HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), praised the remarkable international and regional turnout at the inaugural Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018 (SDME 2018), which will held in Dubai. A record number of university teams sent comprehensive proposals to take part in SDME 2018 during the registration period, which ended on 30 June 2016. The participating universities are from 19 different international and Middle Eastern countries.
Solar Decathlon is an international competition that challenges teams to design and build smart houses that only use solar power.
“We are working to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish Dubai as a global hub for sustainability and innovation. To support the UAE Vision 2021, to make the UAE among the best countries in the world, and the Dubai Plan 2021, to further Dubai’s pioneering position as one of the world’s greatest cities, Dubai will host the Solar Decathlon in 2018 and also in 2020, to coincide with the Dubai Expo 2020. We will carefully select the shortlisted teams, to meet the ambitious goals of the competitions, and support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy, diversifying Dubai's energy, and increasing the contribution of renewable energy in Dubai’s energy mix to reach 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050,” said Al Tayer.
“DEWA set a maximum of twenty proposals for the first competition, but participation exceeded expectations to reach twice that number. This comes as a result of the increasing number of the universities willing to participate in the competition, which makes it more competitive and enthusiastic. Selecting the top twenty from so many excellent teams means that the challenge to design and build a winning house will be more competitive and exciting,” added Al Tayer.
“Never has an international Solar Decathlon received so many proposals from so many interested university teams,” said Richard King, Director of the Solar Decathlon at the US Department of Energy (DoE).
“The Solar Decathlon Middle East will establish new levels of competition and more involvement than we could have hoped for,” said Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at DEWA.
DEWA has selected a specialised and experienced judging panel to review and evaluate the presented proposals. This process will take several weeks. The selected teams will be announced during the World Green Economy Summit in Dubai on 6 October. Once selected to enter the competition, teams will have two years to design and build sustainable houses. After completion, teams will engage in 10 different contests, ranging from architecture and engineering to sustainability and innovation. These contests aim to provide the participating teams with valuable practical experience in clean energy design.
The winners of the first SDME in 2018 will be awarded cash prizes totaling AED 10 million (USD $2.5 million).
In October 2018, the solar-powered houses will be unveiled at the SDME’s site, as the participating students will accompany the public to present the details of their winning designs. The public will also be able to watch the decathletes in action as they compete.
Solar Decathlon Middle East was created through an agreement between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, DEWA, and the United States Department of Energy. Participating in the competition is confined to university students from all over the world. Dubai will host the first two Solar Decathlons in the Middle East.
Universities will meet to design, build, and operate energy self-sufficient houses. Teams will compete to adapt their designs to combat the seasonal heat, dust and high humidity experienced by the region. The participating students will have to design, build, and operate sustainable mock-ups of solar-powered houses, which are cost-effective and energy-efficient, while preserving the environment and taking into account the region’s climate.
The teams that have been selected will be announced next October. Further details about the Solar Decathlon Middle East can be found on http://solardecathlonme.com/.