Solar and wind energy sources are the best solutions for Oman

Twenty five per cent of all future power projects in Oman are likely to use renewable energy.

This was revealed by Eng Hamed bin Salem al Maghderi, chief executive officer, Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO) while giving a presentation at the Oman Power and Water Efficiency and Conservation 2014 conference that began at Al Bustan Palace, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Sunday.

Organised by the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), the two-day conference is discussing ways of utilising renewable energy sources and increasing efficiency of the energy sector.

He said that the sultanate is planning to implement pilot solar energy projects in the wilayats of Masirah, Thumrait, Haima and Al Mazyouna.

“Of these, the project in Al Mazyouna in Dhofar will be commissioned by the third quarter of this year.”

Eng Maghderi said that the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) conducted a study on renewable energy in 2008. “It found that Oman has good potential in solar and wind energy. In GCC, Oman comes second after Saudi Arabia to get about 342 clear sky days every year, which makes it high-potential for solar power generation.”

He said that the demand for solar energy across the world is rising while “its cost of production is declining”.

Dr Ali al Ghafri, assistant chairman for international relations and conference, PAEW said, “The sultanate’s production capacity reached 5,000MW at the end of 2013, with increased demand for energy during the year leading to consumption of 4,634MW.”

Meanwhile, AER is encouraging implementation of renewable energy initiatives across the country.

“It encourages RAECO to have at least one renewable energy option while electrifying new areas,” Eng Maghderi said.