New study on the use of the greenhouse gas sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) in the energy sector started

March 28, 2019

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) plays an important role as an insulating gas in electrical switchgear at various voltage levels when interrupting and diverting current flows. At the same time, it is one of the most effective greenhouse gases with a very long lifetime and, although the concentration of SF6 in the atmosphere is currently still very low, it accumulates steadily over the years. The Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE in Kassel and the Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) are performing a research study to investigate the environmental and socio-economic impact of the usage of the gas sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) in power distribution grids.

The study will analyze the use of the potent greenhouse gas SF6 and of F-gas free alternatives in medium voltage grids. The study is intended to support the COP 21 Paris Agreement, and industry’s sustainability commitments towards the nature and the planet. The study focuses on medium voltage (MV) switchgear of electricity grids in the European Union.

Power grid stakeholders who have strong interest in MV power equipment and sustainability are invited to join this research study. Initial members are Siemens and Schneider Electric.

Study participants might contribute with their specific knowledge and will have preferential access to the results. They can choose from three membership options with different rights and financial contributions: Full Members, Participating Members and Study Supporters. Applications for membership are open until 31 May 2019.

The research started in March 2019. The definition phase will close mid-June. Results will be available early 2020. The final results will be presented in a publicly available white paper.

For more information, please contact:

Dipl.-Ing. Wolfram Heckmann
Phone +49 561 7294-126

Fraunhofer IEE
Königstor 59
34119 Kassel, Germany

The Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and Energy System Technology IEE
in Kassel researches for the national and international transformation of energy supply systems.

We develop solutions for technical and economic challenges in order to further reduce the costs of renewable energies, to secure the supply despite volatile generation, to ensure grid stability at todays high level and to promote the success of the energy
transition business model.

With the help of our scientific, technical and operational offerings and solutions,
we support our customers and partners from politics and industry.

Established by Grenoble’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1984, Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) is a higher education institution in Management. It delivers 40 national and international programs from the undergraduate to the Doctoral level for about 6000 students. It is accredited by EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA, and a member of the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles. GEM ranks among the 20 best European Business Schools (latest Financial Times Ranking), and typically among the top 4 to 6 business schools in France.

The GEM Energy Management team combines research on strategic management, technology innovation and energy policy to create and share knowledge that will help businesses and society move towards a low-carbon future.