Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer: Dubai is hosting SDME for the first time in the MENA region in 2018 and 2020 to engage with youth in creating a sustainable future for all
A delegation from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) visited the site of the Solar Decathlon, which is currently being held at Denver, Colorado, USA, to review the best practices to organise this event. This is part of DEWA’s on-going efforts to strengthen Dubai’s global position as a hub for sustainability and green economy, and to prepare it for hosting the Solar Decathlon Middle East (SDME) for the first time in the Middle East and Africa (MENA), in 2018 and 2020. The delegation included experts and specialists from different fields. The delegation was briefed on the details of the competition, which is organised by Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and DEWA, and will happen in Dubai in 2018 and 2020, in conjunction with Expo 2020 Dubai, which has the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. “DEWA was keen to actively participate in the SDME 2017 to design solar-powered homes, which is held in the US, in order to learn the best practices and exchange experiences and knowledge about organising the competition. This comes within DEWA’s framework to prepare for this important global event, to align with Dubai’s global reputation in hosting and organising events, embracing creativity and innovation, looking for a sustainable future, and finding sustainable solutions to promote green economy and sustainability in all its environmental, social and economic aspects. We seek to use all possible resources to implement the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to adopt an innovative approach to developing sustainable solutions to the challenges facing the world. Hosting this competition in the UAE for the first time in the Middle East confirms the UAE’s keenness to provide young people with opportunities to unleash their energies and encourage them to be creative and innovative, making them contributors to sustainable development, leading to a positive change in people’s lives. The UAE has become a platform for innovation, a destination for innovators, and an incubator for creative minds from all over the world,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA. “Sustainability has always been at the core of life in the UAE. Our ancestors relied on natural resources to build homes that are suitable for the local climate. Barjeel wind towers were paramount in the designs of Emirati homes. They made for a natural air-conditioning system by capturing the breeze through a vertical outlet and replacing hot air inside rooms with cool air. Today, we want you to leave your mark on the path of sustainable development and green economy around the globe, by designing energy-efficient and self-sufficient homes that reduce the environmental impact of buildings, inform the public about the importance of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the technologies that help them optimise their energy use. The Decathlon will provide practical models for solar-run houses that can be comfortable, attractive, and affordable,” added Al Tayer. Al Tayer stressed that DEWA seeks to actively participate in youth-related initiatives and programmes, within DEWA and in the community. This supports DEWA’s efforts to achieve the Dubai Plan 2021, which is based on empowering the youth, involving them in the process of building and development, and utilising their energies and creativity. “The first SDME will take place in 2018 at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) procurement model. The solar park’s capacity is expected to reach 5,000MW by 2030, with investments of up to AED 50 billion. It will provide 25% of Dubai’s total power output by 2030, producing 5,000MW by 2030 and will help reduce 6.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. An area of approximately 60,000 square metres has been allocated to the Solar Decathlon at the solar park. Hosting this competition in Dubai underlines the efforts of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and DEWA to achieve the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to increase the share of clean energy in the energy mix, so clean energy will generate 7% of Dubai’s total power output by 2020, 25% by 2030 and 75% by 2050,” noted Al Tayer. A total of 22 university teams will compete in the Solar Decathlon 2018. Qualified teams will design, build, and operate sustainable, cost-and-energy efficient models of solar-powered homes, taking into consideration the climatic conditions of the region. The awards are cash prizes worth AED 10 million. The winning team will be chosen based on their success in providing a number of elements in the building they have created, including cost effectiveness, consumer attraction, outstanding design and efficient consumption.