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:

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 …
Optimising life-cycle costs in the construction industry

Optimising life-cycle costs in the construction industry

A facade to capture solar energy is a particularly appealing option if a solar thermal system is to be integrated into an office or a multi-family building, as the available roof area is often relatively small compared to how much floor space needs to be heated or cooled. An international …
Global perspective on solar heating and cooling

Global perspective on solar heating and cooling

Solar thermal is increasingly used to provide district heat around the world. In 2019, the market grew by about 170 % in Denmark but also expanded in other countries, such as China and Germany, mainly because the technology became more cost-competitive. Another factor driving growth was rising demand from industry …
Round robins improve TCM testing

Round robins improve TCM testing

Thermochemical storage materials (TCMs) offer much higher storage capacities by mass or volume than sensible or latent heat storage and can store heat for an infinite amount of time almost without losses. However, none of them are very advanced so that a common standard for characterising their properties will be …
Lessons learned from first IEA SHC online meetings

Lessons learned from first IEA SHC online meetings

“It worked very, very well and we saved a lot of emissions,” said one of the participants in the two-day online workshop organised by research platform Solar Neighborhood Planning, also known as Task 63. On 11 and 12 March, 42 people based in 10 different countries, ranging from Canada and …
Hybrid solutions maximise solar yield per area

Hybrid solutions maximise solar yield per area

A record 840 people registered for the PVT solutions for buildings and industry webinar in order to learn more about the wide range of applications in which hybrid PV-Thermal systems can be used. This two-in-one technology offers attractive payback periods whenever a constant amount of heat is needed all year …
Compact heat battery with virtually no heat loss

Compact heat battery with virtually no heat loss

A compact thermochemical seasonal storage system put up at a demonstration site in Warsaw, Poland, is working as expected. The prototype, developed and tested as part of an EU research project called CREATE, consists of three evacuated modules filled with 400 litres of salt each to store heat with no …
How to reduce energy consumption in historic buildings?

How to reduce energy consumption in historic buildings?

Historic buildings make up 30 % of the European building stock and account for more than a third of the total energy consumption in the residential sector across the EU. However, architects and building owners are often lacking information about how to retrofit historic buildings while keeping their aesthetic and …
Eurosun 2020 in Athens: Call for paper

Eurosun 2020 in Athens: Call for paper

The University of West Attica in Athens, Greece, will host the 13th International Conference on Solar Energy for Buildings and Industry short EuroSun 2020. The organiser ISES, the International Solar Energy Society, supported by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme invites experts from research, industry and public institutions to …
Solar Energy Buildings to make cities fit for the future

Solar Energy Buildings to make cities fit for the future

Buildings account for around 40 % of the world’s primary energy consumption. Hence, they are the number one cause of resource consumption on earth. Because not every urban neighbourhood all over the world can be connected to district heating, local governments and building owners may need to consider using decentralised …
Using solar steam to clean wastewater

Using solar steam to clean wastewater

Manufacturers have begun looking for solutions to lower the cost of wastewater disposal. One way for them to reduce the volume of contaminated water is to evaporate water on site by using solar steam. In early 2019, Rioglass Solar, a supplier based in Spain, installed a solar steam system at …