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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oman is reviewing energy from wind and solar projects

Oman reviews pilot projects for solar, wind
By Emma Ritch
Published 2009-05-11 17:15
The government of Oman is reviewing six pilot projects to harness energy from wind and solar, as well as recruiting international advisers to conduct a feasibility study for a large solar plant.

The news comes as the government is establishing policies to encourage renewable energy as a way to spur economic development, according to the Times of Oman.

The latest data from the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration says Oman had 3.3 gigawatts of installed electric generatingcapacity in 2004, all of which came from conventional thermal sources. The country has sought international investors to finance new independent power projects to meet increasing needs from domestic demand and industrial growth.

Oman's energy requirements are expected to cost more than $800 million, according to according to the World Energy Council (see UAE: The future of cleantech? [1]).

A 2008 study by Oman's Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) made the case for solar projects across the country, in addition to wind energy potential along the southern coast and in the northern mountains. The study said there was some potential for biogas, geothermal and wave energy but recommended the country focus on wind and solar.
The government expects the solar feasibility study to pave the way to take bids in 2010 for a large concentrated solar project.

The Middle East is considered one of the biggest future markets for renewable energy, but few installations are in place today. Africa and the Middle East are expected to continue to be small players in the world’s wind market though at least 2013, according to the Global Wind Energy Council's 2008 report. At the end of 2008, the region had just 130 MW of wind installed.

Oman is already the site of desalination plants by Surrey, England-based Modern Water [2] (LON: MWG [3]) and San Leandro, Calif.-based Energy Recovery [4] (Nasdaq: ERII [5]) (see Modern Water to build desal plant in Oman [6] and Energy Recovery scores another desal contract [7]).
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Times of Oman
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