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:

Pathway to 100 % renewables: “Industry is a really hard-to-abate sector”

Pathway to 100 % renewables: “Industry is a really hard-to-abate sector”

“The world is burning more fossil fuels than ever. We need deep structural change,” REN21 Executive Director Rana Adib warned attendees at a panel discussion at last week’s Solar World Congress. “It is not enough anymore to look at the energy supply side – that is, the power sector – …
Tackling the complexity of urban-level energy simulations

Tackling the complexity of urban-level energy simulations

A special “Fall School” for PhD and advanced master’s students to enhance their knowledge of designing and implementing solar strategies in urban areas was offered by the IEA SHC Task 63 Solar Neighbourhood Planning in October. Dr. Caroline Hachem-Vermette from the University of Calgary, Canada, organised the course for 14 …
China’s future role in the IEA SHC Programme

China’s future role in the IEA SHC Programme

The Chinese solar thermal market shows a varied picture of demand. While subsectors such as solar space heating are booming, total market volume continues to decline. Solarthermalworld.org spoke with two professors at the China Academy of Building Research, He Tao (see above) and Ruicheng Zheng (see below), about the drivers …
IEA SHC Solar Cooling Task: “We can make a difference”

IEA SHC Solar Cooling Task: “We can make a difference”

US project developer ergSol is a true pioneer. The company is not only putting up large commercial solar heat systems in California but also supports the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme by heading the Demonstration subtask of global research network Task 65 – Solar Cooling for the Sunbelt Regions …
IEA SHC workshop to create "Smart Solar Water Heating for 2030" research platform

IEA SHC workshop to create ‘Smart Solar Water Heating for 2030’ research platform

With 57 % of the total solar heating capacity in operation globally, thermosiphon systems top the list of the world’s most used solar thermal technologies. At the same time, photovoltaic systems are also emerging as a real player for getting heat from the sun. Both technologies are rapidly evolving to …
SICA countries join IEA SHC with some flagship projects

SICA countries join IEA SHC with some flagship projects

In its current Solar Update Newsletter August 2021 the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme welcomes what is already the sixth Regional Sustainable Energy Centre to join as a sponsor. The most recent new member is SICREEE, which opened its doors at the beginning of 2021 and represents the eight …
How SHIP can compete with heat produced from natural gas in Europe

How SHIP can compete with heat produced from natural gas in Europe

Many studies have shown the huge potential solar thermal has for clean heat production in industry. But so far, there have been comparatively few attempts to tap into this potential, partly because of high investment costs and partly because of end customers’ lack of knowledge about, and therefore trust in, …
Germany’s solar heat success story in 2020 and beyond

Germany’s solar heat success story in 2020 and beyond

In 2020, the German market for solar heat grew by 26 % – more than any other major solar thermal market around the globe, according to the new Solar Heat Worldwide 2021 report (see chart above). Speaking at an IEA SHC Solar Academy in June, Harald Drück, a researcher at …
Global PVT market on track for more growth

Global PVT market on track for more growth

PVT collectors – which use solar radiation to produce both heat and electricity – have been gaining in popularity in a rising number of markets around the world. In 2019, the Netherlands, France and Spain claimed the top spots for the most PVT capacity added in a year. In 2020, …
Develop stable and reliable compact thermal energy storages

Develop stable and reliable compact thermal energy storages

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has redoubled its efforts to develop and test compact thermal energy storage (CTES), saying the technology can play an important role in transforming the energy market. At its meeting in June, the IEA SHC Executive Committee approved the start of a new research …
Workflow stories describe use of solar neighbourhood planning tools

Workflow stories describe use of solar neighbourhood planning tools

Experts working on the Solar Neighborhood Planning project have created workflow stories to find out which tools urban planners use and what problems they encounter while doing so. The image above is taken from a Norwegian workflow story. It shows a simulation of sunlight patterns during morning hours in a …
Solar Heat Worldwide 2021 – a rich source of global, national and sector-specific data

Solar Heat Worldwide 2021 – a rich source of global, national and sector-specific data

In 2020, Germany was the world’s leading solar district heating market, while China saw the largest increase in the number of industrial solar heat systems added in a single country, according to Solar Heat Worldwide 2021. This year’s edition, presented last week during a Solar Academy webinar that drew more …