Dubai: Some 21 teams from 36 universities across 15 countries have been shortlisted for the Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) happening in Dubai in November 2018.
The SDME is the world’s largest, most competitive competition where teams will design, build, and operate sustainable, cost- and energy-efficient models of solar-powered homes, with a focus on protecting the environment, and taking into consideration the climatic conditions of the region.
Dubai will host two rounds of this distinguished competition, first in 2018 and then in 2020 to coincide with Dubai Expo 2020. The competition will be held for the first time in the Middle East and Africa.
The Solar Decathlon Middle East was created through an agreement between both the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa), and the United States Department of Energy. The winning teams will be awarded cash prizes of over Dh10 million, which is equivalent to $2.5 million.
Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of Dewa, stressed that Dewa is working to provide all means of support to students in order to achieve the Solar Decathlon’s success, which is in line with Dewa’s message, and its strategic direction.
“Dubai’s hosting of the Solar Decathlon reflects its realisation that sustainable development is key to achieving a balance between development and sustainability. This balance will help protect the rights of future generations to live in a clean, healthy, and safe environment,” Al Tayer said.
“This also reflects Dubai’s commitment to invest in innovation, which is one of the main priorities of the UAE,” he added.
The Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park was selected to host the Solar Decathlon Middle East because it is one of the most important projects and key to developing the economy to support environmental sustainability and increase our supply of clean energy.
The 21 teams shortlisted for the competition include a team from Ajman University of Science and Technology; the American University in Dubai; Heriot-Watt University Dubai; New York University Abu Dhabi; the American University of Ras Al Khaimah; The Petroleum Institute and Zayed University; Sapienza University of Rome, Italy; National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan; Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; Virginia Tech, USA, among others.
The panel of judges will include officials from Dewa, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Museum of the Future, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Ministry of Energy in the UAE, and the UAE Cabinet.
In November 2018, the solar homes will be displayed on the competition site, with participants participating in tours to see the winning designs. This initiative will provide an opportunity for all members of society to follow the competition and see the challenge among participants.