IEA SHC Task 51: Solar Energy in Urban Planning

The focus of IEA SHC Task 51 ‚Solar Energy in Urban Planning’ has been placed on the topic of solar energy integration in urban environment. Hereby, different international examples, options and processes for planning and implementation of solar energy measures in cities throughout the world have been screened, outlined and equipped with recommendations for further development. The core outcomes of the project address different options and possibilities for optimization of planning processes, framework conditions, tools, methods and education aiming to attain more effective and timely understanding as well as integration of solar energy in urban context.

Short Description

International and national collaboration, as framed by the IEA SHC Task 51 'Solar Energy in Urban Planning' has provided valuable insights and findings concerning harvesting and integration of solar energy in urban environments.

A detailed investigation of existing case studies, including three Austrian cases, has exposed the interlinked nature of different contextual, regulatory, social and technological facets, driving and influencing further development. Examination of already available solutions as well as related limitations hindering a stronger take up of solar energy use in cities, have at the same time displayed the potential fields for future action.

The total scope of the project has been outlined along four thematic areas A) Legislative Framework Conditions; B) Processes, Methods and Tools; C) Case Studies; D) Education and Educational Material. The communication and exchange of experience among the international as well as national project partners has played a key role, enabling a successful analysis, documentation and publication of the task outcomes.

Urban development topic contains – by its nature – a high level of complexity, contradicting the linear logic of purely technological development and implementation. IEA SHC Task 51 has encountered this challenge as well, while facing the liner-technological rationality of available solar technologies on the one hand, and the multi-dimensional, non-linear urban development processes and stakeholders on the other. Most of all, the international cases have exposed the fact, that implementation of solar energy use in different urban settings is to a large degree successful due to positive local framework conditions. Thus, a direct comparison or replication of international solutions is possible only to a limited degree.

The project outcomes consist of reports and publications as well as the 'Teaching and learning tool for determining the solar energy use at the district scale', all of which can be accessed on the IEA SHC Task 51 Website:


Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland.

Contact Address

Daiva Jakutyte-Walangitang
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Energy Department
Donau-City-Straße 1
A-1220 Wien

DI Karl Berger
Center for Energy
Austrian Institute of Technology

FH Prof. Dr. techn. Markus Gratzl
Smart Building & Smart City
Fachhochschule Salzburg GmbH

Thomas Mach
TU Graz
Institut für Wärmetechnik

Ernst Rainer
TU Graz
Institut für Städtebau

Michael Malderle
TU Graz
Institut für Städtebau

Beatrice Unterberger