The Business Year

Renewable energy promises to increase efficiencies and lower costs in the long run, helping Oman with its electricity demands.

Qais bin Saud Al-Zakwani

Executive Director & Member, Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER)

Our involvement in green and renewable energy started in 2008, and we were one of the first institutions to publish a study that essentially mapped the overall potential for renewable energy in Oman. We used it to kick start larger initiatives. However, we have been disappointed that not much has been done on a country-wide level to promote renewable energy. Nevertheless, in the past year, we have been able to unlock that potential, and the government has been accommodating in providing us with guidance on what we can work on and what policies are needed to fill the void that was created in the past. Thus, we have used this to pursue a number of projects. We are in the assessment phase of a large solar project; on a smaller scale, we are working on a residential photovoltaic (PV) project, where customers will be allowed to install small-scale PV solar installations in their households and possibly benefit from selling excess capacity back to the grid. On the energy efficiency side, we have completed our data-gathering framework and now are able to provide guidance to the government based on empirical data on possible policy measures for energy efficiency.

Ben Bierman

COO & Acting CEO, GlassPoint Solar

For decades, the Sultanate has distinguished itself as an innovator in the oil and gas sector, which is why stakeholders in Oman were keen to partner with us and begin harnessing the power of renewable energy for heavy oil extraction. The strong support we received from our partners at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) offered us a foundation to grow and apply our solar enhanced oil recovery (EOR) solution at scale. The current climate of low oil prices highlights the need for cost savings, especially for oil-based economies, and solar EOR offers a unique method that was proven and developed in Oman and is now scaling globally. When oil prices are low, producers focus on cost reduction. At a typical heavy oilfield, 60-80% of operating cost is fuel purchase for steam generation. GlassPoint can provide steam for less than the cost of steam made by natural gas and other fuels. By doing so, we can help lower operating costs and help make Oman oil production more economical and sustainable. Using solar steam is a viable alternative to steam made from natural gas that will make a real impact on the future of oil production and is already transforming the energy landscape here.

Saleh Nasser Majid Al Rumhi

CEO, Saleh Nasser Majid Al Rumhi

Renewables are the future, and either solar or wind energy could be a savior for our peak electricity planning. RAECO is starting to gear ourselves up in that direction. We are working to optimize the cost of energy and maximize the use of renewables. We have signed up with Masdar in the UAE to develop the Dhofar Wind Project, a 50-MW wind farm, which is currently in the mobilization phase. Construction will take two years, and we expect the project to be operational by the end of 2019. It will contribute to environmental protection and save 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions. RAECO is the first mover when it comes to solar energy as well. We initiated the first project in the country for solar called Al Mazyonah in 2015, and since then it has been generating through a PPP and power purchase agreement (PPA); we procure per kilowatt hour from it. For Dhofar, we will operate the wind farm and sell the electricity to the grid. We are also looking at villages and considering how we could use solar power. We seek to reposition the company to become an expert in renewable energy.



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