Germany wins Solar Decathlon

Courtesy of Solar Decathlon & Team Germany

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


While Germany deserves the props that come with its number one ranking, the real winner at the Solar Decathlon held in Washington, DC, is solar power itself. Twenty competitors from University teams in the US, Canada and Europe built architectually bold and energy efficient houses, and set them up on the National Mall. It was a showcase for the schools and nations represented, but the sun (while remaining 93 million miles away) was the star of the show. (MJ policy: one pun allowed per post.)

But, you really should check out the photos of the buildings — they’re extraordinary, even without taking their solar super-powers into account.

The houses were judged on everything from their home entertainment systems to market viability. In the end, however, Germany beat out Illinois (#2) and Team California (#3) by collecting the most points on net-metering — the amount of power generated by the house to meet its own needs and what it produces above what it consumes.

It’s this ability, and, critically, the regulatory policies that allow customers to sell excess power back to their utility companies, that will help solar power replace our dependence on fossil fules.

So, a big congrats to the DOE, which hosted the Solar Decathlon, and to all the teams taking part. Thanks for showing us what the future could look like.

(I write more about the German house here.)

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate