Programme Description

The Solar Heating and Cooling Technology Collaboration Programme (SHC TCP) was established in 1977, one of the first programmes of the International Energy Agency. The SHC TCP's work is unique in that it is accomplished through the international collaborative effort of experts from country members, sponsor members 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, and
  • saves time and money.


Solar energy technologies will provide more than 50% of low temperature heating and cooling demand for buildings in 2050 and contribute a significant share to the heat supply for the agricultural and industrial sectors. Thus, solar heating and cooling will contribute significantly to lowering CO2 emissions worldwide and reaching the Paris Agreement goal.


Through multi-disciplinary international collaborative research and knowledge exchange, as well as market and policy recommendations, the SHC TCP will work to increase the deployment rate of solar heating and cooling systems by breaking down the technical and non-technical barriers to increase deployment.


The SHC TCP is headed by an Executive Committee composed of one representative from each Member country and Sponsor organization, while the management of the individual projects is the responsibility of project managers (Operating Agents) who are selected by the Executive Committee.

SHC TCP has 25 members. All members have the right to propose new projects, and each member decides whether or not to participate in a specific project. Most SHC TCP projects are carried out on a 'task shared' basis, in which participating organizations arrange for their own experts to take part in the work.

Our work is enhanced through collaboration with other IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes (District Heating and Cooling, Energy in Buildings and Communities, Heat Pumping Technologies, Photovoltaic Power Systems, and SolarPACES) and solar trade associations in Europe, North America, and Australia.

The Power of Collaboration

The collaborative work of the SHC TCP spans nearly three decades. Over these years, the investments made in this international partnership have generated valuable results and products beyond what any one country could do on their own.

To support its work, the SHC TCP also is collaborating with other key players in the field, including the solar industry associations of Australia, Europe and North America. Together they are working to increase the awareness of national and international government bodies and policy makers and to encourage industry to use new solar thermal products and services. 

Passive Solar Home - Fort Collins, CO, USAPassive Solar Home - Fort Collins, CO, USA
Photo by RLMartin