The main Task objective is to prepare for upcoming regulations and initiatives on a political level and to improve further and visualize the environmental sustainability of the products. The solar heating and cooling industry should be well aware of the overall lifecycle-energy and environmental performance of their products, thereby considering production and use as well as end-of-life treatment. Environmental hot spots have to be assessed to ensure clean product development. A validated scientific basis of data and models is essential for a sustainable process or material development and to optimize the coupling of different heating/cooling technologies and systems like heat pumps, electrical heating/cooling by PV, condensing fossil combustion, etc. A joint action of industry and research to promote international collaboration for the sustainability of renewable heating technologies is needed. Heating technologies will be considered first, and if cooling experts can still be recruited, cooling technologies will also be included.

The objectives of the Task are to:

  • Identification, monitoring, and influencing of existing and upcoming regulations and standards for the environmental performance of solar-driven technologies.
  • Identification and evaluation of best practice approaches and lessons learned, also of other industries from renewable energies (cooperation with PVPS Task 12) and beyond to evaluate environmental impacts of heating/cooling systems.
  • Sharing of existing knowledge on models and methodologies for LCA and LCoH evaluation for SHC with ongoing and future Tasks.
  • Improvement and extension of LCA and LCoH models and methodologies
  • Compilation of reliable data and provision of access to a solid scientific database on unit process life cycle inventories and costing to support assessment of heating technologies
  • Assessment of environmental profiles of different SHC systems by LCA according to ISO 14040 standard and comparison with conventional technologies
  • Assessment of heat costs by calculation of LCoH based on results of SHC Task 54 “Price Reduction of Solar Thermal Systems,” which also will enable costing of environmental impacts for sensitivity studies
  • Dissemination of results to international, regional, and national stakeholders to encourage early and wide adoption of results, possibly through a dedicated open web service.