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Solar Decathlon Europe Wins Sustainable Energy Europe Award

Thursday, April 21, 2011

By Amy Vaughn

Photo of a group of men standing in a spotlight beneath a projected sign that reads “EU Sustainable Energy Week Awards Ceremony 2011.”

Solar Decathlon Europe organizers accept the Sustainable Energy Europe Award for Communicating. (Courtesy of the European Union Sustainable Energy Week)

Solar Decathlon Europe was honored last week by the European Commission with a Sustainable Energy Europe Award in the Communicating category. The annual awards reward best-in-class initiatives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the European Union. More than 300 initiatives were considered in this year’s competition.

The Communicating category recognizes projects “that create awareness about … energy challenges, that change perceptions, and that bring about endorsement of energy efficiency and/or renewable energy.”

The jury recognized Solar Decathlon Europe for:

    • Providing an excellent learning experience to university students and therefore fostering the research and innovation skills of European youth
    • Showing the potential of collaboration between the public sphere and the business world — especially in the task of designing  and building sustainable homes with cutting-edge technologies
    • Creating a public space in which more than 200,000 people could witness sustainable energy “in action.”“Solar Decathlon Europe not only helps raise awareness among professionals, but it also shows that it is technically and financially possible to achieve the goal of constructing buildings with near zero energy expenditure, as stated by the European Directive 2020,” said Javier Serra, director of Solar Decathlon Europe. “It has also shown a very strong initiative to present to the public the possibilities of increasing the energy efficiency of houses, and thereby save on the energy bill, through the use of new technologies and renewable energy.”

Solar Decathlon Europe is organized by the Secretary of State for Housing and Urban Development at the Spanish Ministry of Public Works with the collaboration of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and the support of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Amy Vaughn is the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon web coordinator.

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