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Solar & Alternative Energy

The Solar Decathlon: A video interview with the Department of Energy's Richard King

In 2007, the Solar Decathlon saw 20 energy-efficient houses constructed on the National Mall in Washington, DC. The director of the event talks about issues in solar construction and plans for future competitions.

28 August 2008, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3200808.0001
In October 2007, the U.S. Department of Energy hosted the third Solar Decathlon. The competition featured a "solar village" of 20 zero-energy homes built by university teams from schools of architecture and engineering across North America and Europe. For nine days, the National Mall served as a living laboratory where best practices in solar energy, energy efficiency, and home design converged. One of the driving forces behind the Solar Decathlon, Richard King, talks about the Decathlon, the lessons learned, its role in research and development, and what to look forward to in the future.

Richard King is the Director of the Solar Decathlon. He has been with the U.S. Department of Energy since 1986 working primarily in the Solar Energy Technology Program. From 1997 until 2007 he served as Team Leader of the Photovoltaic R&D Program. Recently he has been working in the DOE Buildings Program to work more closely with professional builders to develop cost-effective zero-net energy homes powered by solar energy.

King received the Government Leadership Award from the American Solar Energy Society in 2008 for his efforts in managing the Solar Decathlon to promote energy education for tens of thousands of Americans. He was the all-conference plenary speaker at the SPIE Optics + Photonics symposium in August 2008, and he was interviewed by Rich Donnelly of SPIE Newsroom at the symposium.