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Dubai to host first Middle East Solar Decathlon in 2020

Dubai to host first Middle East Solar Decathlon in 2020

The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Published: Wed 17 Jun 2015, 6:52 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:09 PM

Dubai - Dubai will host the international university Solar Decathlon, an international competition by the United States Department of Energy to design smart solar-powered buildings.This is the first time the competition will be held in the Middle East.

According to a statement issued today, universities from around the world will take part in the programme that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate energy-efficient houses. The new achievement underlines the global position of the UAE and its leading regional role. The US Department of Energy has announced that Dubai is joining the competition in 2018 and will host the second Decathlon in 2020 in conjunction with Expo 2020.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, and MD&CEO of Dubai Electricity And Water Authority (DEWA), and HE Robert Waller, US Consul General to Dubai, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on June 17, 2015, to support development efforts of the competition as a first step to start preparations for organising it in Dubai.

“The step supports DEWA’s commitment to implement the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative, launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the Dubai Plan 2021. Hosting the Solar Decathlon is also a practical implementation of the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to diversify energy sources and increase the percentage of renewable energy in Dubai’s energy mix to 15% by 2030,” said Al Tayer.

“This new achievement enhances the UAE competitiveness in line with the UAE Vision 2021 to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world by 2021. It supports Dubai’s efforts to adopt creativity and innovation as a future approach, and develop the skills of young people. It is a continuation of Dubai's green growth approach, which was embodied by the World Green Economy Summit organised in Dubai, and highlighted the Emirate’s efforts and commitment to its goals to become a global hub for Green Economy.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is a shining example of Dubai’s green economy approach and will increase its capacity to 3,000MW by 2030 and include a research and development centre, and a solar testing facility,” added Al Tayer.

“DEWA continues to make every effort to protect our environment and save our resources by keeping pace with international changes and developments in different environmental fields to achieve the environmental objectives of our wise leadership and fulfil the promise of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to host the best Expo the world has ever seen," noted Al Tayer.

"To support Dubai’s position as a global role model in energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability, creativity and innovation, and attracting investment opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency, we organise this competition, which is a promising opportunity to motivate university students and encourage them to innovate and use their creativity in designing efficient and self-sufficient buildings, contributing to national and regional sustainable growth,” Al Tayer further said.

“President Obama’s Climate Action Plan calls on the United States to work with other nations to lead the world to a cleaner, more prosperous future. By working together with partners like Dubai, we can increase global energy security and confront the challenges of a changing climate,” said Waller.

“Building on successful international Solar Decathlons in Europe, China and Latin America and the Caribbean, the US Energy Department looks forward to Solar Decathlon Middle East—supporting a new generation of engineers, architects, and energy entrepreneurs in the Gulf Cooperation Council region while driving clean energy innovation and sustainable development worldwide,” added Waller.

The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The first US Solar Decathlon was held in 2002, and the competition has since occurred every two years in the United States.

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