TASK 51: Solar Energy in Urban Planning

Task 51 is designed to provide support to urban planners, authorities and architects to achieve urban areas and eventually whole cities with architecturally integrated solar energy solutions.

IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme

The Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (SHC) was established in 1977, one of the first programmes of the International Energy Agency, to promote the use of all aspects of solar thermal energy. The Programme's work is unique in that it is accomplished through the international collaborative effort of experts from member countries and the European Union.

The benefits of this approach are:

  • accelerates the pace of technology development
  • promotes standardization
  • enhances national R&D programmes
  • permits national specialization
  • saves time and money

Collaborating Organizations

What's New
  • PVT increasingly used for net zero energy buildings - A rising number of manufacturers and suppliers in Europe are offering combined photovoltaic and solar thermal systems, also known as PVT units. This was one of the main messages of the International Workshop on the Status of PVT Systems, organised by Fraunhofer ISE on 16 May 2018 in Freiburg. (Posted: 2018-06-06)
  • On-site collector testing: new standard in development - Once a large solar field is set up at its designated location, what tests can be conducted to show that it performs as expected? Soon, the IEA Solar Heating & Cooling Programme may have an answer to this question, as it is working on internationalising Denmark’s testing procedure. (Posted: 2018-06-06)
  • Hot off the press - Solar Heat Worldwide 2018 - With 472 gigawatt thermal (GWth) installed at the end of 2017, solar heating and cooling was again the largest solar sector worldwide followed by Photovoltaics (402 GWp) and Concentrating Solar Power (5 GWel). The new report, Solar Heat Worldwide, highlights as well the increasing use of megawatt solar heating and cooling solutions for large public and private buildings as well as factories. The annual report was launched at the end of May by the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC). Lead author is the Austrian research institute AEE INTEC. With data from 66 countries, it is the most comprehensive annual evaluation of solar heating and cooling markets worldwide. In 2016, the global solar thermal sector employed 708,000 people and reached a global turnover of EUR 16 billion (USD 19.2 billion). (Posted: 2018-06-05)
  • Building-Integrated Solar Envelopes:Barriers to Deployment - Active and passive solar systems integrated into building envelopes are key to combatting climate change. However, there are many barriers which confine current solutions to the demonstration stage and prevent them from going mainstream. (Posted: 2018-05-02)
  • Sweden: Pioneer of solar district heating - When it comes to district heating, Sweden has made the switch from fossil fuels to biomass and waste heat (see chart). As early as 2015, biomass provided 46 % of the energy in district heating networks across the country, followed by 24 % from waste incineration and 8 % from industrial excess heat. (Posted: 2018-04-21)
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Solar Heat Worldwide
Solar Heat Worldwide 2017
Solar Heat Worldwide

The cumulated solar thermal capacity in operation by end of 2017 was 472 GWth (675 million square meters). Compared to the year
2000 the installed capacity grew by the factor 7.6.  Read More

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Publication Highlight
Solar Update

The December 2017 edition of the IEA SHC Newsletter, Solar Update is now available. The Newsletter contains information on the IEA SHC Solar Award 2017, Decarbonization and Solar Thermal, Integrated Solar Envelope Systems, SHC Solar Academy, Large Scale Systems, SHC 2017 Conference, Solar Heat for Industry, Solar Thermal Future, SHC Publications, New Tasks, and more. Read More