At the end of April 2022 the REAL Alternatives Consortium met online for the usual biannual conference call, where all the Member Countries update one another on the progress of the project’s implementation, such as training sessions delivered.
One of the leading topics of discussion was the recent issue of the F-Gas Regulation revision proposal by the EU Commission; ATF Secretary General Marco Buoni (Italy) presented the latest news, as few items affect the RACHP sector and the REAL Alternatives programme as well. Bans are going to take place, especially for split systems, which are going to work only with refrigerants whose GWP is lower than 150, hence hydrocarbons for the majority; proper capacity building will be ever so fundamental for this crucial transition. Furthermore, article 10 of the proposal specifically underlines the importance of training, especially on natural and alternative refrigerants, although is not clear yet about the certification; AREA (Europe) is working on the subject, with the sole purpose of guaranteeing safety and efficiency for the whole sector, including contractors and end users.
The REAL Alternatives project’s numbers are extraordinary: the Member Countries have so far issued more than 1,500 certificates for flammable refrigerants’ and carbon dioxide’s proper handling, whereas more than 7,000 users have logged into the e-learning platform so far, confirming that investing on digital learning was a winning bet. The e-learning platform additionally underwent a major update about six months ago and new languages were added (such as Greek and Estonian), extending the project’s outreach even further. The programme keeps growing, for example thanks to new Countries getting in touch with the Consortium in order to become an active part of it, international companies who are available to provide equipment for didactical purposes, and a flourishing social media network – the new LinkedIn page (www.linkedin.com/company/real-alternatives-learning/) added a brand new communication tool to the existing profile on Twitter (@REAL_Alts_EU).