SQU, RAP-Green sign electricity storage research and development pact
December 3, 2018 | 6:48 PM
by Times News Service
The partnership aims to leverage the expertise of SERC and SQU in research, policy-making, and to nurture top talent in renewable energy technologies. – Supplied picture

Muscat: The Sustainable Energy Research Centre (SERC) at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and Rent-A-Port Green Energy (RAP-Green) signed a research and development cooperation agreement on Monday.

The cooperation agreement aims to support the development of electricity storage in the Sultanate by bringing together the distinctive capabilities of SERC and RAP-Green.

The partnership aims to leverage the expertise of SERC and SQU in advanced research, policy-making, and to nurture top talent in the domain of renewable energy technologies.

To assist the university in achieving this, RAP-Green intends to use its extensive experience in the development of renewable energy assets, gained through its pioneering role in offshore wind farms in Europe, along with its strong track record in the development of electricity storage projects.

Storage enables the “time-shift” of renewable energy from the moment it is produced (i.e. when the sun shines or the wind blows) to the moment it is needed, such as when manufacturers produce goods, or when households use their ACs.

SERC and RAP-Green are convinced that electricity storage is the cornerstone of a successful energy transition and that within the Middle East region, Oman has been gifted with the best assets to develop this technology on a large scale. This will create added value in Oman by enabling a massive transition to cheaper and cleaner renewable energy from wind and solar sources.

The partnership has been established with an objective to not only serve Oman primarily, but also to benefit the region as a whole.

The SQU and RAP-Green collaboration will facilitate and support the development of storage projects and unlock their potential benefits for Oman, while strengthening the Sultanate’s competitive position in the regional energy and power system. It will strengthen the position of the SERC as the regional reference research institute in terms of energy transition and storage and support the development of market and export opportunities for a local industry and consulting sector, benefiting from a forefront position on innovative projects in Oman. It will provide future generations of SQU graduates and postgraduate students with research opportunities in the field of electricity storage and prepare them for serving the local and international industry/consulting sector.

Commenting on the importance of the cooperation agreement, Dr. Rahma Ibrahim Al Mahrooqi, SQU’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research, said that the university has shown a strong commitment to the development of renewable energy technologies within the country.

“This can be witnessed by the establishment of the university’s SERC and plans to make SQU a green campus in the near future. The collaborative effort between the SERC and RAP-Green, which has wide and varied expertise in developing combined renewable and more traditional energy sources with storage, outlined in this agreement, is an important step forward in bringing cheaper and greener energy to Oman and its people,” she said.

“This agreement confirms the long-term commitment of RAP-Green to the Sultanate and to SQU, in addition to the SERC’s leading role in sustainable energy research and innovation in the country,” she added.

Daniel Dobbeni, Director of Rent-A-Port Green Energy, said that their organisation was very proud to start a long-term partnership with the SERC of SQU.

“We share a common vision over energy transition, on opportunities for Oman to become the largest regional player in terms of electricity storage by relying on the great geographical assets of Oman, and the need to build leadership and expertise in sustainability among its youth to the benefit of the Sultanate,” he said.

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