HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has awarded the winning teams in the second Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME), which is under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. DEWA organised the competition as part of its partnership with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy with the US Department of Energy.
Team SCUTxCCSIC of the South China University of Technology took first place; Team Sharjah of the University of Sharjah came second, and Team Go Smart, University of Bahrain, was third.
The ceremony was attended by HE Ahmad Buti Al Muhairbi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Energy; HE Meghan Gregonis, United States Consul General in Dubai, and a number of diplomats, university presidents, professors, and students, and many officials from the public and private sectors.
Al Tayer and several officials toured the houses that won the top three positions. A total of 8 teams representing 12 universities from around the world have participated in the 2nd SDME. This comes amid a wide recognition for the models presented that were sustainable and innovative.
Al Tayer said that DEWA organised the 1st and 2nd Decathlons to support the vision of the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to engage young people in sustainable development, encourage them to innovate and provide opportunities for them to unleash their creativity.
“Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, Dubai has successfully hosted two of these world-class innovative prestigious competitions, which were held for the first time in the Middle East. This is part of a partnership between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy,
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and the US Department of Energy. Eight teams from 12 universities around the world participated in the 2nd SDME to design, build and operate smart, sustainable homes that use solar energy and take into consideration the region’s climate,” said Al Tayer.
“The first and second competitions brought together over 1,000 students and academics from local, regional, and international universities at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the world-class landmark and the largest single-site solar park in the world. It supports our efforts to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, and the Dubai Carbon Neutrality initiative to provide 100% of Dubai’s total power capacity from clean energy by 2050. The success of the two competitions, with prizes totalling over AED 20 million, consolidate the UAE’s position as a motivating platform for innovation and an incubator for creative minds as well as Dubai’s efforts as a city that adopts sustainable solutions and provides youth with the opportunity to create and innovate. The sponsorship by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for this competition has been a great motivator for the youth who have to provide quality innovations for smart and sustainable homes that have been designed to fit the cultural, social, and climatic conditions of the Middle East,” added Al Tayer.
“These innovations herald a generation of creative minds that are capable of developing practical solutions that contribute to achieving sustainable development and support global efforts to limit global warming. These young people will be climate ambassadors from the UAE as one of the pioneering countries in climate action to protect our planet. The UAE’s constant efforts towards climate sustainability have resulted in its selection to host the COP28 in 2023,” noted Al Tayer.
“I would like to commend all the university teams who participated in this Solar Decathlon Middle East. Their innovative models will be important additions to the transition towards a more sustainable lifestyle. I would also like to thank the US Department of Energy, the Organising Committee, the sponsors, the professors and supervisors, the judges, volunteers, and everyone who has contributed to organising this global competition,” concluded Al Tayer.
The second competition had 8 teams from 12 universities: Team KU of Khalifa University, UAE; Team Sharjah of University of Sharjah, UAE; Team Desert Phoenix of University of Louisville (USA), Higher Colleges of Technology (UAE), American University in Dubai, and American University in Sharjah; Team HARMONY of The British University in Dubai; Team ESTEEM of Heriot-Watt University, UK and Heriot-Watt University, Dubai; Team TAWAZUN of Manipal Academy of Higher Education Dubai Campus; Team Go Smart, University of Bahrain; Team SCUTxCCSIC of the South China University of Technology.
SDME encourages the university teams to design, build, and operate sustainable models of cost-effective and energy-efficient solar-powered homes, with a focus on protecting the environment, taking into consideration the climate of the region. The teams competed in 10 contests: architecture; engineering and building; energy management; energy efficiency; comfort conditions; house functioning; sustainable transport; sustainability; communications, and innovation.
The SDME village at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will be open again to the public from 5-11 December 2021 to view the participating homes. For more information on the competition, please visit http://www.solardecathlonme.com