Text: Oman Observer, Aug 6, 2019
The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and the German firm, Hydrogen Rise AG, have launched the ‘Oman Hydrogen Initiative’ to harness the economic potential of green hydrogen technologies in the Sultanate. Hydrogen is an integral component required in the global transition towards renewable energy and one of the most promising alternative fuels for future energy applications. The goal of the Oman Hydrogen Initiative is to develop an hydrogen export industry in Oman, to introduce hydrogen-based energy solutions and to support the setting-up of academic, technological and economic hydrogen expertise in Oman. For this, the initiative will cooperate in close cooperation with government institutions in Oman as well as the academia and industry partners in Oman and in Germany. “We are interested in exploring new fields in the area of Hydrogen Technology and Economics. We have founded this initiative because hydrogen technologies play an essential role in the future of the global energy, metal, chemical and mobility industry,” said Prof Dr Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech. In this context, the early identification of technologies and economic changes are essential parts of GUtech’s understanding of Research and Development. In this field, the establishment of new competencies and disciplines with long-term impacts and the combination of technology and the economy present new opportunities for students and represent a future oriented platform for job and business creation,” said Prof Modigell. The hydrogen initiative includes the establishment and organisation of an open Oman Hydrogen Dialogue Platform along with the establishment of a Hydrogen Economy Competence Centre at GUtech. This Competence Centre will be closely linked with academic and industrial activities in Oman. It will identify and develop teaching, research and development between GUtech academics and industry partners. In addition, a new hydrogen application as well as pilot and demonstration projects will be launched. A hydrogen pilot plant for Research & Development on campus and further far-reaching demonstration and application projects are planned to be initiated with partners of the initiative in Oman. The first steps of the Open Hydrogen Dialogue Platform will be lectures, workshops and a Hydrogen Economy Symposium to be held in October this year. The aim is to raise public awareness of the potential of hydrogen as a green energy source. “The initiative focuses on the research and the communication of green hydrogen and its potential contribution to Oman’s economic diversification efforts as well as new employment opportunities that come along with it,” said Dr Hussain al Salmi, Deputy Rector for Administration and Finance. “The aim of the initiative is to bring local and international stakeholders together to work closely towards the significant benefits of hydrogen for Oman as an exporting country. International demand for this innovative energy carrier will be growing steadily and it is very important to claim an early position in these promising new opportunities,” said Olav Carlsen from Hydrogen Rise AG and Co-initiator of the Oman Hydrogen Initiative. Germany is one of the leading countries in the field of hydrogen — in academic research,
hydrogen production processes, storage and hydrogen applications. “Hydrogen is a promising alternative, CO2-free energy source, produced by splitting water with renewable energy such as solar or wind. It is a CO2-free energy carrier that can be stored in large quantities and transported over long distances. It is a raw material for many industrial applications,” said Dr Bernd Wiemann, Founder and CEO of Hydrogen Rise AG.