Call to tap solar power to meet power demands in Oman

The Sultanate can tap its huge potential in solar energy to meet the domestic demand of electricity, the principal investigator of the energy research project, Dr. Adel Gastli from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), has said.

Oman has a great potential in the field of solar energy and there are possibilities of obtaining wind energy that can be used to produce electricity, particularly in the mountainous areas of the Dhofar Governorate, Dr. Adel stressed.

Dr Adel said it is imperative for the Sultanate to speed up the establishment of pilot projects for the production of electricity, as well as taking the necessary decisions towards this end in view of the future energy needs of the country.

Dr Adel pointed out that the Electricity Regulatory Commission has adopted several measures to tap the energy potential, and has plans to launch six pilot projects of solar energy and wind power production with capacities of up to 8 megawatts in several wilayats of Oman, but these programmes have not yet been implemented.

He stressed on the need to speed up the work to harness this mode of energy and to promulgate the necessary laws in order to utilise all possibilities.

“The government should take practical measures towards encouraging stations to generate electricity by means of renewable energy, particularly solar energy,” he advocated.

Dr Adil pointed to the lack of scientific research and efforts to boost the renewable energy sector and its immense possibilities. He said this sector promises tremendous scope in Oman and the entire Gulf region.

Research is being conducted by SQU with contribution from several government departments such as the Ministry of Environment Affairs and Climate, Ministry of Transport and Communications, and Electricity Regulatory Authority along with leading international research institutions in this area, including institutions from the United States.

On the output of the research, he said energy productivity would be of great importance to the Sultanate.

The study would focus on accuracy and would imply a high degree of certainty, which would help build a reference in the areas of energy planning, investment and research consulting.

It will also reflect on cost and economic feasibility.
It will also develop expertise to raise awareness on this promising sector in Oman.

The research project also plans to create a pool of national researchers, in addition to training a group of young people in SQU, in developing the renewable energy field.