A celebration of solar

Solar Decathlon Europe 2014 offered students an opportunity to show the benefits of solar energy

The U.S. Solar Decathlon competition has become an international phenomenon.

First organized by the Department of Energy in 2002, the Solar Decathlon challenges teams of university students to design and build energy-independent solar houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the university team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

In 2007, the Spanish and U.S. governments signed a memorandum of understanding to create Solar Decathlon Europe, a complementary competition to the U.S. decathlon. Spain hosted the first two competitions in 2010 and 2012. In 2014, Solar Decathlon Europe was held in France, transforming the grounds of the Château de Versailles into a solar-powered village showcasing sustainable homes built by university teams from around the world.

The Versailles event