Oman eyes wind power and solar energy

Solar power and wind energy prospects. Renewable energy is generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat. About 16 per cent of global final energy consumption comes from renewables, with 10 per cent coming from traditional biomass, which is mainly used for heating and 3.4 per cent from hydroelectricity.

Oman and even the GCC region lack accurate data and information about the potential use of renewable energies. Oman has so far 30 meteorological stations providing measurement of ground wind speed and only 9 stations providing data on solar radiation.

So far very little research has been conducted on Oman’s prospects to use renewable energies such as wind energy and solar power. For this purpose, a research project entitled Solar and Wind Energy Prospects in Oman has been designed to investigate the solar and wind energy prospects in Oman through analysis of wide geographical and meteorological data and development of models and maps.

The project is carried out by a team of researchers, technicians and students. Dr Ali al Qastali, at the College of Engineering, SQU, is leading the team for the project which has been granted funding from

The Research Council for four years. The team involve investigators from Sultan Qaboos University, and partners from public organisations (Ministry of Environment and Climatic Affairs and Ministry of Transport and Communications, and Authority for Electricity Regulations) and International organisations (eg NREL in USA), two technicians from SQU, one PhD student and several undergraduate students from SQU.

As to the outcomes of the research, Dr Al Qastali sounds optimistic about that. He says that the findings will be very useful to the country and will be used as accurate and trustful references in different categories: research and consultancy, economic growth and energy planning, and business/investment planning. At the same time, the research will develop expertise and more awareness about renewable energies in Oman.