IEA’s Solar Heating and Cooling Roadmap Highlights GHG Mitigation Potential

IEA9 July 2012: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released the “Solar Heating and Cooling Roadmap,” which advocates that an increased uptake of solar heating and cooling technologies could eliminate approximately 800 megatons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, as these technologies produce low levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Roadmap predicts that, by 2050, solar energy could cover nearly a sixth of total global low-temperature heating and cooling needs, producing more than 16% of the total final energy use for low-temperature heat, and 17% for cooling. This could be achieved through action by both government and industry players, and would make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation and energy security.

Addressing specific problems faced by of warm climate countries, the Roadmap describes how solar heating technologies can substitute water-heating electricity, as well as electricity used for heating rooms and buildings. It further illustrates the use of solar thermal cooling technology in replacing conventional air conditioning systems while reducing the burden on the electric grid.

The Roadmap recommends that governments: establish stable policy frameworks for solar heating and cooling; introduce economic incentives to spur investment in the sector; fund research and development (R&D) for these technologies; and address issues such as lack of quality control standards. [IEA Press Release] [Publication: Solar Heating and Cooling Roadmap]