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: 

  • Region with high solar ambitions joins IEA SHC

    Region with high solar ambitions joins IEA SHC

    One of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme’s new sponsors is SACREEE, the Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, set up by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an intergovernmental organisation. SADC represents a dynamically developing solar thermal region...
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  • Digital lighting controls improve user satisfaction

    Digital lighting controls improve user satisfaction

    Designing energy-efficient lighting for offices and public buildings requires a deep understanding of user requirements. Although smart lighting solutions can lower electricity consumption significantly, building users want some sort of manual control for both light and window components....
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  • Export champions from Greece offer good value for money

    Export champions from Greece offer good value for money

    The Greek solar thermal industry is an export champion: The total collector area sold to customers abroad tripled from 200,000 m2 to 600,000 m2 in only 10 years (see chart). Greek manufacturers took advantage of opportunities around the world while demand for their...
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  • Solar cooling concepts for hot climates

    Solar cooling concepts for hot climates

    The just started international research platform Solar Cooling for the Sunbelt region is very popular among research institutions, manufacturers and consultancies around the world. Already more than 50 organisations from the green-marked countries on the map have signed a letter of...
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  • Fact sheets show 30 operational PV-thermal systems

    Fact sheets show 30 operational PV-thermal systems

    PV-thermal installations are extremely versatile systems, and their manufacturers can cater to a wide variety of customers, single- and multi-family building owners, hotels, swimming pools and even production facilities among them. To illustrate how far PVT technology has come in recent...
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  • Success factors in top SDH countries

    Success factors in top SDH countries

    In the last decade, Denmark, China, Germany and Austria played a leading role in the deployment of large solar thermal systems around the world. What country-specific factors helped these four achieve that level of market adoption and how support schemes and business models contributed to...
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  • SBE Heritage conference calls for papers

    SBE Heritage conference calls for papers

    The SBE conference’s 2021 edition will be held under the title SBE Heritage in Bolzano, Italy, between 14 and 16 April 2021. Italian-based Eurac Research will organise this first regional conference of the cycle 2021-2023 which will end with the World Sustainable Built Environment (WSBE)...
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  • Optimising life-cycle costs in the construction industry

    Optimising life-cycle costs in the construction industry

    A facade to capture solar energy is a particularly appealing option if a solar thermal system is to be integrated into an office or a multi-family building, as the available roof area is often relatively small compared to how much floor space needs to be heated or cooled. An international...
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  • Global perspective on solar heating and cooling

    Global perspective on solar heating and cooling

    Solar thermal is increasingly used to provide district heat around the world. In 2019, the market grew by about 170 % in Denmark but also expanded in other countries, such as China and Germany, mainly because the technology became more cost-competitive. Another factor driving growth was...
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  • Round robins improve TCM testing

    Round robins improve TCM testing

    Thermochemical storage materials (TCMs) offer much higher storage capacities by mass or volume than sensible or latent heat storage and can store heat for an infinite amount of time almost without losses. However, none of them are very advanced so that a common standard for characterising...
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  • Lessons learned from first IEA SHC online meetings

    Lessons learned from first IEA SHC online meetings

    “It worked very, very well and we saved a lot of emissions,” said one of the participants in the two-day online workshop organised by research platform Solar Neighborhood Planning, also known as Task 63. On 11 and 12 March, 42 people based in 10 different countries, ranging from Canada and...
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  • Hybrid solutions maximise solar yield per area

    Hybrid solutions maximise solar yield per area

    A record 840 people registered for the PVT solutions for buildings and industry webinar in order to learn more about the wide range of applications in which hybrid PV-Thermal systems can be used. This two-in-one technology offers attractive payback periods whenever a constant amount of heat...
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