Friday 29, January 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) chaired the first meeting of the Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) steering committee at DEWA’s main office to discuss the preparation and organisation of the Solar Decathlon, which is scheduled to take place in 2018 for the first time in the region and again in 2020 to coincide with World Expo 2020 in Dubai. HE Ahmed Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary General of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, Major General Mohammad Saeed Bakhit, Director of Electronic Services Department at Dubai Police, Rashid Bin Humaidan, Executive Vice President of Distribution Power, Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development, Dr. Yousef Al Akraf, Executive Vice President of Business Support and Human Resources at DEWA, Yousef Jebril, Executive Vice President of Power, Water & Planning, Khawla Al Mehairi, Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Communications at DEWA, Abdul Nasser Abbas, Senior Director of Treasury at DEWA and Dr. Pedro Banda, R&D Manager, were present at the meeting.
During the meeting, the committee reviewed the preparations for workshops for the Deans and Chancellors of engineering faculties and UAE- and GCC-based universities.
Twenty teams will take part in the international competition, which will take place for the first time in the Middle East and Africa after its success in the United States, Europe, China, Latin America and the Caribbean. College and University 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.
The meeting also highlighted the importance of the Decathlon, and how it will further enhance Dubai’s role as an international leader for sustainability and renewable energy.
“Hosting the Decathlon is a practical step that supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, to increase Dubai’s use of clean energy to 25% by 2030, transforming Dubai into a global centre for clean energy and green economy. This strategy relies on innovation and research and development as the basis for the future of energy and preparing the plans and initiatives to make developments in science and technology. We are organising this competition in concert with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Museum of the Future, the Ministry of Energy, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, and the Roads and Transport Authority. We intend to spread knowledge and raise awareness about the benefits and opportunities that clean and renewable energy technologies offer. 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 locally, and regionally. The competition will also position Dubai as a global model for energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainability, creativity and innovation, and encouraging investment opportunities in the renewable energy sector ,” said Al Tayer.
The UAE’s participation and hosting of this competition for the first time in the region is a great chance for the UAE’s University students to acquire the skills needed to pursue careers in sustainability, and renewable energy sources.
Several teams from different local and international universities, including the winning teams of 2014 and 2015, will compete to fully-design operational and energy-efficient solar houses, and build them to contribute to environmental preservation, away from traditional methods of construction and design.
Registration for the competition will begin in February with June 2016 being the deadline to register. Qualifying teams will be announced in October and the winning team will be decided based on cost-efficiency, unique design value, ability to preserve energy, and the overall efficiency of their house designs.
Al Tayer, signed a MoU with Richard King, Director of the Solar Decathlon at the US Department of Energy, on 17 June 2015, to support the planning of the Decathlon, as the first step to prepare for this international event.
The competition serves as a platform to develop the concept of innovation among the next generation, as well a meeting ground for engineering and architectural students from all around the world, providing them the means to practice their craft and giving them experience in their respective fields of study.
The competition aims to achieve a certain level of competitiveness between the university teams, who will design, build, and operate their own energy-efficient houses.
The United States of America was the first to host the Solar Decathlon in 2002, following the success of the initial Decathlon, the competition now takes place every two years within the United States. Since 2010, the US Department of Energy has helped other countries host the competition, and has organised other international decathlons such as: Solar Decathlon Europe 2010—2012, (Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon China 2013 (Datong), and Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 (Versailles, France).