The Solar Decathlon is an international student competition taking place every two years. This competition was created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Energy in order to develop the transmission of the knowledge and the research in the field of the green buildings, in particular solar energy.
The Solar Decathlon challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production.
The first Solar Decathlon was held in 2002 and has since occurred biennially. Open to the public and free of charge, the Solar Decathlon allows visitors to tour ultra-efficient houses, gather ideas to use in their own homes, and learn how energy-saving features can help reduce power bills.Through the years, the Solar Decathlon has become an important meeting of the media, gathering more than 300,000 visitors.
The first edition of the Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) took place in June 2010 in Madrid. The second one was held in September 2012 in Madrid and the third one in Paris-Versailles in 2014. The purpose of this competition is to allow students to discover and learn how to use renewable energies and to raise awareness among the general public,thus helping solar technology to enter the market more quickly.