International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Programme has over 35 years of international collaborative work in the field of research, development, demonstration (RD&D) and test methods for solar thermal energy and solar buildings.  The results of this work are available for researchers, policy makers, industry, utility and business representatives, builders, architects and teachers

The IEA SHC Programme is a member-based Programme with 20 member countries and 5 member organizations. Its mission is “To enhance collective knowledge and application of solar heating and cooling through international collaboration to fulfill its vision of solar thermal energy meeting 50% of low temperature heating and cooling demand by 2050.”

Highlighted in the section below are some of our most recent publications:

Solar Heat Worldwide

Solar Heat Worldwide: launch of IEA SHC flagship publication

The global solar thermal market saw 3 % growth in 2021 after seven years of decline. Noteworthy development was reported from some of the largest solar heat markets such as Brazíl, United States, Greece and Italy. Solar thermal capacity in operation reached 522 GWth, providing green heat to 109 million …
Solar Award

Solar Award recognises outstanding solar building concepts

On 16 June in Wuppertal, Germany, two very convincing and transferable solar integration concepts realised in Solar Decathlon Europe buildings received the Solar Award. The first solar prize went to the team VIRTUe of the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands (see photo) and the second solar prize was …
16 living spaces for a better world

16 living spaces for a better world

Solar Decathlon – the world’s largest construction competition for universities – will open for visitors in mid-June in Wuppertal, Germany. More than 1,200 students have worked over three years to prepare the exhibition, which will include 16 full-scale (1:1) flagship buildings for sustainable urban living. Two additional teams from Thailand …
Smart solar hot water

IEA SHC initiative to increase quality and market volumes of smart solar hot water systems

Providing reliable and long-lasting solar-driven hot water solutions for households – this is the main objective of the planned research platform called Solar hot water for 2030 within the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. During the last 12 months experts from all around the world have discussed the key …
ammonia recovery

Ammonia recovery to serve as fertilizer and energy fuel

Production of ammonia as a fertilizer is a huge global industry with an enormous energy demand. The Austrian institute AEE INTEC has successfully operated a membrane distillation (MD) pilot plant 24/7 at a municipal waste water treatment plant (see photo). It has the potential to gain ammonia with a lot …
Testing of improved thermochemical storage in a real environment

Testing of improved thermochemical storage in a real environment

The session Emerging Heat and Cold Storages during the ISEC conference in April in Austria was a deep dive into thermochemical heat storage. Two speakers from the German research project Heat2Share presented technical improvements at the material, component and system levels of a thermochemical storage unit used in district heating …
Solergy label goes global

Certification and labelling: Experts answer questions from the industry

Third-party quality control is key for consumers. Labelling of products supports customers in taking the right decisions. For solar collectors in Europe, Solergy is such a quality label. It shows how much collectors can contribute to a CO2-free heat supply in different locations and at different temperature levels. In close …
Solar Energy Buildings

How to get renewable energy to buildings in dense urban areas

On 23 March 2022, the first industry workshop organised by IEA SHC Task 66 – Solar Energy Buildings showcased solar building ideas from different corners of the globe, including the first mandatory solar building regulations in China and Mexico’s rules on energy efficiency and solar energy in the construction sector …
wastewater treatment

Guidelines for wastewater treatment technologies in preparation

Operating a wastewater treatment plant is a complex task in itself. If you start thinking about using solar energy to drive certain separation or disinfection processes, the task becomes even more challenging (as the graphic above shows). Water treatment plant operators who want to harness more solar energy would benefit …
EuroSun 2022 in Germany: Call for papers

EuroSun 2022 in Germany: Call for papers

The University of Kassel will host EuroSun 2022 in Germany between 25 and 29 September. The conference will be jointly organised by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling (IEA SHC) Programme. Monday to Wednesday are reserved for technology, market and policy-related sessions on …
“Support joint marketing efforts for solar district heating”

“Support joint marketing efforts for solar district heating”

At a workshop set to take place on 4 and 5 April in Graz, Austria, the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme will launch a new research platform about Efficient Solar District Heating Systems, also called Task 68. About 30 mostly European solar heat experts have worked 12 months on …
Global Solar Certification Network and Solar Heating Initiative join forces

Global Solar Certification Network and Solar Heating Initiative join forces

“Unite for solar heat” is the idea behind a new alliance forged between the Global Solar Certification Network and the Solar Heating Initiative. “Our plan is to develop joint marketing and communication campaigns, and the relaunch of the GSCN website will be the first output from this new alliance,” GSCN …