“On request of the G8, IEA is currently finalizing a roadmap for solar heating and cooling,” says the chairman of the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Programme, Werner Weiss. “In 2011, four expert workshops were held on different continents to gather additional input. We are looking forward to the roadmap’s publication in spring and have invited the IEA to present it at our SHC 2012 conference, which takes place 9-11 July in San Francisco”.
A series of IEA technology roadmaps were requested by the G8 to provide solid analytical footing that enables the international community to move forward on specific technologies. As stated in the published roadmaps, each of them develops a growth path from today to 2050, and identifies technology, financing, policy and public engagement milestones that need to be achieved to realize the technology’s full potential.
The solar heating and cooling roadmap is eagerly awaited as the current energy debate is one-sidedly focused on electricity despite the fact that heating and cooling are responsible for twice as much energy consumption. Today, heating and cooling is mostly provided by technologies burning fossil fuels, an increasingly scarce and costly energy source and one which is associated with climate change.
With solar thermal technologies, a majority of the energy demand in buildings as well as substantial parts of the commercial and industrial energy demand can be replaced with clean and safe solar energy. The SHC 2012 conference offers a platform to discuss the latest advancements in solar heating and cooling technologies. And none less than the head of the IEA’s renewable energy unit, Paolo Frankl, has been invited to present the solar heating and cooling roadmap.
“The conference covers all topics relevant for solar heating and cooling – from the latest research results to the discussion of policy initiatives”, says Dr. Andreas Häberle of conference organizer PSE AG.” Until 31 January 2012, abstracts can be submitted for any of the topics. Then, the scientific committee will start develop the conference program”.
The International Energy Agency’s Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) was established in 1977 to foster co-operative research, development, demonstration and exchange of information regarding solar heating and cooling systems. 19 countries and the European Union are IEA SHC members.
The research topics of the current 9 projects range from more general topics, such as “Solar resource assessment and forecasting” , system research, such as “Large solar thermal systems” to material research, such as the use of “Polymeric materials for solar thermal applications.”
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