The U.S. DOE has announced it will collaborate with the Moroccan government in the development of a Solar Decathlon Africa competition in 2019.
Launched in 2002, the Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive solar-powered houses. Teams compete in 10 contests, similar to the Olympics’ Decathlon, ranging from architecture and engineering to home appliance performance and electric vehicle charging. Students involved in the teams lead free tours of their houses, allowing regional future leaders to educate and inspire the public on clean energy and sustainable design.
For the African competition, both countries will exchange information regarding rules, scoring, judging, safety, and site and team selection for the 2019 Solar Decathlon event in Africa, according to a DOE blog post.
For Morocco, the new competition will align with its goal of reaching 42 percent of its total installed electricity generation capacity with renewable energy resources by 2020 and 52 percent by 2030. Currently, officials report that renewable energy accounts for 34 percent of domestic power generation. Morocco has been in contact with several universities in Africa that have already expressed interest in participating in this event. A call for applications will be held in 2017. Each Solar Decathlon competition involves hundreds of university students and tens of thousands of visitors that tour the houses. Its format is an award-winning vehicle for workforce development, clean energy outreach, and technology demonstration.