This project aimed at opening up the European market for solar thermal quality products. When the project started, the market was still fragmented due to different national and regional requirements in (buildings) regulation and financial incentive schemes. Germany and Spain announced full acceptance of Solar Keymark’ed products in their national support programmes/building regulations. When these announcements were implemented the most important trade barriers were history. By removing barriers to trade, consumers have improved access to solar thermal quality products resulting in a higher uptake of solar thermal energy in the EU.
European Standards for solar thermal products have been established, and the CEN ‘Solar Keymark’, which certifies conformity with these standards, has been introduced. However the acceptance of these standards is not yet universal, and some conflicts remain between the EN Standards and local regulations and requirements, now mainly in regional/municipal support programmes. Products, which are Keymark’ed but do not meet the local requirements are still not eligible for financial support and cannot compete with eligible products.
SolarKeymark-II main activities:
- Analysis of existing trade barriers – taking into account the 4 years of experiences with the Solar Keymark
- Improvement of Solar Keymark scheme rules and closer coordination of European Standards and national/regional requirement in order to make them more flexible and more attractive to solar thermal manufacturers.
- Coordinated national implementations of the Council Directive 2002/91/EC on the energy performance of buildings with respect to solar thermal and a unified calculation procedure#Promotion of the Solar Keymark to the European solar industry on the one hand and to (national) authorities administering solar thermal support programmes.
For further information on the Solar Keymark, and especially the SolarKeymark-II project: Please visit www.solarkeymark.org and have a look at the Solar Keymark brochure, which gives a good overview of the Solar Keymark, its benefits and costs as well as the certification process. This brochure is available in several languages.