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The policies and political issues plays a vital role in Oman, when we talk about the renewable energies. The Government of Oman has put forth the responsibility to Public Authority for Electricity & Water, who manages and monitor the use of the renewable energy sources in Oman. The main motto is to make use of the maximum renewable energy sources and provide electricity more efficiently and thereby decreasing the use of the oil and natural gas which are fast depleting. The total primary energy supply in Oman has been delivered from Natural gas (73%) and Oil contributing to (27%).
Also the perfect geographical location of getting sunlight and getting sufficient amount of wind within the small territory to distribute electricity.Oman has the huge potential for wind and solar energies. It can also provide the electricity with suitable combination of Wind, Biomass and Photovoltaic (PV). This indicates that the Sultanate of Oman has the enormous opportunity to become a renewable giant in the near future.
The peak electricity demand in Oman increased drastically from 2,773 MW in 2007 to 4,643 MW in 2013. This is due to the accelerated growth in Oman. There exists a need to reduce the gap between the production and consumption of the electricity – as extra need of energy sources other than fossil fuel and gases are needed. Energy strategy needs to be adapted for long run with the diversified energy needs. Also,the need for developing more efficient motor vehicles, expanding the reserve storage of petroleum and improving the infrastructure.
The potential for off grid wind application is very limited in Oman . These can be applicable only to those consumers in rural areas where there is potential for wind speed and also along the Coast in South part of Oman. Also in the mountains North of Salalah-Coastal areas in Southern part of Oman have significant wind energy.
There are two renewable energies which are identified to be potential in Oman – Solar and Wind energy.
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Oman has started to meet its electricity demand with such a huge scope in Renewable, of having six projects this year. The joint stock utility , Rural Areas Electricity Company (RAECO) has started developing four solar palntsand two wid facilities as part of its five -year renewable energy plan. The capacities of the plants are to be decided yet but the site of the plants is fixed. The projects are to be indifferent governorates of the country with solar plant to be in Musandam and three in Al Wusta, while two wind farms to be located in Dhofar. The working on the two major wind farms are Masirah and Thamrait , which can produce 200-300 KW power. The electricity shortage is common in Oman. Throughout summer of 2009-10 4
Oman experienced severe power shortages in part due to increased in demand by around 180 % between 2000 and 2010. As with most of the countries in Southwest Asian region , Oman is highly seasonal, with summer demand being over twofold than in winter due to intensive use of air conditioning system in Oman. These factors have led to Oman to prioritize judging the alternative source of power, identifying the solar and wind power to have the greatest potential for the country. There are three areas in particular to have the greatest solar energy potential in the country. These includes Marmul, Fahud and Sohar. Also, the Oman ‘s geographic location is wel suited sitting on a long stretch of coastine and also being exposed to the strong summer and winter monsoon winds. The county has an average wind speed slightly more than 5 m/sand an estimated 2,643 hours of full load a year, making a viable form of renewable source of energy in Oman.
The major disadvantage of wind over solar wind is that the wind is more seasonal.In general, wind speed is higher during summer months of June, July and August and is lower during October and November.
As wind speeds are higher during the summer months, Oman reaches peak demand, which clearly indicates the feasibility of wind power. As the immense scope of wind energy in Oman, they also tried to combine wind power with diesel generation to generate hybrid system on Masirah Islands .The result proved that this form of technology could be considerable use in the rural areas and produce cheaper power than the actual current system in Oman.
The pricing of electricity generated by using this method and electricity generated using gas fired systems changes depending on the region because of the varying wind power. But taking into consideration the wind generated electricity is competing with subsided gas prices, it is a promising comparison for the near future, with the difference between the two only likely to decrease.
Future of Wind Energy in Oman
There is definitely a potential for Wind energy in Oman . From the table (X ) it shows the allocation of wind energy resources based on the wind data which were measured at 21 stations in Oman under DGCAM. The data is measured at 10 m above the ground level. Also the wind conditions at 80 m were estimated equal to the hub height of large wind turbine of capacity around 2-3 MW.
