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:

Life Cycle Assessment

Facilitating the private sector on the way to climate neutrality

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme wants to help industries and associations identify their environmental footprint. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a suitable method to compile the environmental impacts of a product throughout its life cycle. The newly started IEA SHC Task 71 on Life Cycle and Cost Assessment …
Energy carriers from solar-powered reactors

Energy carriers from solar-powered reactors

In future, a lot of green hydrogen will be needed in industry as an energy carrier. Currently, this green hydrogen is produced in electrolysers that are dependent on renewable electricity. But green power is also needed for many other applications. Sustainable alternatives to hydrogen production are therefore necessary. This is …
Investigation of the boost effect of heat pumps in solar district heating

Investigation of the boost effect of heat pumps in solar district heating

During their most recent meeting in Sweden in October the district heating experts from the IEA SHC Programme discussed the impact of integrating heat pumps into solar district heating systems with and without seasonal storage. Jianhua Fan from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) analysed monitoring data from the Ørum …
LED Guideline

Making the right decisions for lighting retrofit – now!

It is the time of the lighting retrofit in Europe. Since September 2023 all fluorescent lighting – tubes and bulbs – have been banned from sale in the European Union. One of the main questions is whether “transitional solutions” in the form of LED replacement tubes or bulbs make sense …
solar cooling design tools

Overview of design tools and models for solar cooling systems

The knowledge hub for solar cooling and air conditioning within the IEA SHC Programme contains a number of new reports. One reviews climate conditions and typical applications for solar cooling. Another looks at technical and non-technical lessons learned, based on a survey of solar cooling experts and practitioners. The report …
PV water heating

How can the grid load of PV water heating systems in Australia be minimized?

During the Asia-Pacific Solar Research Conference in December in Melbourne, Australia, the IEA SHC Task 69 Solar Hot Water for 2030 team organized a Special Session on PV water heating systems. The session, entitled Key Considerations for the Adoption of PV Water Heaters featured Dean Clift, who recently finished his …
IEA SHC Solar Award

Solar Award recognizes outstanding solar thermal installation for process heating or cooling

The IEA SHC Programme has just launched the call for nominations for the Solar Award 2024. This year the programme will recognize an outstanding project or programme that has reduced costs and environmental impact by providing solar thermal heating or cooling to an industrial process or several processes. The nomination …
champions of PCMs and TCMs

Commercially available products and champions of PCMs and TCMs

The Compact Thermal Energy Storage group within the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme investigates new materials for storing heat and develops standard procedures to test their stability, heat capacity etc. This is important basic research in order to find storage materials for new applications. During the Solar Academy webinar …
solar neighborhoods

Interdisciplinary author team answers ten questions concerning planning and design strategies for solar neighborhoods

10 key questions, 12 authors and two years of drafting time led to a comprehensive paper on planning and design strategies for solar neighborhoods, which has just been published by the journal Building and Environment. The initiative originated from Associate Professor Maria Wall, who heads IEA SHC Task 63 on …
IEA SHC Solar Academy training in Cape Verde with high visibility

IEA SHC Solar Academy training in Cape Verde with high visibility

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme pursues a multidimensional approach to support the market transformation of solar cooling. This includes training for entrepreneurs from the installation industry and energy experts from administration at a national level. The photo shows solar cooling expert Dr Uli Jakob during a two-day specialized …
Technical tour to Europe's largest solar industrial heat plant at Heineken Spain

Technical tour to Europe’s largest solar industrial heat plant at Heineken Spain

The inauguration of the 30 MW parabolic trough plant at the Heineken factory in Seville, Spain, on 30 September 2023 was exactly on time. The investor and plant operator Engie España had to put the plant into operation before the end of September in order to receive the extensive subsidy …
Solar energy in wastewater treatment

“There is high potential for using solar energy in wastewater treatment”

In a circular economy the efficient supply of carbon-free energy and the recovery of resources as well as the treatment of wastewater must go hand in hand. In the IEA SHC Task 62 on Solar Energy in Industrial Water & Wastewater Management more than 50 experts worked intensively together to …