IEA SHC Programme Scales up its International Research Network
The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) broadens its sponsor network. The most recent members are the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), headquartered in Germany, and the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) based in Qatar. ISES joined as a Sponsor in 2016 and GORD already in 2015. “We welcome the engagement of ISES and GORD in the IEA SHC Programme,“ says Ken Guthrie, Chairman of IEA SHC. “ISES represents an extensive network of solar thermal professionals from around the world and GORD opens the doors to the Gulf States – potential future markets for solar cooling“.
The bridge between ISES and IEA SHC is already well established because the long-term President of ISES, David Renné (see photo) leads the IEA SHC Task 46 on Solar Resource Assessment and Forecasting, and as Task Operating Agent he takes part in the biannual Executive Committee meetings. Renné will now represent ISES, along with Jennifer McIntosh, the ISES Executive Secretary in the Executive Committee. The society has grown to a worldwide network of solar specialists and activists based in more than 110 countries since its founding in 1954. The organisation has thousands of professional and affiliated members and almost 100 companies and institutional members throughout the world.
“Together with the IEA SHC we work hard to communicate the technology developments within solar heating and cooling to decision makers and the financial community, getting them to understand how to scale up solar thermal technologies,” explains David Renné. “This is one of the common objectives of both institutions in an interview during the SHC 2015 conference in Turkey at the end of 2015.
Besides, IEA SHC can profit from the outreach of ISES to emerging professionals and students in the field of renewables. “We have instituted a programme called Young ISES to encourage young engineers or students to enter this field, both technologically but also for policy, analysis and even financing, because a large workforce and a good professional community is needed to reach a 100 % renewable energy world,” explains Renné. “ISES webinars and congresses allow young people to network with professionals and to understand where opportunities exist.”
Essam Elsarrag, R&D Director of GORD (see photo), represents his organization in the Executive Committee and will host the second meeting of the committee in November 2016 in Qatar. “We live in a very hot and humid climate where solar cooling is best placed,” explained Elsarrad in an interview during the SHC 2015 conference. “2/3 of our electricity demand comes from residential cooling. So the cooperation will benefit our region.”
GORD is a state institute with a wide range of research activities in the field of health and energy & resource efficiency. One focus point is creating a green legacy. GORD strives to be one of the driving forces behind positioning Qatar as the leader in the field of sustainable development, design and construction in the region. In the field of solar cooling, Elsarrag notes the challenges of adapting components to the harsh climate of the Golf States and finding suitable solutions for integrating solar cooling into the well-established district cooling networks. “We need to test the available sorption chillers and collector technologies under our dusty and harsh climate and adapt recooler technologies since our country does not have fresh water resources”, explains the R&D Director.
The other sponsors of the IEA SHC Programme are the European Copper Institute (ECI) headquartered in Belgium, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) with the main office in Cape Verde and the Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE) based in Egypt. In addition, 21 countries and the European Commission are members of the Programme and currently supporting nine international research projects.
Websites of institutions mentioned in the article: