Task 51
SHC Task 51

Solar Energy in Urban Planning

A large portion of the potential for energy efficiency in existing buildings and potential to utilize solar energy still remains unused. Globally, goals and specific targets are set up to reduce our environmental impact on climate and secure future supply of energy. The built environment accounts for over 40% of the world’s total primary energy use and 24% of greenhouse gas emissions. A combination of making buildings (refurbishing and new developments) more energy-efficient and using a larger fraction of renewable energy is therefore a key issue to reduce the non-renewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Political statements and directives are already moving towards zero-energy buildings, communities and whole cities. An increased use of solar energy is one important part of the development ahead, where the urban fabric needs to utilize passive solar gains and daylight to reduce the energy use in buildings and for lighting outdoor environments, as well as to improve the inhabitants’ comfort indoors and in urban outdoor areas. Also, active solar energy systems integrated in the urban context will enable a supply of renewable energy primarily as heat and electricity, but also of solar cooling, helping cities reach sustainable solutions.

Task Information

May 2013April 2017

Maria Wall
+46/46/222 9662 fax: +46/46/222 4719

What's New
  • Press Release: Solar Heating Saves Over 79 Million Tons of CO2 Annually - Gleisdorf, Austria 8 July 2014. The International Energy Agency, Solar Heating and Cooling Programme (IEA SHC) released their latest statistics on worldwide solar heating and cooling. With a growth of 9.4% in 2012, the installed capacity of solar collectors reached 269 GWth. The collectors provided 228 TWh of solar thermal energy, thus saving 79 million tons of CO2 emissions.
  • SHC 2014 is Now Open for the Submission of Abstracts - The SHC 2014 website is now live and open for the submission of abstracts — deadline May 30, 2014.
  • Solar Update February 2014 Now Online - The latest issue of the IEA SHC Programme’s newsletter, Solar Update is now online. This issue has articles covering a variety to topics ranging from solar thermal activities in Canada to lighting retrofits to SHC publications to download and read.