support low carbon economies
 “Solar thermal is uniquely positioned to support low-carbon economies”

“Solar thermal is uniquely positioned to support low-carbon economies”

Dr Lucio Mesquita from Natural Resources Canada will chair the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) for the next two years. He was elected during an Executive Committee meeting in June in France (see photo). Mesquita (marked with the red arrow on the photo) already supported the former Chair Tomas Olejniczak (2021 to 2023) from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency as a Vice Chair. Mesquita brings with him a wide range of experience in the solar thermal sector. Before he started as Senior Engineer at CanmetENERGY Ottawa, a research laboratory belonging to Natural Resources Canada, part of the Canadian government, in 2016, he was a freelance consultant for large solar thermal plants, worked as a technical director in the industry and was Vice Chair for the Brazilian solar thermal association DASOL-ABRAVA in the 1990s. He also holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University, Canada. Photo: IEA SHC

“The decarbonization path will lead us towards a thermal energy system based on multiple energy sources. The next years will be crucial for placing solar heat as a perfect team player with other solutions within the rapidly changing energy landscape across the globe. We need to act quickly and solar thermal is uniquely positioned to support low-carbon economies: it is mature, shovel-ready, locally manufactured in the main markets and cost-effective”, said Mesquita.

IEA SHC is well-placed to meet this challenge with its large network of more than 200 experts from research and industry across the globe. The programme is supported by 19 countries, the European Commission and eight international organizations, among them the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), the European Copper Institute (ECI) and the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC). Together, they work on a wide range of topics, from Solar Neighbourhood Planning, Life Cycle and Cost Assessment, Efficient Solar District Heating to Solar Cooling for the Sunbelt. All nine research platforms have their own sub-website here:

support low carbon economies
Current IEA SHD research platforms are all open for new participants. You find contact information, publications and announcements about the next meetings here:

Highlights and challenges in Mesquita’s two-year term:

• Implementing the new Strategic Plan 2024-2029 (see pdf for download below) and the new Vision and Mission.
• Organizing the second ISES/IEA SHC collaborative EuroSun conference in 2024, which will be announced officially in the next weeks.
• Giving the IEA SHC Solar Award 2024 to an organization to recognize its outstanding achievements in the solar thermal sector. The last Solar Award went to ORVI Social Housing Project in Namibia during the EuroSun 2022 in Kassel, Germany.
• Continuing with the IEA SHC flagship publication Solar Heat Worldwide. You can read the key findings of the latest edition from June 2023 here:
• Extending the country membership base of IEA SHC.


support low carbon economies
The new Strategic Work Plan includes four fields of action:

• Analyse. Provide authoritative and impartial analysis on solar heating and cooling and daylighting technologies, markets, and barriers.
• Research. Demonstrate the effectiveness of solar heating and cooling technologies and designs through increased performance and reduced costs, facilitating their market competitiveness in heating and cooling applications.
• Connect. Cooperate with stakeholders, including international organizations, local, regional and national governments, potential users, energy and urban planners, and industry.
• Communicate. Raise awareness and understanding of the potential and value of solar heating and cooling systems.

Further information:

Bärbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of