Universities from all over the world and their students have been taking part in the Solar Decathlon building energy competition for years. After its launch in the USA in 2002, the Solar Decathlon has now taken place 13 times around the globe, most recently in Dubai in November last year. German universities have also participated successfully on several occasions.
Since 2010 this competition with the focus on solar plus energy houses has also been held in Europe, most recently in France in 2014. In 2019, it will be held in Hungary, in 2021 the Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE 21) will take place for the first time in Germany and with an urban profile.
Germany has long been committed to further developing the content of the competition format and is also leading a working group within the International Energy Agency. Against this background, last year the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) launched an idea competition as part of its "EnEff.Gebäude.2050" funding initiative and received proposals for a building energy competition in Germany. The team of the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, the city of Wuppertal, the Wuppertal Institute and the initiative Utopiastadt were awarded first place with their proposal "Solar Decathlon goes Urban". This was the basis for the German application to host the next Solar Decathlon at the European "Call for Cities" by the Energy Endeavour Foundation.
The international student innovation competition "Solar Decathlon Europe" (SDE) for buildings comes to Germany for the first time in 2021 and has an "urban" profile for the first time and takes place in the middle of Wuppertal. Therefore, the focus of the solar decathlon is on the energy revolution in the neighbourhood and the further development of the urban building stock. Since existing buildings are also the focus of architectural and construction activities in Germany and Europe, the competition will focus primarily on conversion, extension, extension and the closing of gaps - always with a view to resource efficiency, sufficiency, climate protection and recycling-friendly construction.
The characteristic Mirker Quartier in Wuppertal together with its neighbourhood forms the context of the task. The Solar Decathlon Europe is thus part of a large-scale real-world laboratory. Wuppertal is a transformation city in which the transition to sustainability takes a central place. Framed by the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, Wuppertal represents the type of city in which most people in Europe live. The students work in teams to develop realistic solutions that make a central contribution to the way to a resource-efficient and climate-neutral city. This first urban solar decathlon encourages students to put their creative ideas into practice and to shape this path together with industry.
The Wuppertal Institute participates in the following work packages: