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: 

  • Megawatt installations on the rise

    The solar heating and cooling markets show a reversing trend. The majority of the largest markets outside of China saw demand increase for the first time since 2015. This trend change is due to several factors – improved cost-competitiveness of solar thermal systems, rising interest among...
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  • Solar heat for desalination and metal recovery

    Small desalination systems could help fight water scarcity, recover precious metals from industrial water, and treat wastewater from food processing so it can be re-used for field irrigation. These are but a few areas under study in Task 62, Solar Energy in Industrial Water &...
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  • Solar Cooling at Intersolar 2019

    This year’s Intersolar Europe, which took place in Munich, featured a conference session titled Solar, the new cool? Among the speakers at this solar cooling event, held on 15 May, were Daniel Mugnier and Uli Jakob, former members of the IEA SHC research platform New Generation...
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  • German Energy consultants recommend solar thermal

    The solar thermal industry cannot complain about a lack of enthusiasm among energy consultants: When asked in a survey by Task 54 of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) what renewable heating technology was the most suited to work in concert with conventional sources of...
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  • Go-to-market strategies for industrial solar heat

    Within the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, preparations have been made to establish a new international research platform focusing on nearly market-ready technology and processes for industrial solar heat (SHIP) with temperatures of up to about 400 °C. “Our aim is to raise the...
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  • Seasonal pit heat storage: Cost benchmark of 30 EUR/m³

    Denmark has had a successful learning curve regarding to the cost and efficiency of seasonal pit heat storage, which is used to store sunlight in summer for heating purposes in winter. Take Sunstore 3, for example, a 60,000 m³ pit heat storage system built at a cost of 38 EUR/m³ of storage...
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  • Position papers on daylighting and standards & certification

    Why promote the use of daylight in non-residential buildings? What measures should government agencies take to help the market? How vital is it to standardise and certify solar thermal products? Answers to these questions can be found in position papers recently published by the IEA Solar...
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  • SWOT analysis of building-integrated solar systems

    Which solar envelope systems are available for sale and what are their main features? A new report that is being drafted in Task 56 (Building Integrated Solar Envelope Systems for HVAC and Lighting) of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme will provide stakeholders with a...
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  • GBP 320 million for low-carbon heat networks

    Heat networks have proved to be a reliable and cost-effective means to supply low-carbon thermal energy. And yet, just 2 % of buildings in the UK are connected to them. As a result, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched the Heat Networks Investment Project (...
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  • SHC 2019: Solar award nominations and extended call for papers

    The organisers of the SHC, the International Conference on Solar Heating and Cooling for Buildings and Industry, which will be held in November in Chile, have extended the deadline for submissions. Experts can now submit abstracts of up to three pages by Friday, 22 March. The first full...
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  • #SolarHeat: the main Twitter hashtag

    #SolarThermal or #SolarHeat: Which of these two Twitter hashtags or keywords better represents the production of thermal energy from sunlight? Because of some recent, large concentrating solar power (CSP) projects, the term solar thermal seems to be in frequent use on social...
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  • “The market requires simple plug-and-play solutions”

    Spanish-based supplier Endef is seeing increased demand for both its covered and uncovered PV-thermal systems produced in-house in Saragossa. Last year was the first in which the business installed devices at non-commercial buildings in Spain and implemented projects abroad. Endef is a...
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