Germany Wins the Solar Decathlon

If you don’t know what the Solar Decathlon is, its an event sponsored by the Department of Energy.  The DOE and companies sponsor 20 teams from the US, Canada and one each from Germany and Spain.  The teams build a home on their campus and then transport the entire project to the National Mall in Washington DC.  The teams compete in 10 events such as Net Metering, Appliances, Comfort Zone, and Hot Water.

Germany won the first Solar Decathlon in 2007.  University of Illinois placed second and University of California placed third this year.  Germany’s second win emphasizes the fact that Europe is way ahead of us in many technology fronts, especially solar power.  Here’s a photo of their winning entry:

My one comment would be that, while I love the idea and the competition, most of the entries look like they just landed after an inter-galactic space voyage.  Take a look at the gallery of entries.  There is no bigger advocate of green building and solar than me but I’m hoping that the architects and designers of these homes start designing something that, you know, a normal family might want to live in.

by Kriss

Kriss Bergethon is a writer and solar expert from Colorado. For more information visit his site at Solar Panels. Follow me on Google