A great perspective from across the world (for US readers) about how other countries are looking to recalibrate energy in the education systems.
There is also an imperative need for programmes on non-renewable energy to focus on oil, gas, coal, nuclear energy, future needs, reserves, and conservation measures. I further believe that the curriculum must encompass global energy trends and the Middle East energy resources. Other subjects that are vital include conventional and non-conventional sources, natural gas, coal and oil production, consumption and future trends. Insight into the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), its activities and policies since its establishment in 1960 must also be offered to the students as part of the study programme.
In order to communicate a clear understanding on the various types of energy resources in terms of production, consumption and future trends based on global demand, it is crucial for academic programmes to offer a perspective of the value chain in energy management. This can be achieved through providing an analysis on the efficiency and interaction of energy systems with the environment. Moreover, such programmes need to offer adequate know-how on the setting up of viable business models for energy associated projects to ensure their successful implementation.
Statistical analysis is also considered as one of the key areas that should be embedded into energy programmes. This is to allow students to collect, analyse data, and forecast energy demand, supply, and availability of energy resources to capably make suggestions on appropriate energy policy. Energy forecasting is additionally regarded a core focus area when it comes to setting up short and long term objectives and, consequently, strategic planning.
Looking ahead, embedding energy conservation and management aspects in architectural design and architecture programmes is an important subject that is being considered by many academic institutions in the country. Concepts such as natural lighting, green buildings or even LEED or Estidama certifications have already been introduced in the education sector. Building materials as well as the design of cooling systems and water heating, among other areas, can be explored to promote the concept of reduced energy consumption in buildings.
Some schools have already adopted programmes that correspond to this area such as the British University in Dubai that offers programmes in Energy and Sustainability including a Masters in Science in Sustainable Design of the Built Environment as well as a Masters in Science in Intelligent Buildings Design and Automation.
Dr Ayoub Kazim is the Managing Director of Education Cluster-TECOM Investments, a member of Dubai Holding. He is responsible for strategically steering the education and human resource development clusters, Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Village and further consolidating their status as the region’s leading centres of excellence for learning and human capital. Dr. Kazim, has worked for over 15 years on various renewable and hydrogen energy research projects and has published numerous articles and technical papers on renewable energy, hydrogen energy, fuel cells, environment and water resources, as well as energy policy and economics