Several people have asked when the first Solar Decathlon was held and where. They also wanted to know how the European and Chinese Solar Decathlons came about. This is a very short history of the collegiate competition from SolarDecathlon.gov. By Amber Archangel
The inaugural U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon (SD) was held in 2002 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and featured 14 U.S. teams.
Since 2002, the Solar Decathlon has:
- Involved 112 collegiate teams, which pursued a multidisciplinary approach to study the requirements for designing and building energy-efficient, solar-powered houses.
- Established a worldwide reputation as a successful educational program and workforce development opportunity for thousands of students
- Affected the lives of nearly 17,000 collegiate participants
- Expanded to currently include 65 participating teams and nearly 10,000 students in three competitions around the world: (SD) Europe 2012, (SD) China 2013, and the U.S. Department of Energy (SD) 2013
- Educated the public about the benefits, affordability, and availability of clean energy solutions by generating widespread media coverage and harnessing digital tools to reach tens of millions of people.
An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people came to the (SD) 2005 on Cotober 9. They were curious about the houses and eager to listen to the students. | Credit: Stefano Paltera, Solar Decathlon
In 2005, the competition became international when Canadian Solar and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid were accepted as two of 18 teams.
This internationalization continued in 2007 and 2009, when the 20 teams included teams from Canada, Germany, and Spain. Also in 2007, the United States and Spain signed a memorandum of understanding to allow the creation of (SD) Europe, the first overseas offshoot of the (SD) concept.
2009 Solar Decathlon: Team BeauSoleil Roof Install Time Lapse
Watch as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s TEAM BeauSoleil installs the roof of the BeauSoleil Louisiana Solar Home on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Team BeauSoleil in competing in the 2009 Department of Energy (SD). Their entry is a direct response to Hurricanes Rita and Katrina and is a viable green housing option for the Gulf Coast region.
Madrid, Spain hosted the first competition of Solar Decathlon Europe in 2010.
Institute For Advanced Architecture Of Catalonia | (SD) Europe in 2010
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (SD) included teams from Canada, Belgium, New Zealand, and China.
Spain again hosted the second (SD) Europe in 2012 in Madrid, when (SD) Europe hosted 20 teams from 15 countries and four continents.
PRISPA-Solar Decathlon Europe 2012-For the first time a team from Romania competes in this contest.
PRISPA is the Romanian Team participating at (SD) Europe 2012
http://prispa.org | http://fb.com/prispa2012 ”Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism, Technical University of Civil Engineering of Bucharest, and Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania
The first Solar Decathlon China will take place in Datong, China, in August 2013.
The next Solar Decathlon in the U.S. will take place Oct. 3–13, 2013, at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The competition houses will be open to visitors on eight days over two weekends. Public hours will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily:
- Thursday, Oct. 3–Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013
- Thursday, Oct. 10–Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013.
Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 will take place in July in Versailles, France.
The 2014 competition will be hosted in Versailles, France, adjacent to the gardens of the Chateau de Versailles, and will be attended by teams from sixteen different countries and four continents.