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National Energy Strategy to be aligned with Oman Vision 2040 blueprint


The Sultanate’s National Energy Strategy — which looks at a mixed portfolio of conventional, renewable and alternative fuel resources to meet the nation’s energy requirements over the long-term — will be aligned with the Oman Vision 2040 blueprint, according to a top official of the Supreme Council for Planning.

Talal al Rahbi (pictured), Deputy Secretary-General of the nation’s apex planning agency, called for the formulation of a “robust energy strategy” tailored to meet Oman’s burgeoning energy requirements over the next two decades.

Delivering the keynote address at the inauguration of a seminar on the theme, ‘Energy Transition in Oman’, Al Rahbi said the Sultanate is accelerating its efforts to develop its vision for the future — a future that is driven more by a diversified economy and less by hydrocarbon activities. The daylong seminar was organised by the Dutch Embassy in the Sultanate.

“A big concerted effort is being directed to the formulation of the National Energy Strategy for Oman extending to 2040, to be aligned with the Future Vision (Oman 2040),” the Deputy Secretary General said.

The Vision 2040 blueprint, currently under preparation, envisions — among other goals — a coherent energy strategy with the accent on the stronger adoption of renewables, combined with efforts to strengthen energy efficiency, said Al Rahbi. A landmark Future Foresight Forum convened by the Supreme Council for Planning last week sought to elicit expert views on the pathways for achieving Oman’s growth objectives extending to 2040.

As a starting point for the deliberations on the energy strategy for Oman, participants at the Future Foresight Forum took stock of the current trends of the global energy landscape and the likely trajectories into the future, said Al Rahbi. But despite the optimistic global projections that fossil fuel demand would still grow by around 40 per cent in 2040, the Sultanate cannot afford to remain “complacent”, he warned.

“In response to the pronounced volatility in the global oil market, and given the turmoil in the geopolitical situation in the Middle East region, Oman has forged a National Energy Strategy taking the long view extending up to 2040. The strategy starts from the mapping of the Global Energy Scene expected to prevail during this time,” Al Rahbi noted.

In this regard, Al Rahbi mooted the implementation of a robust energy policy based on the four major pillars: (i) Diversifying the economy by reducing the nation’s dependence on oil; (2) Intensifying hydrocarbon prospectivity activities especially in the gas sector (which has already yielded promising results, as exemplified by BP Khazzan’s and PDO’s Mabrouk’s discoveries); (3) investing in renewables with the objective to deliver up to 10 per cent of electricity supply by 2025; and (4) boosting energy efficiency.

He also lauded efforts toward enhancing energy efficiency and reforming electricity tariffs in the Sultanate. “Two importantly policy directive have been followed particularly in the last three years: (1) Achieving more efficient use of energy in the different sectors of the economy, particularly in government and households consumption, and (2) reforming the pricing system of energy consumption by removing inefficient subsidies which represented a burden on public service.”

While companies like PDO have taken the lead in delivering renewables, he said a significantly upscaling of initiatives in support of Oman’s energy transition would be necessary, albeit with the support of well-established international players like the Netherlands.

“We look forward to draw on the support of the Netherlands, with their great strength in these fields to identify future opportunities, especially for the private sector and SMEs, to benefit from such opportunities,” he added.

Conrad Prabhu

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