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Great innovation potential of solar heating and cooling confirmed

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Brussels, 26 February 2013 - The European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling issued a new document on the potential for technological development in solar heating and cooling until 2050. The “Strategic Research Priorities” identify huge opportunities offered by the technological development of solar heating and cooling and the need for a significant increase in R&D activities and budgets to exploit it.

The Solar Thermal Technology Panel (ESTTP) of the European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC-Platform) developed this document on promising research topics. Prepared with contribution from experts in the research, industry and public sectors across Europe, this document covers solar technologies for nearly-zero energy residential buildings, public and commercial buildings, district heating systems, industrial applications and solar assisted cooling systems.


According to the ¨Common Vision¨ of the RHC-Platform, in 2020 renewable energy technologies could meet over 25% of the heat demand in the European Union and this could go up to 100% before 2040. Solar heating and cooling can make a major contribution to this target, as it is the technology with the fastest growth potential leading up to 2020. For this potential to be fully realized, it is crucial to intensify innovation efforts in solar thermal technology.


“This new document clearly shows the technological path for a future with a wide-spread use of solar energy for heating and cooling”, says Gerhard Stryi-Hipp, Chairman of the Solar Thermal Technology Panel. However, he adds “the awareness of politicians about the importance of solar thermal in the future energy mix must grow and a strong increase in the budget for research and development is needed”.


The document is available to download at and its key findings will be discussed in depth on 22 and 23 April 2013 at the 4th European Conference on Renewable Heating and Cooling.