The Sustainable Energy Research Center (SERC) at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and Rent-A-Port Green Energy (RAP-Green) signed a Research and Development Cooperation Agreement on 3 December 2018. The cooperation agreement aims to support the development of electricity storage in the Sultanate of Oman by bringing together the distinctive capabilities of both the SERC and RAP-Green.
The partnership aims to leverage the expertise of the SERC and SQU in advanced research, policy-making, and nurturing 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.
Both the SERC and RAP-Green are convinced that electricity storage is the cornerstone of a successful energy transition and that, within the Middle East region, the Sultanate of 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 encompasses the following areas of mutual interest: (1) to 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; (2) to strengthen the position of the SERC as the regional reference research institute in terms of energy transition and storage; (3) to 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; and (3) to 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 Sustainable Energy Research Center 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. This agreement confirms the long-term commitment of RAP-Green to the Sultanate of Oman and to Sultan Qaboos University, in addition to the SERC’s leading role in sustainable energy research and innovation in the country.”
Daniel Dobbeni, Director of Rent-A-Port Green Energy, said that their organization is very proud to start a long-term partnership with the Sustainable Energy Research Center of SQU. “We share a common vision about the energy transition, and on opportunities for Oman to become the largest regional player in terms of electricity storage, by relying on to the great geographical assets of Oman, and about the need to build leadership and expertise in sustainability among its youth to the benefit of the sultanate”, he said.
The SERC was established at Sultan Qaboos University in 2017 in response to the increasingly complex nature of Oman’s energy demand, including growing populations, increasing wealth levels, changing attitudes towards government support, and the potential environmental impact of global climate change on Oman and its people. SERC was established by the university with the aim of building a leading research center that encourages the creation of new and sustainable energy solutions in the sultanate and the region.
RAP-Green is a company specialized in originating, developing, financing and operating energy assets supporting the transition of energy systems towards sustainability. RAP-Green has extensive experience in the development of renewable energy assets with a strong novel component, requiring research, development and implementation of innovative design, constructive, project management, financing, regulatory, operating and decommissioning solutions.