The high wind speeds are found along the coast of Masirah to Salalah. It clearly shows that the high winds are in Dhofar Mountain Chain North of Salalah while the low wind speed are at the Northern parts of Oman. The highest wind energy speeds are observed in summer. The summer period is also the period with the highest electricity demand in Oman. From fig 2 , the location of Masirah is not suitable for the installation of Wind Power capacity as power system an isolated system and energy consumption on island is very less. Joba and Sur are suitable sites for the wind turbines. The net energy output from a 2 MW wind turbine at Thumrait is 5820 MWh/yr and Quiroon Hariti is 6470 MWh/yr. . If half of capacity equal to 375MW installed at wind condition corresponding to Thumrait and other half to Quiroon Hariti, the annual net output of 750 MW wind turbine will be in order of 2300 GWh/yr, which corresponds to the 20 % of the power generation of Omar in 2005.
The table indicates that there is huge potential for the wind energy (offshore) in Oman . Oman has a coastline of almost 1700 kms. From the Strait of Hormuz in North to the boundary of Republic of Yemen in South – West there exits there main seas – Gulf of Oman , Arab Gulf, Arabian Sea all of which are surrounded by Oman and thus these make the huge amount of prospects for the wind energy offshore in Oman.
Biogas in Oman
With the great amount of interest in the field of plant resources for biomass production in Oman, especially potential of barley landraces is quite significant. Oman supplies these barley who is lacking feed for increasing livestock. Barley landraces, the staple source of choice for sheep throughtout the Middle East , have been used for the farmers to produce grains. Farmers normally select factors mostly which are highly productive like tall plants, high grain yield etc. Biomass sector of Oman has the potential to expand without any harmful effects on food supplies and also environment. There are chances of getting wood from either the managed or unmanaged woodland, increasing the planting of energy crops and better exploitation of current supply of organic waste material. These could make Oman to contribute highly in terms of power generation.
Material from the waste water and agricultural waste related are available in North parts of Oman. In South Oman biogas material is available from animal dung , agricultural waste etc. Moreover, a large number of agricultural waste is used as fertilizer. There is no such industry of biofuel in Oman . But still there is a great potential for Oman to expand its production of biofuels. It is feasible that with the use of the advance technologies and scope of producing biodiesel and bioethanol , Oman would be a great range of biomass supplying the domestic load with the biofuel in future.
Oman Wastewater Service Company (OWWC) and Salalah Wastewater Service Company are currently only commercial entities granted the exclusive rights to build and operate waste water system in Muscat an Salalah 12
The tide normally forces them to travel close to the Iranian coast where the water depth is at its maximum level. The Strait of Hormuz causes the effects to happen likely- it either restricts and allow the channel to flow water and also the profile of channel plus its island turn aside a flood tide towards Oman coast. When taken into consideration the water movement inside the Arabian Sea, the effects of energy pulses aroud 12 hours duration , pushing and pulling the water inside the Gulf. This mass of water is mainly due to the gravitational effects of moon and sun. Also the oscillatory effect is maintained by tidal energy which leads to the creation of Gulf tidal pattern .Tidal energy has great potential for future power and electricity generation because of the large oceans.
Wave Energy :
Kinetic energy exists in the moving waves of the ocean . The energy thus created can be used to drive a turbine . Wave height can be determined by wind speed , duration of time, distance over which wind excited the waves and also its depth. These all parameters are to be considered for the finding the exact height of the wave. There has been some scientific waves in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman . Table (II) shows the months of year when internal wave observation was made.
Wave power is proportional to the square of the wave height and wave period. From the table (I) it is clear that the wave with 1.4 m height is good to generate power taken into consideration 1700 km coast length and also as most of the Oman cities are nearer to the Coast.
Ocean Thermal Energy(OTEC)
It describes the use of th thermal energy of the ocean to generate electricity. It is similar to the geothermal power generation where the heat in the earth surface is converted into electrical energy.
