The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is proud to announce the newest member of the global Solar Decathlon family: Solar Decathlon China. The Chinese event was announced this week after the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the U.S. Department of Energy, China’s National Energy Administration, Peking University, and Applied Materials. The first Solar Decathlon China will be held in 2013.
The Solar Decathlon China memorandum of understanding was recognized by President Obama and Chinese President Hu as one of many important agreements signed this week in an effort to enhance cooperation between the United States and China on climate change, clean energy, and the environment.
The Chinese competition is the result of growing global interest in Solar Decathlon, renewable energy, and energy efficiency.
The inaugural U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon was held in 2002 and featured 14 U.S. teams. In 2005, the competition became international when Canadian Solar and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid were accepted as two of 18 teams. This internationalization continued in 2007 and 2009, when the 20 teams included teams from Canada, Germany, and Spain. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon will include teams from Canada, Belgium, New Zealand, and China.
Also in 2007, the United States and Spain signed a memorandum of understanding to allow the creation of Solar Decathlon Europe, the first overseas offshoot of the Solar Decathlon concept. Its first competition was held in Madrid in 2010. The next event is planned for 2012, when Solar Decathlon Europe will host 20 teams from 15 countries and four continents.
Solar Decathlon China will continue in the same tradition.
“I hope the competition will inspire a lot of Chinese college students to open up their minds and build their careers in developing innovative technologies and practices in renewable energy and building energy efficiency,” said Yu Pingrong, research professor and director of the Center of Solar Energy at Peking University.