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Solar Decathlon 2007

Daily Journal - July 10, 2007

Third Solar Decathlon Offers Winning Solutions

Mark your calendars — this year's Solar Decathlon is sure to be more competitive than ever! Stunning new designs, impressive innovation, and dynamic, motivated decathletes promise a show-stopping event. Catch a glimpse of the future with winning solutions.

Collectively, in the quest for energy and the daily necessities it provides, human activity has led to unanticipated changes in the Earth's climate. The ever increasing rate of fossil fuel consumption puts the future at risk. To halt climate change we need to curtail fossil fuel use. But how? What's the solution?

The first step is to reduce consumption by increasing energy efficiency and conservation.

The second step is to develop alternative sources of energy that require no combustion, such as converting sunlight directly into heat and electricity. Solar energy is carbon free and virtually limitless. You can use as much as you want for as long as you want without worrying what will happen to the planet. Just the solution we seek. If enough people say "yes" to solar, we can stop climate change.

The next step is integrating solar into the built environment to create beautiful, reliable, cost-effective homes. The Solar Decathlon challenges schools of architecture and engineering to design solar-powered, zero-carbon, self-sustaining houses from the ground up to see which house is the most aesthetically pleasing and which one performs the best.

The third Solar Decathlon takes place this year. With each successive competition, we see marked improvement. When you design, build, test, evaluate, redesign and test again, you begin a process of invention and discovery. The Solar Decathlon applies that process to help solve a problem: how to halt climate change. Moreover, the Solar Decathlon positions the world's best and brightest students in a competition, accelerating the process through increased motivation to win.