The recent decisions on electricity subsidy has forced every household to consume electricity rationally. The sectors involved in renewable energy, however, are on a fast track to emerge as an alternative source to meet the swelling energy demand from domestic and industry customers. The electricity consumers are gearing up to rationalise their consumption, as the Sultanate has decided to gradually lift the subsidy on water and electricity in a phased and planned manner over a span of five years, starting from January 2021.
To cope up with the situation, the industries have started looking for renewable energy options. The handiest among the renewable energy solutions is solar, as many of the projects are in the implementation stage.
In an interview with the Observer, Anil Nahar, Financial Adviser at Bahwan Renewable Energy company, gave insight into the capability of the solar energy to emerge as an alternative to the escalating electricity bills.
Zero Energy Design
“Alternative to increased electricity bills is to attain energy independence. Implementing ‘Zero Energy Design’ concept for buildings, following green building standards practised globally. Installation of standalone solar projects coupled with energy efficient equipment will help reduce consumption, while appliances would be a bunch of options to be explored by consumers for becoming self-sufficient.”
He endorsed the capability of solar energy technology and said, “Renewable has already been explored on large scale by global nations in their pursuit to reduce carbon emissions, fighting climate change etc. Since Oman is blessed with more than 300 days of sunshine, solar energy can easily be considered as a complementary source to regular fossil fuel-based energy generation. It can be deployed on a larger perspective like creating utility scale storage systems, which can support the peak power needs or night-time power demand.”
Oman, according to him, is ready to adapt to solar energy as the country. “Out of the government’s ambitious plan to have 3,000MW of renewable power in the grid by 2025, solar is given prime importance. With technical guidelines for small scale projects in place for the last three years and emergence of innovative and sustainable business models, rooftop solar has already started gaining good traction among high power consumers.”
Meanwhile, Jitendar Singhvi, Chief Financial Officer, Raysut Cement Company, endorsed the feasibility of solar energy in the country and called for popularising the concept in residential houses.
“I find the future of energy in solar sources.
It should be popularised among the domestic users and thus the fossil energy can be kept for industry use. Most of the standalone villas in Oman have plenty of space to put up solar photovoltaic (PV) plates. To start with solar energy can be a reliable source of energy at home system, which can reliably produce electricity for home. It will help reduce the household electricity bill. Market will definitely produce a good financing option for the householder to invest in solar generating household equipment and give a boost to local employment’’, he said.