Dubai – MENA Herald: HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has invited university teams from around the world to participate in the Solar Decathlon Middle East, which was created through an agreement between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and DEWA, and the United States Department of Energy. Dubai will host the first two rounds of the Solar Decathlon, which is held for the first time in the Middle East, in 2018 and again in 2020 to coincide with World Expo in Dubai, whose theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’ fits well with this distinguished international competition. The total competition prizes are AED 10 million.
Al Tayer made the invitation at a workshop organised to introduce the Solar Decathlon. It was attended by HE Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Richard King, ‎Director of Solar Decathlon, US Department of Energy and Joe Simon, Competition Manager at the US Department of Energy, Edwin Rodriguez, Solar Decathlon-Europe, Armando Elliot and Christopher Hamm from Stevens Institute of Technology, winners of Solar Decathlon 2015, and Chiara Tonelli from the Universitá Degli Studi di Roma TRE, winners of Solar Decathlon 2014. Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at DEWA, Solar Decathlon committee members, and DEWA Executive Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents also attended the workshop, which is one of awareness workshops that will be held all year round.
The workshop, held at Grand Hyatt hotel in Dubai, was attended by university heads, and deans of engineering colleges, a number of officials and students from universities in the UAE and the region, and a large number of local and international media.
In his keynote speech, Al Tayer welcome the participants and thanked Richard King and Joe Simon for their participation in the workshop.
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai has observed that, “Every investment in the development of clean energy sources is at the same time an investment to protect the environment for future generations.” In DEWA, we invest heavily in developing people capable of spearheading research and development in clean and renewable energy to preserve natural resources and protect the environment. Last November, His Highness inaugurated the construction works of the DEWA Innovation Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. It includes a number of research and development laboratories in clean energy. It will also oversee research and development projects with a total investment of AED 500 million,” said Al Tayer.
“DEWA provides scholarships and innovative programmes to prepare a generation that is capable of pursuing the vision of our wise leadership to achieve sustainable development. One of the programmes adopted by DEWA is the Carbon Ambassadors Programme, whose aim is to involve the youth in sustainability and low-carbon development activities. The first batch of graduates have created self-sustainable bus stops from retired shipping containers to inspire a more environmentally-sustainable way of life.”
“To support DEWA’s mission to promote Dubai’s vision by delivering sustainable electricity and water services at a world-class level of reliability, efficiency, and safety in an environment that nurtures innovation, and DEWA’s vision to become a sustainable innovative world class utility, we are pleased to provide all the necessary support to contribute to the success of Solar Decathlon Middle East. We will encourage students to design, build, and operate solar-run sustainable houses that are efficient in terms of cost and energy use, while taking into account the region’s climate,” added Al Tayer.
“Sustainability has always been present in this region. Our ancestors used natural resources to build houses that adapted to climate conditions. They used rocks, trees, and clay to build houses that protected them from cold in the winter and heat in the summer. They built Barjeel – wind towers that work as natural air-conditioners to manage high temperatures.”
“Today, we want new generations to integrate natural materials with modern-day architecture, to preserve natural resources, and reduce carbon emissions that pose a threat to planet Earth. Hosting the Decathlon is a practical step that supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to make Dubai a global centre of clean energy and green economy. Dubai’s goal is to become the city with the least carbon footprint in the world. By organising this competition, we spread knowledge and raise awareness of the benefits and opportunities that clean and renewable energy technologies offer. We also encourage using materials that reduce the environmental impact of buildings, inform the public about the importance of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the technologies that help them optimise their energy use. The Decathlon will provide practical models for solar-run houses that can be comfortable, attractive, and affordable. The Decathlon will be a unique opportunity for university students to gain important experience, implement the theories they learn, and demonstrate their skills and capabilities in innovation, design, and achieve a sustainable lifestyle that ensures continuity of these projects,” noted Al Tayer.
“Last October, I attended the final awards ceremony of the Solar Decathlon in Irvine, California in the US. I was impressed with the designs and the enthusiasm of the participating teams and their passion for what they presented. We hope to see more advanced designs and more competiveness in the next two Solar Decathlons, which will take place in 2018 and in 2020 in Dubai,” said Al Tayer.
“I look forward to welcoming you to Dubai in 2018. I encourage university teams from the region and the world to prepare their projects and suggestions and implement them in Dubai, the shinning Emirate whose ambition has no limits,” concluded Al Tayer.
Over twenty teams will take part in the Solar Decathlon, which is organised for the first time in the Middle East and Africa after its success in the US, Europe, China, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Collegiate teams will have to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective and energy-efficient, while taking into account the region’s climate. Dubai will host Solar Decathlon Middle East in 2018 and again in 2020 to coincide with World Expo in Dubai.