Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) organised a workshop for university teams who have qualified for the final stage of the authority’s Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) 2020.
The event is one aspect of the partnership between DEWA and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy with the US Department of Energy.
Dubai hosted the first Solar Decathlon Middle East in November 2018, and the second will be organised next year in conjunction with Expo 2020 Dubai.
The three-day workshop discussed the competition’s rules and next steps.
In his keynote speech at the workshop, HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD and CEO of DEWA, noted that hosting the first and second regional competitions of this global initiative, with prizes totalling over $5.4million, emphasises Dubai’s position as a futuristic city that adopts sustainable solutions and provides opportunities for youth from around the world to be creative and innovative.
“The Solar Decathlon Middle East, the largest and most competitive and challenging competition among international universities, aims to involve young people in the sustainable development process, and encourage them to innovate,” HE said.
“It gives them the opportunity to unleash their creativity by developing innovative solutions that support global efforts to address the impact of climate change.
“This is achieved by designing, building, and operating smart and sustainable solar-powered homes that are efficient in terms of cost and energy consumption, while focusing on environmental conservation and the region’s climate.”
Al Tayer noted that the first Solar Decathlon Middle East achieved remarkable success.
It attracted over 600 students and academics from 54 nationalities, and 15 teams from 28 universities in 11 countries around the world took part in the competition.
Over 60,000 square metres were allocated at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to host this event.
The solar park was chosen as it is the largest single-site solar park in the world, and supports DEWA’s efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050, and by 2050 make Dubai’s carbon footprint the lowest in the world.
“Thousands of visitors saw innovative models for smart, sustainable homes designed to suit the culture, society, and climate of the Middle East,” added Al Tayer.
‘I take this opportunity to commend the universities that took part in the first Solar Decathlon Middle East. I also thank the US Department of Energy, the organising committee, sponsors, students and faculty members who worked hard for two full years to develop innovative solutions that contribute to promoting the shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle.”
“While I congratulate you for reaching this stage of the competition, we hope to see more advanced models in the second Solar Decathlon Middle East, which will be held in conjunction with Expo 2020 Dubai whose main theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,’ and sub themes of Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability fit well with this leading global competition.
“At DEWA, and in line with the vision of our wise leadership that young people are the driving force for building a brighter future, we will continue to provide everything necessary for the success of the second Solar Decathlon Middle East in the UAE, which has become as a hub for creativity and an incubator for innovators from around the world.
“We hope that this competition will be an opportunity for connecting thoughts, exchanging ideas, and developing knowledge so that you effectively participate in the sustainable development process.”
Participating teams compete in 10 contests: architecture; engineering and building; energy management; energy efficiency; comfort conditions; house functioning; sustainable transport; sustainability; communications, and innovation.