August 26, 2017 | 7:21 PM
by Salim Al Afifi
The voluntary team is focusing on spreading the culture of solar energy across Oman.
The presence of massive, free, clean, and renewable solar energy in this part of the continent is great, and it is important for society to be aware of it, as spreading the solar energy culture among the Omani community is an urgent necessity at this time, and should take advantage of the available solar energy in the Sultanate.
This globally developed field can offer great opportunities for locals to learn and utilise this source of energy. Meet Ahmed Ali Al Ma’amari, founder of ‘Al Noor for Solar and Renewable Energy,’ who is at the top of his game on raising awareness about solar energy.
The voluntary team is focusing on spreading the culture of solar energy across Oman by volunteering to offer free lectures that contribute to knowledge of the source, and by training a group of those interested in this field and preparing them so that the trainees can train other groups in different communities, such as schools, universities, and colleges, and most importantly, clear misconceptions about the field.
The team was formed by Al Ma’amari and a group of engineers in May 2016. All the engineers in the team are experts from the Majan Electricity Company, with the exception of one student from the College of Technology in Shinas. With an all-engineers team that’s experienced in the field, the team’s journey of sharing knowledge succeeded.
The activities that the team carries out aim to not just spread the culture of solar energy, but to also plant seeds of solar energy in the youth so they can pass it on to others for generations to come, as it is the future. “Voluntary work is welcomed in any society because it provides free services, and when it is a rare field it becomes more interactive,” said Al Ma’amari.
Some of the achievements that the team has earned include winning the third place at the electricity sector level in the competition of 2016; participating in a workshop of 100 Omani innovators at the scientific exploration centre in Ibra in August 2016, and taking part in a five-day training course in solar energy at the Sultan Qaboos University in January 2017. And, to keep up with social media and to attract younger audience, the team also organised a four-day solar training course via their Twitter account in September of 2016.
With future plans to develop a mini lab in schools around the country, Al Noor seems to be on the right track. Given its rare initiative, challenges, such as finding experts can be a struggle, but Al Ma’amari is determined to up the level of solar energy knowledge in locals at any cost.