Decreasing income from oil forces Middle Eastern countries to cut power subsidies, which increases competitiveness of solar power. Oman is now working on a solar rooftop program.
- Oman’s electricity regulator is working on a solar rooftop project to encourage residential consumers to install solar panels
- The program is planned to start mid-2016 with the target to encourage distributed generation as well as offer security of supply for customers
- A study from the Public Authority for Electricity and Water suggests that PV installations only on residential rooftops across the Sultanate of Oman can generate 1.4 GW
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Middle Eastern nation Oman is trying to popularize the concept of solar rooftops among its people through a solar rooftop project. The country’s Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman (AER) is currently working on details for a Solar Rooftop Project. The program is targeted to be in place by mid of 2016 for households.
AER Executive President, Qais bin Saud al Zakwani told the Oman Daily Observer, “This year, we are working on the Solar Rooftop Project, whereby people living in Oman will be able to install solar capacity on their rooftops and any excess output they generate can be sold into the grid.” The regulator is currently working on technical standards and metering.
The Oman Daily Observer referred to a study that the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) had commissioned and which suggests that PV installations only on residential rooftops across the Sultanate of Oman can generate 1.4 GW of clean energy. The capital city of Muscat alone has potential for 450 MW of solar power.
Zakwani believes that the Solar Rooftop Project will also offer security of supply for customers in the event of outages, at the same time, help grow distributed generation.
Falling oil prices is being seen as a possible reason for the oil rich Middle East trying to promote renewable energy. Reuters reported, “The policy could put Oman in the forefront of Middle East nations promoting widespread use of solar power. Its finances severely damaged by low oil prices, the Omani government is seeking ways to save money, including a cut in electricity subsidies for commercial and industrial users.” According to AER’s Zakwani, the new program will initially focus on residential units but eventually be extended to commercial entities.