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HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer launches Middle East’s first inaugural Solar Decathlon 2018 and 2020 in Dubai

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer launches Middle East’s first inaugural Solar Decathlon 2018 and 2020 in Dubai


HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) announced that Solar Decathlon, an international competition that challenges teams to design and build smart houses powered exclusively by the sun, will take place in Dubai between 2018–2020, coinciding with the Dubai Expo 2020. The announcement was made to reflect the rising global position of the UAE, and its key role regionally, at the Final Awards Ceremony of the Solar Decathlon USA held in the USA, attended by Steven Choi, Mayor of the City of Irvine, HE Abdulla Ali Al-Saboosi, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates Consulate in Los Angeles, Richard King, Director of the Solar Decathlon at the US Department of Energy (DoE), and Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), at the DOE.

Solar Decathlon is an international competition run by the DoE to design smart solar-powered buildings. Universities from around the world take part in the programme that challenges teams to design, build, and operate energy-efficient houses. The winner of the competition will be the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and efficiency.

“We are working to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to establish Dubai as a global hub in sustainability and innovation. To support the UAE Vision 2021, to make the UAE among the best countries in the world, and the Dubai Plan 2021, to propel Dubai to be among the world’s greatest cities, we launched the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030, which involves securing sustainable supplies of energy and enhancing the efficient use of water, power and fuel,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA.

“Dubai has made considerable progress in providing renewable energy, as a result of its programmes and initiatives. We believe that solar power is the key source of renewable energy to meet the projected demand. By 2030, DEWA intends to generate 15% of its total power output from solar energy. This means that the installed capacity will need to grow to 3,000MW by then. All this solar power will be developed over a large area in the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park. This initiative is the flagship of our renewable energy focus in Dubai. This includes commercial solar deployments, academic initiatives, a research and development centre, an innovation centre and a large number of future partnership opportunities,” added Al Tayer.

“DEWA is also establishing the foundations for a market for residential and commercial solar systems installed on rooftops, which we call the Shams Dubai initiative. Shams means ‘Sun’ in Arabic. To support this, we are also developing the appropriate regulatory framework, policy and laws to facilitate a competitive market. The DEWA Smart Grid strategy has an estimated US$2 billion investment, and the strategy includes various individual programmes, ranging from advanced metering and asset management to ITC infrastructure development, electric vehicles and distributed energy resources,” explained Al Tayer.

“We are seeking innovative ways to attract international interest and foster national growth, to drive Dubai’s knowledge-economy and advance our efforts on research and development. It is with this background and the challenging future ahead of us that we identify the opportunity of promoting the internationally-recognised Solar Decathlon in our region. It is great to be here and share the passion of all the teams here today. Sustainability can become a reality, adapting and integrating new technologies to make a comfortable living. DEWA not only provides electricity and water to the people of Dubai, but also energy, energy management and the means for comfortable living through our strategic initiatives. Bringing Solar Decathlon to our region will take our future closer to our people,” added Al Tayer.

“I would like to present some highlights of the Solar Decathlon Middle East that followed the agreement between the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, DEWA and the US Department of Energy. Dubai will be hosting the event in October 2018, and I would like to invite all international teams to prepare their projects and proposals under the theme of sustainable living in the Middle East,” said Al Tayer.Al Tayer explained the steps that should be followed to participate in the 10 contests, stressing that contestants should follow the rules of the previous competition. These contests will be customised to challenge the teams to adapt their designs to the weather conditions of the UAE.

“The competition assesses areas like architecture, engineering and construction, climate conditions, environmental acoustics, facilities management and its affordability, sustainability, vegetation, and innovation, according the building management system. We look forward to seeing the completed projects in our city in the future,” elaborated Al Tayer.”Now, sustainability is key in our region and the integration of the designs with our environment and resources will allow for years of happiness and comfort by adjusting the temperature in houses and keep their surfaces cool. I look forward to seeing you all in Dubai in 2018 and 2020, and work together to make the programme a success by engaging universities and students to build a solid foundation for knowledge, sustainability and innovation, based on research and development to bring innovative ideas that benefit the community,” concluded Al Tayer.

The United States of America was the first to host the university Solar Decathlon in 2002 and then it was decided to organise it every two years in the United States. The Solar Decathlon is being held in Irvine, California this year 2015. Since 2010, the US Department of Energy has helped countries that want to host the competition as it supported the Solar Decathlon Europe 2010 – 2012, (Madrid, Spain), Solar Decathlon China 2013 (Datong), and Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 (Versailles, France).

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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