Switchgears are the ‘nodes’ of power grids. They are essential to ensure that electricity is transmitted and distributed at the proper voltage level.
What comes after SF6 is in our hands: Do we really want to accept the use of other harmful F-Gases such as Fluoroketone and Fluoronitrile, which are classified as PFAS (‘forever chemicals’)? Or do we want to make the switch to Natural-Origin Gases, whose usage poses no risks to the environment or to human health?