domingo, 28 de junio de 2009

Solar Ordinances for Europe!

Already a growing number of local authorities, regions and countries are enacting solar thermal ordinances (also know as “solar obligations”).

If you want to promote a solar thermal ordinance in your community, visit which offers support and services, based on the practical long-term experience of European frontrunner communities and expert institutes in this field.

What is a solar thermal ordinance?
Solar Thermal Ordinances (STO) are legal provisions making it mandatory for owners of buildings to install a solar thermal system, mainly for new buildings but also for buildings undergoing major renovation.

They are in most cases part of national or regional energy laws and often implemented by means of local building codes at municipal level. Progressively, more and more local authorities, regions and countries (e.g. Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Baden Wuerttemberg region in Germany and some Austrian regions) are implementing solar thermal ordinances.

European framework
On 23 January 2008, the European Commission presented a draft for an EU Directive to promote renewable energy sources (RES), which aims at reaching the EU’s 20% RES target by 2020. And for the first time renewables in heating and cooling are fully recognised as key players for a sustainable and secure energy supply in the EU.The proposed Article 12 requires all Member States to implement obligations for a minimum share of energy from RES in new or refurbished buildings.

At the same time, the draft Directive highlights the urgent need to simplify the administrative burdens, which have so far seriously restricted the use of RES inbuildings. Recommendations like “clearly defined responsibilities”, “precise deadlines”, “streamlined and expedited administrative procedures”, “objective rules”, which are very often not met in daily practice, are clearly set as priorities in the draft text.The Directive is currently being discussed by both the European Parliament and Council; they will have to agree before the Directive can come into effect. Of course,the successful implementation at national level of this fairly effective general framework will require considerable further effort.

The ProSTO project
The ProSTO project, co-financed by the European Commission under their Intelligent Energy—Europe Programme, is aimed at increasing the use of solar thermal ordinances all over Europe.

The main dissemination tool of the project is the website

Here all the deliverables will be available for download:

  • a STO database will describe in detail the experiences made with the main existing ordinances.

  • a STO toolbox will compile useful material such as model documents for STO criteria and procedures, recommendations for flanking measures and a step-by-step guide for introducing solar ordinances.

  • a STO helpdesk will support interested institutions.
We are looking forward to your visit at!

For more information about ProSTO, you may also contact the project’s co-ordinator, Marco Calderoni of Ambiente Italia: