Table Of Contents
Heat is often under appreciated in public policy discussions on energy, frequently overshadowed by transportation energy and electric power. However, heat accounts for 37 percent of energy consumed within most developed countries, and 47 percent of the world’s energy consumption. While many people associate solar energy with electricity-producing photovoltaic (PV) panels, solar can also be used for heating purposes. Solar thermal energy is most commonly used to heat outdoor swimming pools and residential water in the United States, but it can also be used for many types of industrial processes. This issue brief will examine the role that solar thermal technology currently plays in industrial heating processes and outline opportunities for increased application within the U.S. industrial sector.