In Greece, during the summer, the demand for electricity greatly increases because of the extensive use of air-conditioning systems. This is a source of major problems in the country's electricity supply and contributes to an increase of the CO2 emissions. The use of solar energy (SE) to drive cooling cycles is attractive since the cooling load is roughly in phase with SE availability. An economic evaluation of two. types of solar cooling systems is made (an absorption and an adsorption system). The analyses indicated that, because of their high investment cost, these systems would be marginally competitive with standard cooling systems at present energy prices. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.