Solar Decathlon: Growing Across the GlobeWednesday, January 24, 2018
By Linda Silverman
Solar Decathlon Director
The international Solar Decathlon movement is alive and well and prospering. There are a lot of new developments in the five international Solar Decathlons being planned in 2018 and 2019. The next event will be Solar Decathlon China, taking place August 2-17 in Dezhou, China, with 22 teams. Solar Decathlon Europe recently announced the 16 teams that will participate in its 2019 event in Szentendre, Hungary. Interestingly, this event will focus on retrofitting houses. Teams interested in competing in Solar Decathlon Africa in September 2019, in Benguerir, Morrocco, have until March 14 to submit their applications. Solar Decathlon Latin America and the Carribbean recently announced its 15 teams that will compete in its 2019 event. Finally, Solar Decathlon Middle East will host 21 teams competing in its November 2018 event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Each of these international events start from the same premise – building the workforce through a unique design/build competition across 10 contests. However, each competition is tailored to align with regional preferences and conditions. All invite universities from around the world to apply to participate in any competition. Thousands of decathletes and hundreds of universities are currently or will soon experience a unique workforce development project that will help them to cultivate soft skills, like teamwork, fundraising, and project management, in addition to applying the expertise they are developing as architects, engineers, communications, finance/marketing, energy specialists or in other majors while they are working toward their undergraduate or graduate degrees. They are learning from each other, and will soon meet students from the other teams and have the chance to interact with thousands of visitors at their respective events.
We at the U.S. Department of Energy, the founder of the original Solar Decathlon, wish the decathletes and universities the best as they pursue one of the more rewarding projects of their life.