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Solar thermal applications in Eastern Europe with Guaranteed Solar Results (EAST-GSR)

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EAST-GSR is a 36-month project based on the Guaranteed Solar Results (GSR) quality approach. Austria, France, Germany and Greece, which already successfully implemented this performance guarantee contract, transferred their experience to Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in order to support the development of a sustainable solar thermal market in those target countries. The project started with the “knowledge acquisition” by identifying the existing solar thermal market, the most promising sectors for large-scale applications and the potential stakeholders to be involved. A know-how transfer between the partners led to the GSR contract adaptation to national situations and to the implementation of a telemonitoring system (a key component of the contract) on one existing installation per target country in order to serve as a pilot site. The project then focussed on the dissemination of the GSR approach - through dedicated pedagogic tools, national networking and training sessions, presentations of the project in national/international events and publications, a project website (, and pre-feasibility studies for potential projects.


  • The Guaranteed Solar Results contract has been adapted to the national legal context and reviewed by a national lawyer. A template is downloadable from the project website for public use
  • One existing large solar thermal system per target country has been equipped with a telemonitoring system to demonstrate the reliability of solar thermal installations,the possibility to guarantee the produced solar energy thanks to appropriate calculation tools, and the interest of performance monitoring in terms of maintenance and professionals’ know-how continuous improvement.The day to day telemonitoring data is available on the project website and will be accessible and updated until 2011
  • National networking and training sessions, including a visit of the pilot site, have been organised in the five target countries. More than 300 targeted stakeholders of the solar thermal field (decision makers, professionals, potential investors) were informed about the GSR concept on these occasions. Pedagogic tools such as a professional handbook, a telemonitoring manual and the project CD-Rom gathering the project documents have been distributed
  • Following those meetings, interesting initiatives have emerged. As an example, a first GSR project will be soon implemented by a Slovak municipality and interesting partnerships, such as with the Slovene elderly home association, have been initiated. Different financers have also expressed their interest in promoting the GSR contract as a pre-requisite for financing. The project partners will continue their networking in that regard
  • Pre-feasibility studies have been proposed to potential investors during the last months of the project in order to foster the implementation of concrete projects with GSR which would be reference projects for the solar thermal sector. The results of those pre-feasibility studies have also been communicated to potential investors in order to encourage them to invest in such projects. It is expected that this will lead to concrete realisations in the coming months.

Lessons learned

  • Similarities can be noted between the Eastern European countries’ solar thermal markets which are facing common barriers (lack of clear state support and clear subsidy schemes, need for professionals’ training, need to develop quality standards and testing facilities, need to set reliable database about key inputs such as solar radiations, standard hot water consumptions, existing installed capacity, etc). Projects targeting those countries should be encouraged
  • There is a clear potential for solar thermal in the EAST-GSR target countries in a context of rising energy prices. For collective applications, some sectors as the health and the hotel ones appear to be particularly promising. This potential should be encouraged at the state or local level through subsidy schemes and/or awareness raising campaigns, especially in the context of high energy dependence.
  • The project confirmed that a performance guarantee is a win-win approach which can be promoted at the same time by professionals proposing quality services, financers who want to secure their investment or loans, institutions who want to promote efficient support schemes and clients who need guarantees in a developing market. Last updated: 28.06.2010

Partners and coordinator

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Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie
Contact point: 
0033 0 4 93 95 79 96
Didier Bosseboeuf
0033 1 47652355
Jacques-Olivier Budin
0033 2 41 91 41 65
Therese Kreitz
Edgar Blaustein
0033 14765 2450


Key documents

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In brief

01/01/2006 to 31/12/2008
Contract number: 

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