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:

right to solar access

Paving the way for solar access in Sweden and Norway

How can urban planners secure the right to light and the right to solar access when densifying urban areas? Experts from Norway and Sweden discussed the challenges using various examples during the international seminar Solar and daylight planning in urban environments on 10 March 2023. Both countries lack requirements regarding …
Webinars in March offer insights into certification, labelling and the rise of SDH

Webinars in March offer insights into certification, labelling and the rise of SDH

Do not miss out the two solar heat webinars in March offered by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme together with partners. You can join the next IEA SHC Solar Academy webinar about the Global Solar Certification Network and Solergy either on 21 March or 23 March depending on …
Integrated lighting

Low-carbon and high-comfort integrated lighting

Anyone interested in research in the field of efficient lighting in buildings will definitely come across Jan de Boer. He chairs the Lighting Technology and Passive Solar Systems Group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics in Germany. Since 2013, de Boer has also led groups of scientists and practitioners …
Business and financing models

Business and financing models – a clear distinction

Non-technical barriers often play a critical role when it comes to increasing the number of solar cooling systems in the sunbelt countries. Business and financing models are among the important factors in overcoming non-technical barriers. In order to have an informed discussion about successful models it is important to have …
cost reduction potential

IEA SHC investigates cost reduction potential of solar district heating

Transparency about costs makes claims more credible and helps energy modellers. For these reasons the IEA SHC Task 68 on Efficient Solar District Heating (SDH) has started a discussion about cost reduction potential of SDH systems. “We aim at performing the cost analysis based on interviews with representatives of industry …
compact thermal energy storage

“Stability testing is needed to investigate the market readiness of compact thermal energy storage materials”

Stability is a key issue when evaluating new phase-change materials (PCMs) or thermochemical materials (TCMs) for thermal energy storage. A loss of stability may reduce the storage capacity and/or the thermal power exchange over the operational life of compact thermal energy storage (CTES) systems. This is why the researchers of …
solar neighbourhood planning

How planners use tools to assess solar potential in neighbourhoods

Digital tools play an increasingly important role in urban planning. Researchers from the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme have cooperated on solar neighbourhood planning within Task 63 to describe how planners have used tools for irradiation assessment and a visual programming environment in selected new housing developments as well …
Solar Energy Buildings

Analysing 126 solar energy buildings across Europe

The revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings directive tightens the energy standards for buildings across the European Union. The member states are to establish national building renovation plans that transform existing buildings into zero-emission buildings. IEA SHC Task 66 Solar Energy Buildings will contribute to this discussion by gathering …
Tips and tricks regarding design and success factors for SHIP

Tips and tricks regarding design and success factors for SHIP

It is generally a big challenge to contract and design solar industrial heat projects (SHIP). The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Task 64 on Solar Process Heat aims at supporting planners and investors, to stimulate market growth. In the most recent IEA SHC Solar Academy webinar, three task experts shared …
Solar district heating solutions providing higher temperatures

Solar district heating solutions providing higher temperatures

A well-attended second meeting of the research group IEA SHC Task 68 Efficient Solar District Heating took place at the beginning of November. A total of 51 participants from 15 countries – a mix of scientists and industry representatives – registered for the two-day virtual meeting. Country reports about Germany …
Life cycle assessment

Life cycle assessment for solar thermal systems

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme will start a cross-sectoral research group on life cycle and cost assessment (LCA). The objective is to develop guidelines on methodology and to define the parameters for location and system-specific economic and ecological assessment. The IEA SHC executive committee has commissioned the German …
PVT and heat pump combinations

Optimised PVT and heat pump combinations for heating and cooling of buildings

In combination with the Eurosun 2022 conference, the second IEA SHC Task 66 industry workshop entitled “Solar thermal and/or PVT combined with heat pumps as an innovative energy supply solution” took place at the end of September in Germany. Four speakers from industry presented new developments for a sustainable and …