Dubai, UAE, 9 October 2016: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced the names of the teams selected to participate in the Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) 2018. Dubai will host the Solar Decathlon in 2018, and once again in 2020, to coincide with the Dubai Expo 2020. SDME was created through an agreement between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, DEWA, and the United States Department of Energy. The decathlon challenges teams to design and build smart houses that operate solely on solar power. The announcement of the selected teams, was made during the World Green Economy Summit (WGES) 2016, which is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. The summit is operating under the theme “Driving the Global Green Economy”, from 5th to 6th October at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
WGES 2016 is hosted by DEWA, under the umbrella of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, in collaboration with World Climate Ltd, and supported by the United Nations and international partners. The Summit runs in conjunction with the 18th session of Water, Energy & Environment Exhibition (WETEX) and Dubai Solar Show 2016. Once the selected teams were announced, the team leaders visited the site where SDME 2018 will take place, at the Dubai Solar Show.
The selected teams included the following universities: Ajman University of Science & Technology – UAE, American University in Dubai – UAE, American University of Ras AlKhaimah – UAE, Dhofar University – Oman, Eindhoven University of Technology – Netherlands, Gabriele D'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara – Italy, Heriot-Watt University Dubai – UAE, Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism – Romania, Islamic Science University of Malaysia (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia) - Malaysia, King Saud University – KSA, National Chiao Tung University – Taiwan, National University of Sciences and Technology – Pakistan, New York University Abu Dhabi – UAE, Qatar University – Qatar, Sapienza University of Rome – Italy, The Petroleum Institute – UAE, The University of Jordan – Jordan, University of Belgrade – Serbia, University of Bordeaux – France, University of Sharjah – UAE, University of Wollongong – Australia, and Virginia Tech – USA.
Team leaders attended a dinner where they were joined by the competition management, faculty, and other students. A discussion was held to highlight green energy efficiency in the future.
“Hosting two versions of SDME, is part of our ongoing efforts to achieve the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish Dubai as a global hub for sustainability and innovation and to support the UAE Vision 2021, to make the UAE among the best countries in the world, and the Dubai Plan 2021, to further Dubai’s pioneering position as one of the world’s greatest cities. We are pleased to announce the teams nominated to participate in the competition, which were carefully selected by a specialised and experienced panel, who reviewed and evaluated their proposals. This process took several weeks,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of DEWA.
“We are confident that this competition will achieve its objectives, and support the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to transform Dubai into a global hub for clean energy and green economy, diversifying Dubai's energy, and increasing the contribution of renewable energy to reach 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050,” added Al Tayer.
Al Tayer noted that DEWA set a maximum of twenty proposals for the first competition, but participation exceeded expectations to reach twice that number. Selecting the top twenty from so many excellent teams means that the challenge to design and build a winning house will be more competitive and exciting.
“SDME will establish new levels of competition and more involvement than we could have hoped for,” said Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at DEWA.
“After being selected, the teams will have two years to design and build sustainable houses. After completion, teams will engage in 10 different contests, ranging from architecture and engineering to sustainability and innovation. These contests aim to provide the participating teams with valuable practical experience in clean energy design,” added Salman.
The winners of the first SDME in 2018 will be awarded cash prizes totalling AED 10 million. In October 2018, the solar-powered houses will be unveiled at the SDME’s site, with the public able to watch these contestants in action as they present their designs.
Universities will meet to design, build, and operate energy self-sufficient houses. Teams need to adapt their designs to combat the seasonal heat, dust and high humidity experienced in the region.