Students from China, Sharjah and Bahrain universities bagged the top honours at the 2021 Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME), taking home prizes totalling more than Dh20 million.
Team SCUTxCCSIC of the South China University of Technology was awarded first place, while Team Sharjah from the University of Sharjah and Team Go Smart from the University of Bahrain came second and third, respectively.
Held at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the teams were recognised for developing and designing models of houses that were sustainable and innovative.
The competition was organised by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) as part of its partnership with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the US Department of Energy.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, vice-chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and CEO/managing director of Dewa, toured the houses that won the top three positions. A total of eight teams representing 12 universities from around the world have participated in the second edition of the Solar Decathlon.
Al Tayer said that the first and second edition of the competition brought together more than 1,000 students and academics from local, regional, and international universities at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park.
“It supports our efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, and the Dubai Carbon Neutrality initiative to provide 100 per cent of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy by 2050,” Al Tayer said.
“The success of the two competitions, with prizes totalling over Dh20 million, consolidate the UAE’s position as a motivating platform for innovation and an incubator for creative minds, as well as Dubai’s efforts as a city that adopts sustainable solutions, and provides youth the opportunity to create and innovate,” Al Tayer added.
He also said these innovations herald a generation of creative minds that are capable of developing practical solutions that support worldwide efforts to limit global warming.
“These young people will be climate ambassadors from the UAE as one of the pioneering countries in climate action to protect our planet.The UAE’s constant efforts towards climate sustainability have resulted in its selection to host the COP28 in 2023,” said Al Tayer.
The teams' innovative models of houses will be important additions to the transition towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
The following teams participated at the SDME this year:
Team KU of Khalifa University
UAE, Team Sharjah of University of Sharjah
Team Desert Phoenix of University of Louisville (USA), Higher Colleges of Technology (UAE), American University in Dubai, and American University in Sharjah
Team Harmony of The British University in Dubai
Team ESTEEM of Heriot-Watt University, UK and Heriot-Watt University, Dubai
Team Tawazun of Manipal Academy of Higher Education Dubai Campus
Team Go Smart of University of Bahrain
Team SCUTxCCSIC of the South China University of Technology.
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