The Potential of Solar Thermal Technologies in a Sustainable Energy Future (2010)

This study is a deliverable of the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme. Based on the previous studies and results from international R&D cooperation, the declared goal is to present the opportunities linked to solar thermal technologies given their positioning as the fourth largest renewable source of energy.

The paper starts by outlining the massive energy potential at stake, an employed simulation tool outlining the differences between the yearly potential of solar energy and the combined potential of all other resources. The next part offers a description of existing technologies and their application for heating and cooling purposes – water heating, space heating and cooling, industrial process heating, etc. – and mentions the recent technological developments such as the Solar Combi Systems. Subsequently, it gives a broad overview of the global solar thermal capacity in operation and an assessment of the main producers and markets.

Last but not least, the study develops a sectorial analysis of solar thermal technologies and a scenario for the market deployment of solar thermal collectors, thus pinpointing the significant role that this sector could play in achieving sustainable energy consumption.

Author: Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, IEA

Date: 2010

Pages: 36

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