The US Solar Decathlon is a competition in which teams of college and university students compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar powered house. The 2009 Solar Decathlon is the fourth competition; the inaugural event was held in 2002, the second in 2005, and the third in 2007. Twenty teams from four countries competed in the 2009 Decathlon. A German team took first place in the 2009 event. The goals of the Decathlon are to:1) educate the student participants - the "decathletes" - about the benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy and green building technologies;2) raise awareness among the general public about renewable energy and energy efficiency and how solar energy technologies can reduce energy use;3) help solar energy technologies enter the marketplace faster;4) foster collaboration among students from different academic disciplines;5) promote an integrated or "whole building design" approach to new construction; and6) demonstrate to the public the potential of zero-energy homes, which produce as much energy from renewable sources, such as the sun and wind, as they consume.In FY2016, EERE is moving the Solar Decathalon from the Building Technologies Office to the Strategic Programs Office's Technology-to-Markets subprogram, where it can be better coordinated with the Strategic Programs Office's workforce development and communications resources. The 2017 event will take place in Denver, Colorado in October 2017.
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