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Oman targets min 10pc share from renewables


MUSCAT, OCT 22 - The contribution of renewable sources to Oman’s electricity requirements has been set at a minimum 10 per cent of total power production — a target that must be met by 2030, Mohammed bin Abdullah al Mahrouqi, Chairman of the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), stated here yesterday.

The landmark announcement — which promises to accelerate the uptake of renewables in the nation’s energy mix — came at a ‘breakfast session’ organised by the Oman-American Business Council (OABC) at the Grand Hyatt Muscat Hotel.

The forum, spotlighting opportunities in Photovoltaic Solar Power development, also included a panel discussion featuring: Eng Yaqoob al Kiyumi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Oman Power & Water Procurement Company; Qais al Zakwani, Executive Director of the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER); Dr Sausan al Riyami, of The Research Council (TRC); Dr Firas al Abduwani, CEO of HTC; and Jonathan Bolton, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) for Symtech Solar MENA.

“The Government has now adopted a firm policy aimed at reaching a minimum level of renewable penetration of 10 per cent of electrical energy production by 2030,” Al Mahrouqi said.

“Meeting this target equates to something around 4GW of new renewable generation capacity over the next 12 years but if prices continue to fall there is no reason why even this ambitious target could not be surpassed,” he further noted.

The mandated 10 per cent share from renewables stems from proposals set out in a National Energy Strategy that was concluded recently, Al Mahrouqi said.

“Recognising the large renewable resource with which we have been blessed in Oman, and the fact that the cost of renewable energy — particularly from solar and wind where our resource is particularly strong — has been falling rapidly over recent years the study recommended that Oman should set a target of securing at least 10 per cent of the total energy used in electricity production from renewable sources and the study also foresaw the possibility of raising the renewable contribution to 35 per cent of power generation by 2040.”

The Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO), part of Nama Group, is rolling out five renewable energy pilot projects at its facilities, offering a total generating capacity of 6 MW. One of these ventures, a 303 KW solar project, has been successfully operational at Mazyounah in Dhofar Governorate since 2015, he said.

Conrad Prabhu

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