Schools and small firms win PDO’s green energy awards

Muscat: Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) on Tuesday honoured Omani students and entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas triumphed in two new competitions to promote the use of greener energy.
Pupils from five schools picked up prizes in PDO’s inaugural Renewable Energy Awards (REAs) for entries including an app alerting users to how much energy their homes are consuming, a solar- powered “smart” bird cage which cleans itself, a park harnessing the energy generating by children on play equipment, and the production of energy from the bacterial breakdown of monoclonal sugars in plants.
Maha bint Said al Salmi and Fatima bint Mousa al Rajhi from Hafsa bint Omar for Basic Education School, the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah, won first prize for their project on the treatment and purification of polluted water using the seeds of the Moringa plant. (pictured top)
The REAs were launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Education on Oman Environment Day in January to build a positive environmental and research culture across the Sultanate and enhance student awareness in renewable energy. More than 150 projects were submitted by schools from across the country.
PDO also launched another contest aimed at Omani businesses along with Riyada under the umbrella of its new Estidama (Sustainability) energy management programme. This competition attracted more than 20 entries from SMEs which provided a range of solutions to reduce energy consumption and use renewable resources, such as solar and wind power.
The winner was Abdullah bin Nasser al Saidi, from Nafath Renewable Energy, for an automatic system to clean dust and dirt from solar photo voltaic panels. Other winners included a project to recycle wood left from building construction and one to use methane from waste sites to power street lights and offices. Prizes of up to RO 10,000 were given to the winners at an official ceremony at PDO’s Knowledge World by Mohammed bin Abdullah al Mahrouqi, Chairman of the Public Authority for Electricity and Water.
PDO External Affairs and Value Creation Director Abdul Amir bin Abdul Hussein al Ajmi said: “The quality of the winning entries was truly special and demonstrates just how much enthusiasm there is in Oman’s schools and SME community for renewable energy and energy conservation. It is clear that those who participated in our two competitions invested much thought and hard work in generating some wonderfully original ideas.” — ONA