Born in the USA, Solar Decathlon is a competition between universities from all over the world, which have to design and build a self-sufficient house, powered only by solar energy, with the implementation of technologies that will give the house an efficient use of its resources.

Four editions of the US DOE Solar Decathlon have been presented to date, on 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009. All of them took place in Washington DC, with the main support of the Department of Energy of the United States. The 2011 edition will start in september.

The first edition of the Solar Decathlon Europe took place in Madrid in 2010. Although it features its own distinctions, this competition has its roots in the US DOE Solar Decathlon. Solar Decathlon Europe is organized by the Secretary of State for Housing and Urban Development at the Spanish Ministry of Public Works with the collaboration of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and the support of the US Department of Energy. In addition, SDE counts with the collaboration of the Madrid City Council and Spanish Energy Saving Energy Agency IDAE, and the sponsorship of Saint-Gobain (main sponsor), Schneider Electric, Rockwool, Kömmerling and FCC


Universities from four continents have submitted their request for participation in the Solar Decathlon Europe 2012, which again will take place in Madrid. The final list os the 20 teams selected  was made public in Junary 2011, and the design and construction work has begun yet.


Solar Decathlon Europe aims to:

  1. Communicate our need to diminish our energy consumption, by changing our habits, and using technologies that reduce energy demand without affecting our lifestyle and comfort.
  2. Prove that the demands of lighting, heating, and refrigeration can be met with technologies in more efficient ways.
  3. Show how the energy required can be generated using renewable energy sources, such as solar radiation.
  4. Finally, integrate these changes in ways that are affordable, in conjunction with solid architecture practices. As European cities are often dense and have a long history, we try to develop ideas that can be transferred to other kinds of buildings, as flats, or help to refurbish existing ones.