Oman identified as strong potential market for renewable energy

Alongside the impending release of Oman’s energy policy review, the Sultanate has been identified as having a strong potential market for renewable energy, according to Times of Oman.

Speaking at a seminar hosted by the German Industry and Commerce Office in Oman, Ministry of Economy, Germany; Robert Kuenne, Manager – International Affairs, Energy Agency of Rheinland-Pfalz commented, “The energy self sufficiency rate for Oman stands at 450.6 per cent. There is extremely good potential for wind power and extraordinary potential for solar power”. Kuenne added that Oman has 280 square kilometres of CSP facilities and just 0.1 per cent of the Sultanate’s land area would be sufficient to supply all of Oman’s present electricity consumption.

His Excellecy Hans-Christian von Reibnitz, the Ambassador of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Oman, was also present at the seminar. Speaking to Times of Oman following his appointment in 2012, von Reibnitz said of this sector “The renewable energy sector for the Sultanate of Oman is quite a new sector to be developed. It needs very intense planning and discussion of what is really needed in the long term to have a sustainable energy market for the Sultanate”. In addition, “German companies are well positioned to take part in this development of the plan and in the subsequent tendering and project development in this respect… We will use the renewable sector to foster our relations,” he commented. The Ambassador will be sharing his perspective of the market opportunities at the Oman Power and Water Summit 2013 held in cooperation with PAEW.

With the Rural Areas Electricity Company announcing several hybrid energy (solar and diesel) projects for 2013, the renewable energy sector in Oman is gathering momentum. In addition, Oman’s In-Country Value (ICV) objectives aim to establish local manufacturing of key products, if this were to be applied for renewable energy products, it would vastly reduce the cost of investing in the technology, thereby minimising concerns of project owners.

Daniel Zywietz, Deputy Chair and Director, Clean Energy Map, Clean Energy Business Council feels that low-temperature geothermal energy should also be considered, “Oman also has significant potential for the utilisation of geothermal energy, which could be used for desalination and district cooling. Based on a preliminary study conducted as part of the assessment of all renewable energy potentials conducted by AED in 2008 the potential appears to be significant, however a more detailed assessment will be required to pinpoint the most interesting locations in the Sultanate. Based on such an assessment, which can be conducted based on existing well data from oil and gas drilling activities, the first geothermal pilot projects could be started in 2-3 years”, he commented. Daniel will be presenting more detail on this topic during the renewable energy focus day on 7 May 2013 at the Oman Power and Water Summit 2013 at Al Bustan Palace, Muscat.