PROMISING: Authority for Electricity Regulation sees substantial economic and environmental benefits linked to rooftop solar initiative –
Conrad Prabhu –
MUSCAT, MAY 16 –
A landmark initiative by the Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman (AER) to enable the installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems at residential premises in the Sultanate envisions a significant role for investment funds in the financing of this scheme.
The proposed Residential PV initiative envisages the potential installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems at between 10-30 per cent of residential premises — a move that promises to deliver positive net benefits not only to the customers in question, but also the electricity sector and the Omani government in general.
According to details of the proposal, published in a consultation paper issued here earlier this week, the Residential PV initiative is proposed to be implemented in phases, with the Authority taking upon itself the role of supervising the installation of the initial tranche of PV systems. Once installed and demonstrated to be performing satisfactory, this tranche will be offered as an investment opportunity to investment funds, the Authority noted.
“The Authority would utilise funds from the sale of the initial tranche of PV systems to finance a further tranche of Residential PV, and so on until the initiative target is achieved. Work is ongoing to clarify and finalise details of the transactions framework,” it further stated in the consultation paper.
Significantly, grid connected solar photovoltaic systems installed atop residential buildings have the potential to deliver as much as RO 505 million in savings over the next 25 years, notably by displacing natural gas as a fuel resource.
Significantly, grid connected solar photovoltaic systems installed atop residential buildings have the potential to deliver as much as RO 505 million in savings over the next 25 years, notably by displacing natural gas as a fuel resource, according to the sector regulator.
This is in addition to a host of other economic, environmental and commercial benefits that will accrue upon the substantive roll-out of Residential Photovoltaic (PV) systems in the Sultanate, the Authority noted in its consultation paper.
The paper seeks feedback from the general public on the Authority’s initiative to accelerate the installation of solar PV systems at residential premises in the Sultanate. “The Authority invites views and comments on all aspects of the proposed Residential PV initiative and the supporting analysis that suggests an initiative to install PV systems of between 2 — 4 kilowatt-peak (kWp) at 10 — 30 per cent of residential premises would provide positive net benefits to Customers, the electricity sector, and the Oman government,” it stated. [Kilowatt-peak stands for peak power and represents the output power achieved by a solar PV system under full solar radiation.]
The initiative centres on a potential scenario whereby between 10 — 30 per cent of residential customers in the Sultanate, equating to between 58,078 and 181,673 accounts respectively, support the installation of 2 — 4kWp photovoltaic systems.
As can be imagined, the benefits resulting from the implementation of this initiative are significant, according to the Authority.
The deadline for public feedback on the Authority’s Residential PV initiative is May 28, 2017.