Aussies take top honours at Solar Decathlon

A team from the University of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra has taken out first place in the Solar Decathlon in China, the most recent addition to the international family of Solar Decathlon competitions.

As reports, the team (known as ‘Team UOW’) won the competition ahead of 19 other teams from around the world.

Team UOW won for their ‘Illawarra Flame House’ which they assembled and disassembled twice in Australia, before shipping it to China and rebuilding it in less than two weeks.

The awards won by Team UOW included First place in ‘Engineering’;  First place in ‘Architecture’; First place in ‘Solar Application’; Second place in ‘Communications’; Second place in ‘Market Appeal’;  First place in ‘Energy Balance’; First place in ‘Hot Water’; Second place in ‘Appliances’.

The award was a timely reminder of Australia’s expertise in the field of solar energy. It comes as Bloomberg reports that there was a large surge in solar panel shipments for the second quarter of 2103.

In fact, three of the four largest manufacturers outperformed their expectations by as much as 32 per cent.

According to The Business Spectator, much of the increased demand is coming from Asia. The region may soon account for half the world’s solar energy demand and China has the potential to increase its solar capacity by five times by 2015.

Meanwhile, the Australian reports that in Western Australia the Liberal government has reversed its decision to halve the solar panel electricity feed-in tariff. The back flip follows a major public outcry and dissent within the government.