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: 

  • Germany’s solar heat success story in 2020 and beyond

    Germany’s solar heat success story in 2020 and beyond

    In 2020, the German market for solar heat grew by 26 % – more than any other major solar thermal market around the globe, according to the new Solar Heat Worldwide 2021 report (see chart above). Speaking at an IEA SHC Solar Academy in June, Harald Drück, a researcher at German University of...
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  • Global PVT market on track for more growth

    Global PVT market on track for more growth

    PVT collectors – which use solar radiation to produce both heat and electricity – have been gaining in popularity in a rising number of markets around the world. In 2019, the Netherlands, France and Spain claimed the top spots for the most PVT capacity added in a year. In 2020, they were...
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  • Develop stable and reliable compact thermal energy storages

    Develop stable and reliable compact thermal energy storages

    The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has redoubled its efforts to develop and test compact thermal energy storage (CTES), saying the technology can play an important role in transforming the energy market. At its meeting in June, the IEA SHC Executive Committee approved the start of...
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  • Workflow stories describe use of solar neighbourhood planning tools

    Workflow stories describe use of solar neighbourhood planning tools

    Experts working on the Solar Neighborhood Planning project have created workflow stories to find out which tools urban planners use and what problems they encounter while doing so. The image above is taken from a Norwegian workflow story. It shows a simulation of sunlight patterns...
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  • German university offers new tool to display factory heat loads

    German university offers new tool to display factory heat loads

    To simplify the design of industrial solar heat systems in Europe, the German University of Kassel has developed an Excel tool that can be used to create standardised heat load profiles in multiple industrial subsectors. The amount of heat that industrial businesses use each day is a very...
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  • New chair for IEA SHC Programme on growth path

    New chair for IEA SHC Programme on growth path

    The new Chair of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, also known as IEA SHC, is Tomas Olejniczak, an all-around energy transition and renewable energy expert at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO),  part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. He was elected for a...
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  • New SDH factsheet database goes online

    New SDH factsheet database goes online

    The IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme has just launched a database containing a substantial number of fact sheets about solar district heating technologies, best practices and markets. The 29 documents were written by the most experienced SDH researchers and practitioners from China...
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  • Europe holds top spot for SHIP incentives

    Europe holds top spot for SHIP incentives

    Spain has recently launched an investment grant scheme focused on industrial solar heat, joining an already long list of European countries – including Austria, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands – that have created similar programmes. In the last three months of 2020, Spain’s...
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  • SBE21 conference spotlights historic NZEBs

    SBE21 conference spotlights historic NZEBs

    The SBE21 Heritage conference in mid-April involved a deep exchange of ideas between researchers, architects and practitioners about how to reduce the energy consumption of historic buildings while retaining their aesthetic features and cultural significance. The main contributors to the...
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  • How to design an 85 % solar-heated and 100 % solar air-conditioned house

    How to design an 85 % solar-heated and 100 % solar air-conditioned house

    During an online meeting from 1 to 2 July, the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling programme will launch a new global research platform called Task 66 Solar Energy Buildings. The researchers participating in the new task intend to develop and popularise a building standard focused on...
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  • Water-energy nexus in wastewater management

    Water-energy nexus in wastewater management

    Solar-powered water treatment can significantly reduce industrial manufacturers’ water and energy footprints and turn municipal water treatment plants into energy distributors. An example of this, a demo plant in Spain producing renewably sourced hydrogen and oxygen from wastewater, was...
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