2021 Apr/29

The capital of Romania will be the host of solar decathlon Europe 2023, the international competition of solar-powered houses

Solar 2023 is a good opportunity to underline the contributions of civil engineering to sustainable development and future solutions for green technologies. Our specialists-to do have the possibility to prepare for the participation to this competition in the frame of EU-CONEXUS activities, such as Minors programmes.

On April 8, 2021, the press conference regarding the official announcement of Bucharest’s qualification as the host city of the Solar Decathlon Europe 2023 competition – the largest international competition of solar-powered houses, organized globally for over two decades in order to promote solar technology and sustainability in construction – took place at the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest, Faculty of Building Services Engineering, the headquarters of the EFdeN team in Bucharest.

The organizational team consisting of EFdeN and ENERGY ENDEAVOUR FOUNDATION (EEF) was joined by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests, the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization, the Ministry of Energy and ENGIE Romania to collectively address climate challenges and react in light of technological innovation in sustainable construction. The qualification was received with enthusiasm and confidence by both the jury team chosen by the EEF members and the representatives of the academic, public, and private sectors in Romania.
“On this occasion, the national team made up of young researchers, students having vision and willpower, is as important as any national team that succeeds in bringing such a competition in Romania.” Barna Tanczos, Minister of Environment, Water and Forests.

“We have agreed from the very first moment to support Romania’s candidacy in 2023 for organizing the Solar Decathlon competition. Romania must be part of this sustainable construction revolution that also involves energy efficiency and prosumers.” Virgil Daniel Popescu, Minister of Energy.

“We will have to develop this partnership step by step, learn to finance such initiatives, be grateful to those who place us on highly exposed and positive positions around the world, and we should be proud that we have such initiatives. This is the catalyst that can lead us in the coming years, on the one hand in the leading places in terms of technologies of the future, on the other hand in strengthening the entrepreneurship that should be the foundation of the economy.” Ciprian Teleman, Minister of Research, Innovation and Digitalization.

“Organizing the world competition here in Romania is an extraordinary success that comes as a result of a construction that began in 2010, and it is owed to all the students from the Romanian teams who have achieved an extraordinary performance. They have learned to work together, to design and build, to relate to the market and to sponsors, and have managed to build a huge trust capital at an international level.” Prof. D. Eng. Radu VĂCĂREANU, rector at theTechnical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest.

“We are absolutely delighted that Romania takes up its rightful place in the tradition of the Solar Decathlon Europe competition. Therefore, here we are together, providing continuity and momentum to this youth approach in energy education and accountability for the use of resources.
The organizers of SDE23 in Bucharest are the embodiment of the team spirit specific to this competition and through work and dedication show that we can be spearheaded in achieving real and sustainable change.” Louise Holloway, Director of the Energy Endeavour Foundation.

UTCB competed in 4 of the 5 Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) editions with teams of university students (called “decathletes”), starting with the PRISPA team at the SDE12 edition in Madrid, Spain, EFdeN team at the SDE14 edition in Versailles, France, Over4 team at the SDE19 edition in Szentendre, Hungary and with the EFdeN team which qualified at the SDE21 edition in Wuppertal, Germany. Ten years later, with the continuous support of the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest and the Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism, and with outstanding support from the Romanian private sector, EFdeN and ENERGY ENDEAVOUR FOUNDATION (EEF) won the project competition, being granted the honor and responsibility to organize the 6th European edition of Solar Decathlon in Bucharest, in September 2023.

For the organization of Solar Decathlon Europe 2023 in Bucharest, as in each SDE edition, almost 20 teams of students eager to change the European built environment landscape with one tailored to current challenges are expected to take part. Within the competition, the teams prepare for 2 years for the final two-week phase of the actual competition, in which they compete in 10 events, just like in the athletics’ decathlon. Students organize their own multidisciplinary teams so that they can design and build on their own the prototype entered into competition. During the two-year training, the student teams operate as companies with departments that cover all the necessary skills to market a product, from design and construction to marketing and communication. The challenges to which these teams are subjected include architecture, integration in built environment, aspects related to engineering, innovation, and sustainability, but also viability for the economic markets for which these structures are intended.

Based on the model which originated in the USA (in 2002), Solar Decathlon Europe was born in 2010 and has evolved in a direction well adapted to the European built environment, encouraging pan-European professionalization and preserving the international spirit. EEF rejoices in the right to ensure continuity and sees to so that new editions of the competition comply with the values which have been strengthened during more than two decades of activity. EEF thus facilitates initiatives to connect the academic and research sectors with industry and government structures, in order to optimize the resources used in construction.