Towards procedures for environmental performance assessment of solar thermal products
Solar energy is a “clean” energy form and it is clear that solar thermal systems will contribute to the change of the energy system towards sustainability. A change of fossil fuels with solar thermal energy will avoid considerable emissions to our environment during operation but operation energy is not the only contribution source for environmental impacts. Also contributions related to manufacturing of the system unit and its disposal must be considered. During the last years it has become important to declare the environmental impact from a product during its complete life cycle. To get credibility, relevance and comparability of the declaration it is a need for a common, independent and uniform procedure. This paper presents a literature survey of environmental impact descriptions of solar thermal systems and aims to be a base for further development of a common European procedure for environmental life cycle assessment of solar thermal systems.