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Solar Energy in Urban Planning

IEA SHC Solar Academy: Solar Planning in Times of Rapid City Growth

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on September 26, 2017
Royal Seaport StockholmJust as on Stockholm’s coastline shown in the photo, cities are seeing new neighbourhoods develop or old ones restored and expanded at a rapid pace. Urban planning is a highly complex issue, especially if it involves low-carbon living solutions and environmental regulations. The main objective of the international group of researchers working in Task 51, Solar Energy in Urban Planning, has been to “support planners, architects, and local and national authorities in creating urban areas with architecturally integrated solar solutions in mind.” In mid-September, task coordinator Maria Wall, Professor at the Energy and Building Design department of Sweden’s Lund University, and other researchers presented successful case studies and suitable planning and design tools during a webinar. A recording and the presentations from it are available at the IEA SHC Solar Academy page.
 

IEA Task 51: Challenges in Urban Planner Education

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on July 27, 2017
Task 51 MapCities and large municipalities all around the world have taken the lead in sustainability, and urban planners find themselves in the important position of having to devise solutions for integrating renewable and energy efficiency measures at local level. Each city has its own unique set of resources and pattern of energy use. But as solar energy is available everywhere to some extent, there will be an urgent need to develop the expertise and skills of solar industry stakeholders in urban planning. Researchers from the IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme’s Task 51, Solar Energy in Urban Planning, have examined the educational offerings of universities and colleges in nine partner countries (Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland), identified gaps in knowledge and designed solutions to overcome them. 
 

IEA SHC TASK 51: “Integrate Energy Perspectives into Spatial Planning of Urban Areas”

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on May 2, 2016
Task 51 Ida BrogrenDuring COP21 in Paris last December, 1,000 mayors and local leaders pledged themselves to a 100 % renewable future of their municipalities by 2050. The final declaration from 4 December 2015 reads (see the attached document): “We support ambitious long-term climate goals such as a transition to 100 % renewable energy in our communities, or an 80 % greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2050.” This crucial political statement gives new impetus to the international research task Solar Energy in Urban Planning (Task 51), which is part of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme. The main objective of the task headed by Maria Wall, Swedish professor at the Energy and Building Design department of Lund University, is to provide urban planners, authorities and architects with the means of designing urban areas that will enable the integration of active and passive solar energy solutions which can cover a large share of the energy demand. The researchers organised two workshops in Stockholm in March to discuss with representatives from public bodies how to deal with the challenges of interdisciplinary planning processes when trying to retain the aesthetic quality of buildings of cultural and historic significance.
Illustration: Ida Brogren, courtesy of Borås Municipality
 

IEA SHC Task 51: Urban Planners Know Little about Solar Energy Potential

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 3, 2015
IEA SHC Task 51During IEA SHC Task 51, Solar Energy in Urban Planning, the project partners evaluated the legal, process and education issues of solar in urban planning across the twelve member countries. What they found was: Planners and architects know little about the opportunities of solar energy usage. Solar energy in urban planning is also rarely a topic during university courses for architects or urban planners. The photo shows participants of the latest Task 51 meeting visiting a big PV installation. The meeting was held on the French island of Réunion from 28 September to 2 October. The task is about all types of solar energy. 
Photo: Maria Wall
 

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