Solar Keymark is a very broadly accepted label on the European solar thermal market. More than 1,000 collector certificates have been issued since the introduction of the certification system in 2003.
There are six certification bodies approved for granting the label: Certif (Portugal), Din Certco (Germany), Elot (Greece), ICIA (Italy), Kiwa (Netherlands) and SP (Sweden). The Licensed Collector statistic on www.solarkeymark.org lists 926 products until the beginning of March 2010. “We have to add to this number the 82 licenses we already issued in earlier years and which have been abandoned by manufacturers because of the launch of new collector modules,” Soeren Scholz, head of the Din Certco certification body in Berlin, explains. Din Certco has signed around 85 % of the licenses listed on the website, whereas Certif has issued 7 % of them and ICIA 4 %.
Besides the 926 collector licenses, the website also shows around 100 solar thermal systems already licensed until February 2010. “We expect around 400 new licenses in 2010,” Solar Keymark Network Secretary, Jan Erik Nielsen, announces.
It sounds like a large number, compared to the time when the label was first launched by an initiative under the active participation of the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) in 2003. On 29th January 2003, CEN (European Committee for Standardization) approved the Solar Keymark scheme rules for solar collectors and factory-made systems based on EN 12975 and 12976. In 2004, certification bodies issued only nine Solar Keymark licenses. One year later, the number grew to 29 and in 2006, it jumped to 79 licenses.
Countries with more than 10 Solar Keymark collector certificates (as of February 2010). This chart does not include Solar Keymark certificates for solar thermal systems.
The figure above shows the countries with the most Solar Keymark certificates today. Every third licensed collector is a product from Germany. Three non-European countries are among the main users of the Solar Keymark label: China, Turkey and Australia. Until February 2010, 66 licensed collectors “made in China” have been listed online on www.solarkeymark.org. Others include nine collectors from Israel, two products from South Korea and a single one from India and the US each.
The Solar Keymark test institutes that have accreditation for testing according to the European standards for solar thermal systems are listed on www.estif.org/solarkeymark/reglabs.php.