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:

Future potential of solar cooling

Future potential of solar cooling

The energy demand for air-conditioning is growing faster than any other energy consumption in buildings. The main share of the projected growth for space cooling comes from emerging economies and will more than triple by 2050 to 6,000 TWh/a globally. What could be the contribution from PV and solar thermal …
Solar Award winner

IEA SHC Solar Award winner: social housing project in Namibia

The ORVI Social Housing Project in Namibia has won the IEA SHC 2022 Solar Award. Leonhard Eins, Managing Director of the Namibian company Solsquare Energy, received the award during EuroSun 2022 at the end of September (see photo). Helvi IIeka, Centre Head of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at the …
Small carbon footprint of large solar field in France

Small carbon footprint of large solar field in France

Green technologies also have a carbon footprint. Energy is used for raw materials, production, transport and operation. Life cycle assessment (LCA) for renewable energy technologies is, however, a relatively new field of research. But it is growing rapidly in importance, as it provides valuable insights into the carbon footprint of …
EuroSun 2022: Renewables enable crisis-proof heat supply and energy security

EuroSun 2022: Renewables enable crisis-proof heat supply and energy security

480 solar experts from more than 50 countries gathered in Kassel from 25 to 29 September 2022 for EuroSun 2022 – the International Conference on Solar Energy for Buildings and Industry. The joint event of the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA …
Combining heat pumps with solar thermal

Heat pumps: Competition or complement in district heating?

For decades, the Danish solar district heating sector has been a shining example for the world. And with the help of combining heat pumps with solar thermal, the market could again lead the way by contributing to Denmark’s 2030 aim of a 70 % carbon emissions reduction. Hence the question …
Eurosun 2022: Engaging keynotes by a unique mix of policy and research experts

Eurosun 2022: Engaging keynotes by a unique mix of policy and research experts

From 25 to 29 September, Kassel, Germany, will be the venue for the Eurosun 2022 conference. The event will offer a packed programme of keynote speeches, lectures and workshops on a variety of green energy transition issues related to buildings and industry. On 29 September, attendees can then take part …
global PVT market development

Insights into global PVT market development

The demand for PVT collectors has grown rapidly in the last two years. Annual sales of PVT area increased 57 % to 167,165 m2 in 2021, after growth of 20 % in 2020. The largest markets for new PVT additions in 2021 were France, the Netherlands, Israel, Germany and Spain …
Solar Award for social housing

Nominated projects for Solar Award described in Solar Update Newsletter

The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has nominated four outstanding projects from Australia, France, Namibia and South Africa for the Solar Award 2022. The nominated projects aimed at reducing energy use and costs in social housing. The winner will be announced during the Eurosun 2022 conference in Kassel, Germany, …
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 …