IEA SHC

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: 

  • New SDH factsheet database goes online

    New SDH factsheet database goes online

    The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has just launched a database containing a substantial number of fact sheets about solar district heating technologies, best practices and markets. The 29 documents were written by the most experienced SDH researchers and practitioners from China...
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  • Europe holds top spot for SHIP incentives

    Europe holds top spot for SHIP incentives

    Spain has recently launched an investment grant scheme focused on industrial solar heat, joining an already long list of European countries – including Austria, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands – that have created similar programmes. In the last three months of 2020, Spain’s...
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  • SBE21 conference spotlights historic NZEBs

    SBE21 conference spotlights historic NZEBs

    The SBE21 Heritage conference in mid-April involved a deep exchange of ideas between researchers, architects and practitioners about how to reduce the energy consumption of historic buildings while retaining their aesthetic features and cultural significance. The main contributors to the...
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  • How to design an 85 % solar-heated and 100 % solar air-conditioned house

    How to design an 85 % solar-heated and 100 % solar air-conditioned house

    During an online meeting from 1 to 2 July, the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme will launch a new global research platform called Task 66 Solar Energy Buildings. The researchers participating in the new task intend to develop and popularise a building standard focused on...
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  • Water-energy nexus in wastewater management

    Water-energy nexus in wastewater management

    Solar-powered water treatment can significantly reduce industrial manufacturers’ water and energy footprints and turn municipal water treatment plants into energy distributors. An example of this, a demo plant in Spain producing renewably sourced hydrogen and oxygen from wastewater, was...
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  • Improving SDH efficiency

    Improving the efficiency of SDH

    Since the end of IEA SHC Task 55 – Large Solar District Heating and Cooling Systems last December, there have been multiple calls for continuing the work of this successful research platform in some fashion. In response, Viktor Unterberger, a senior researcher at the Austrian BEST –...
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  • PV-Thermal: Major markets and most sought-after technologies

    PV-Thermal: Major markets and most sought-after technologies

    IEA SHC Task 60, Application of PVT Collectors, shows how a fruitful collaboration between industry and research can lead to a thorough analysis of current and future technological developments. Besides developing a series of standardised key performance indicators to assess the...
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  • Strategies to promote solar envelopes

    Strategies to promote solar envelopes

    In the last four years, the multidisciplinary IEA SHC Task 56 research group worked intensively on strategies to increase the market penetration of solar envelope systems. The group has found that prefabrication, a customisable appearance and an interdisciplinary planning process can...
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  • ISES and IEA SHC partner up to host Solar World Congress 2021

    ISES and IEA SHC partner up to host Solar World Congress 2021

    In 2021, the Solar World Congress will continue as an online event offering a wide variety of digital networking opportunities. Originally, SWC 2021 was set to take place in New Delhi, India. But in light of the ongoing pandemic, the International Solar Energy Society decided to move the...
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  • Using solar energy to recover acids and metals from wastewater

    Using solar energy to recover acids and metals from wastewater

    An IEA SHC research group led by Dr Joachim Koschikowski, of Fraunhofer ISE, has created a matrix depicting thermal separation methods for industrial wastewater treatment and resource recovery. As part of Task 62, Solar Energy in Industrial Water and Wastewater Management, launched...
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  • Spotlight on SDH potential in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria

    Spotlight on SDH potential in Germany, the Netherlands and Austria

    Solar thermal will have a key role to play in growing western Europe’s solar district heating markets over the next decades. During last year’s mid-October workshop organised by IEA SHC research platform Task 55 – Towards the Integration of Large Solar Systems into District Heating and...
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  • Assessing lighting quality in commercial buildings

    Assessing lighting quality in commercial buildings

    How effective are integrated daylighting and electric lighting solutions in raising comfort and saving energy? To answer this question, a group of researchers working under the auspices of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme have taken a closer look at field studies of commercial...
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