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:

Improved design for giga-size pit heat storage

Improved design for giga-size pit heat storage

Denmark’s cost-effective, tried-and-true seasonal pit heat storage concept needs to be modified if it is to be implemented across Europe, since district heat temperatures are higher and groundwater may be only 5 to 15 metres from the surface. The members of research platform Task 55 (Towards the Integration of Large …
Four years of global SDH research summarised in online workshop and factsheets

Four years of global SDH research summarised in online workshop and factsheets

On Thursday, 15 October 2020, an online technology transfer workshop about large solar district heating networks will provide attendees with the perfect opportunity to listen to the key takeaways from four-year IEA SHC research platform Task 55 – Towards the Integration of Large Solar Systems into District Heating and Cooling …
Thermal storage for flexible sector integration

Thermal storage for flexible sector integration

In his keynote speech at Eurosun 2020, Dr Andreas Hauer talked about the different roles that heat storage could play as part of a whole systems approach to energy policy. Thermal energy storage, or TES, can reduce energy consumers’ dependence on volatile heat sources and align heat with power demand …
Strong European research network meets at Eurosun

Strong European research network meets at Eurosun

Yesterday marked the start of the first virtual Eurosun. More than 200 experts from the worlds of research and business had signed up for the three-day event organised by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) and supported by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme. Half of the participants are …
Little support for PV-thermal despite high yields

Little support for PV-thermal despite high yields

PVT applications do not receive nearly as much support as solar thermal or PV systems do. Incentive schemes especially often do not include funding for PV-thermal components. In addition, special PVT grants are offered only in Germany but not in Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland or the UK, according …
Region with high solar ambitions joins IEA SHC

Region with high solar ambitions joins IEA SHC

One of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme’s new sponsors is SACREEE, the Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, set up by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an intergovernmental organisation. SADC represents a dynamically developing solar thermal region encompassing 16 countries (see map) with around 300 million …
Digital lighting controls improve user satisfaction

Digital lighting controls improve user satisfaction

Designing energy-efficient lighting for offices and public buildings requires a deep understanding of user requirements. Although smart lighting solutions can lower electricity consumption significantly, building users want some sort of manual control for both light and window components. This is the result of a global survey conducted by Integrated Solutions …
Export champions from Greece offer good value for money

Export champions from Greece offer good value for money

The Greek solar thermal industry is an export champion: The total collector area sold to customers abroad tripled from 200,000 m2 to 600,000 m2 in only 10 years (see chart). Greek manufacturers took advantage of opportunities around the world while demand for their cost-competitive and reliable products also grew at …
Solar cooling concepts for hot climates

Solar cooling concepts for hot climates

The just started international research platform Solar Cooling for the Sunbelt region is very popular among research institutions, manufacturers and consultancies around the world. Already more than 50 organisations from the green-marked countries on the map have signed a letter of support. Other institutions based in the blue-coloured countries are …
Fact sheets show 30 operational PV-thermal systems

Fact sheets show 30 operational PV-thermal systems

PV-thermal installations are extremely versatile systems, and their manufacturers can cater to a wide variety of customers, single- and multi-family building owners, hotels, swimming pools and even production facilities among them. To illustrate how far PVT technology has come in recent years, global research platform Task 60, Application of PVT …
Success factors in top SDH countries

Success factors in top SDH countries

In the last decade, Denmark, China, Germany and Austria played a leading role in the deployment of large solar thermal systems around the world. What country-specific factors helped these four achieve that level of market adoption and how support schemes and business models contributed to success has been the topic …
SBE Heritage conference calls for papers

SBE Heritage conference calls for papers

The SBE conference’s 2021 edition will be held under the title SBE Heritage in Bolzano, Italy, between 14 and 16 April 2021. Italian-based Eurac Research will organise this first regional conference of the cycle 2021-2023 which will end with the World Sustainable Built Environment (WSBE) conference in 2023. Eurac Research …