Solar Decathlon Not Kicked Out of Washington After All
Early last month, students preparing for the Solar Decathlon, the biennial competition of solar homes from colleges here and abroad, received a body blow: not on the nation's front yard. As reported last month in the Washington Post, the Obama "administration evicted . . . about 1,500 students who design and showcase energy-efficient homes as part of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon from the event's grand stage, the Mall." The permit to locate this event that has attracted hundreds of thousands had been unceremoniously revoked. In response, the students waged a campaign to get back on the Mall.
Like other demonstrations that have gained traction in recent weeks, the students won. The 20 college and university teams are now back on the Mall. As reported last week in the Washington Post, "After complaining for weeks that they had plenty of houses but no home, competitors in the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon got a surprise message Wednesday on Twitter: they're back on the Mall." And as so aptly said by Metropolismag.com, "So may be all's well that ends well. But the whole episode does leave a bitter taste in the mouth. It is incredible that the DOI would prioritize having an immaculate lawn over what has proven, year after year, to be a high-energy, much publicized showcase that has often pioneered the use of new technology in the service of the planet."