The Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge (ADSC), the first ever solar car competition to take place in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was announced today. Navigating the entire country, the 1,200km ADSC will start and finish in Abu Dhabi and take place from the 16-19 January, 2015. The race will coincide with Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and end at the opening ceremony of the World Future Energy Summit.
The challenge is sponsored by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and hosted by Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company Masdar.
Sanctioned by the International Solarcar Federation (ISF) and jointly organised by Global EEE and Professional Sports Group, the challenge will attract over 20 of the top university solar car teams from Australia, Europe, America and Asia. The teams will travel from across the world to compete in the cross-country event similar to the World Solar Challenge in Australia and the American Solar Challenge in the USA.
Mr Hans Tholstrup, President of ISF and the organiser of the first World Solar Challenge in Australia in 1987, said; “The ISF Executive Board is proud to introduce the inaugural ADSC in 2015 as its latest international collegiate solar car competition.
“We had been exploring the addition of a solar car challenge in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for several years now.
“The emergence of the UAE as a leader in the region in future energy and education is quite evident and it became the natural choice for this challenge.”
The UAE has been a pioneer in the region through its various renewable energy investments both domestically and internationally. Most notably, Shams 1 the 100MW concentrated solar power plant developed by Masdar, is the region’s largest project.
“As the region’s renewable energy pioneer, committed to clean technology innovation, the UAE is proud to welcome the solar car challenge to the emirates,” said H.E Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and chairman of Masdar.
“This competition drives both human capacity development and ingenuity that can further advance energy efficiency technologies within the transportation sector. We hope that this display of friendly competition from global universities will inspire local youth to pursue degrees in science-based fields.”
Designed and built by university students the competing solar cars are complex machines that bring together the latest technologies from the renewable energy, aerospace and automotive industries.
The Petroleum Institute (PI) has brought together engineering and electrical engineering students to create a team for the ADSC, and will be the first ever from the Emirates’ to compete in an event of its kind.
“As one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies, ADNOC has a proud history of conservation and environmental responsibility and is committed to ensure a harmonious balance between its operational needs and the natural resources.
“Through our educational institutions, ADNOC is committed to preparing the promising young UAE nationals to specialize in the various energy field creating experts in the domain. On the other hand, ADNOC works closely with Masdar, to enhance the technical expertise of our workforce through effective knowledge transfer. We value our long and successful partnership with Masdar, and look forward to continuing to play a role in helping the United Arab Emirates meet its energy needs,” said H.E. Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi, ADNOC Director General.
Event Director and ISF Executive Board Member for MENA, Dr. Nabih Bedewi, commented, “We are very excited about the opportunity to bring together some of the brightest minds from across the world and the UAE to compete in this brain sport that promotes our three E’s: Education, Energy, and the Environment.”
While these solar car challenges seek to encourage competition among engineering students, they are also aimed at providing a means to convert their knowledge into real world solutions that promote energy efficiency.
Teaming arrangements are underway between colleges and universities in the UAE and international university teams that plan to compete in the ADSC. The idea for this partnering is to inspire and encourage universities in the UAE to embark on these types of projects and compete in other challenges in the US, Australia, and Japan.
The official challenge route and preliminary list of teams will be announced in the summer of 2014. The event will be open to the public.