RGU researchers look to make waves abroad

Researchers at Robert Gordon University (RGU) are undertaking a feasibility study aimed at informing the development of marine energy resources in Indonesia.

The UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID) is funding a £40,000 study led by RGU’s Centre for Understanding Sustainable Practices (CUSP) to create a comprehensive resource map, strategic report and road map to take forward the development of marine energy in the country.

One of the largest maritime countries in South East Asia, playing an important political and economic role, Indonesia is currently dealing with a high demand for energy in urban areas to support its development.

 Sustainability experts at CUSP have identified that although many individual technological research projects have been conducted by academic communities, vital information is missing to make them viable in Indonesia.

Having performed field work and initiated links with Indonesian marine energy experts, decision makers and communities, members of CUSP believe in order to be efficient, the technology needs to be developed taking into account the specific environment, politics, economics and people of that place.

Director of CUSP, Dr Alan Owen, explained: “While there has been a lot of work done to develop various technologies in the marine energy field, it is never as simple as installing that technology in situ and walking away.

“Preparatory research needs to done on the energy, material and human resources available before you can select the most appropriate application of renewable energy technology. If that technology fails, for whatever reason, there requires to be sufficient knowledge and infrastructure in place so that it can be fixed otherwise it is in no way sustainable.”

He continued: “What we will be doing in this project is collating information on the existing national skill set and capacity in Indonesia at the moment to host and maintain marine energy technology in order to highlight the gaps and shortfalls that government policy must address.

“This will also allow the development of a time bound strategy to build indigenous competence and, if required, create overseas links for sharing international expertise.”

Working in partnership with the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology, the Indonesian Ocean Energy Association (INOCEAN) and the Science, Technology and Regulation Institute Network (RISTEK), the CUSP team will carry out face-to-face investigatory work and field surveys in local targeted areas in addition to desk studies, interviews with government officials and formal document reviews.

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Jenny RushCommunications Officer | Design and Technology