MUSCAT, Sept 9 – Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can now suggest clean energy initiatives through the Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) Estedama Contest which gives them a platform to launch their ideas.
The theme of the competition is energy and energy management. PDO, in cooperation with Riyada, is set to receive the proposals from Omani entrepreneurs registered with Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development by September 10.
Awaiting the winners are cash prizes of RO 5,000 (first position), RO 3,000 (second) and RO 2,000 (third).
The competition is aimed at 40 SMEs for enhancing development in the key area of energy management.
Estedama (Sustainability) Contest is part of a broader support strategy by PDO to help and incentivise Omani entrepreneurs to play a more active role in the ‘green’ economy.
Said Mohammed al Sakry, Corporate Environment Adviser at PDO, said: “Sustainability is nothing but development conducted without the depletion of natural resources. In other words, it is defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising with the ability of the future generation to meet its own needs. There are three major components in sustainability — social, environmental and people.”
The contest is aimed at bringing together thoughts on environment management looking at specifically energy efficiency, energy conversation and renewable energy.
“Just like in waste management, the first thing is to eliminate waste or reduce and reuse. Before thinking of recycling, let us think of reducing or reusing existing resources. One can switch off the lights once the meeting is over and that is saving energy. So when we think about energy efficiency, it is nothing but saving the existing energy, for example, when we use energy-efficient light bulbs. Renewable energy is the ultimate stage,” explained Al Sakry.
The project ideas that might come out of the 40 registered SMEs at Riyada could be a step forward in achieving a green economy.
“Bringing SMEs on one platform could bring out some innovative ideas. The population on earth is currently recorded as seven billion and by 2050 we are expected to reach nine billion. The resources are the same, we still need fresh water, more food in addition to society’s wellbeing, infrastructure and jobs for the people,” pointed out the environmental expert at PDO.
“They might be at the early stages to bring about a solution but we have experts and the expertise to support the concepts further. We have policy teams for energy, water, environment, and hydrology and so on. The objective of the competition is awareness but we are happy to support with technical knowledge sharing and advises. If the project concept is economically feasible, they can even be implemented.
“In addition, the shortlisted candidates will be promoted through our social media channels,” he
The selected candidates will be requested to present their projects in front of a selected committee. The three finalists will have to expand their presentations further.
The competition will be open to registered members of Riyada.
Businesses will be asked to submit one-page proposals that can benefit the public or private sector in one of the three areas: energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, such as solar.
The competition will be judged by a joint PDO-Riyada panel with the first three winners scooping the cash prizes.
The contest is part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two organisations on Oman Environment Day in January to encourage local SMEs to play a bigger role in energy management.