From oil producer to renewable energy paradise Oman’s new sustainability strategy
The Oman Power and Water Procurement Company, which is responsible for electricity supply, is aiming to build power stations fuelled by renewables with a total capacity of 2,400 to 3,000 megawatts by 2025.
Solar energy in the Omani desert
Solar installations on the roofs of private homes are the key to the success of the energy transition in Oman. On the roofs of its capital, Maskat, the first solar panels have been producing renewable electricity since 2019. If the property owner cannot make direct use of it, they can feed it into the public grid. The Omani ‘Authority for Electricity Regulation’ granted approval for the project back in 2018. The ‘Shahim 2’ pilot project is planning to equip up to 30 per cent of residential properties with PV installations with an output of between 3 and 5 kWh.
Several more major solar projects are ready to go in the Omani desert - for example ‘Ibri 2’ will have a capacity of over 500 megawatts, and ‘Amin Solar’ over 105 megawatts. In addition, there are plans to create a hybrid solar-diesel project of around 150 megawatts.
Wind energy makes its début
In the Omani desert, the use of solar energy is obvious enough – but the first wind power projects are starting up as well. As early as 2014, for example, Masdar – a well-known renewable energy company from Abu Dhabi – signed an agreement with Oman’s Rural Areas Electricity Company to set up an onshore wind park in the Dhofar region, with a capacity of 50 megawatts. As a result, an average of 16,000 households are being provided with clean electricity.
Hydrogen – a beacon of hope
Like many other regions around the globe, the Sultanate of Oman has recognised the potential of a green hydrogen economy. Right now, the authorities are looking into the introduction of green hydrogen as a fuel and raw material in the port industry. The plan is to use hydrogen as a fuel for electric vehicles, or make use of it in industrial processes. One of the first examples is being implemented in the port of Sohar, where it is planned to start up a small solar park designed to supply the port with solar energy. For this project, Solar Port has entered into a partnership with the Port of Rotterdam and the Hydrogen Group, a global research group.