From the fig . we can see that the first 50 m or so close to the surface , commotion maintains the temperature at 25 °C. It than gradually decreases reaching to around 4°C to 5 °C in deep places.(Actual profile vary from place to place and also with the seasons). Arabian Sea surface area is about 2400 km and its max. depth is 4562 m. Gulf of Oman is northwest arm of Arabian Sea between Oman of Arabian Peninsuala to southwest and Iran to the North. Gulf is 320 km wide between Cape-al- Hadd in Oman and Gwadar Bay on Pakistan –Iran border. Because of the depth of Arabian sea an Gulf of Oman there is possibility to find the feasible OTEC energy in Oman.
Electrical Grid Network
Gas production is more crucial than crude oil , and it has direct effect on Oman economy . Oman LPG are consuming a large amount of natural gas to produce LPG for export. Also , the use for LPG trains , ga is largely used for reinjection into the oil reservoir to maintain pressure and sustain oil production , while remainder is being used in desalination plants and and later used as fuel to generate power.
Electrical supply in Oman are divided into three groups:
• Main Interconnected System : It is one of the main grid network in the Sultanate of Oman .It covers the governerates of Muscat, Al Dahere, Al Sharkia. It covers mostly 90 % of the total electricity supplied in Oman. The system connects seven main power plats using a network of 220 KV and 132 KV transmission lines
• The Rural Sytem :
Rural Area Electrical Company (RAECO) operates in areas where the transmission network of MIS does not currently exists. It includes- Al Wusta and Dhofar governorates. It generates , transmits and distributes power in its areas.It is also responsible for the electrification of the rural areas and fuds through a special mechanism in sector. Demand for electricity in REACO areas will increase significantly when development projects in Al Dukm area ad Masirah Island take off.
• The Salalah Power Sytem:
The Salalah Power System with voltage levels of 33 KV and 132 KV c overs all southern parts of Oman and it covers to approx.. 63,698 consumers. This system use both natural gas and diesel to generate electricity.
Electricity demand growth – 2005-08
From the above table we can say make it out that the achieved average rate of growth of electicity supply in excess of 10 % for Main Interconnected system (MIS) electricity in 2008 was 35 % higher in 2005; 43 % higher for RAEC system and 36% higher for Salalah power system. These are significant rates of growth rate that can be implied in country like Oman.
Potential Capacity for Grid Connected Wind Turbines
The technical benefit for the installation of the Wind tubine capacity is the availability of land , which is very crucial factor, as it should be without any obstacles for erection process of wind turbine. Also, the space required for the installation of the wind turbine with capacity of 750 MW is available mostly in the mountain areas of Salalah.The reason for these site I becaue these generates maximum wind speed a measured. Another possibility for the installation of wind turbine is at Sur where the highest wind energy are observed. The estimated land area for 750 MW is in range of 100m² for 375 MW wind turbine with the capacity of “MW each.
The wind condition at Thumrait and Quiroon Hariti with the hub height of around 80 m has been used as a reference and also for the sake of estimation of technical potential for the electricity generation by wind turbines. But the location of Island of Masirah is not preferred as it has very less energy consumption rate and also the not ideally possible for the power generation. The sites at Joba and Sur would be the perfect site and alsl having the highrst potential for the wind turbine. The annual growth at the output is more than 25 % lower than Quiroon Hariti . The estimated net output at Quiroon Hariti is 6470 MWh/yr and Thumrait is 5820 MWh/yr. These has to be noticed that if half of the install capacity equal to 325 MW I installed at wind turbine condition at Thumrait and other half at Quiroon Hariti then the net output of 750 MW will be of order 2300 GWh/yr. The life time of wind turbine is 20 years and the operation and maintenance cost is 0.5 Million /yr. The most efficient production site is Qairoon with average cost of 67.2 USD/MWh , while Joba is the
most eypensive production site with 88.7 USD/Mwh.
Table shows the annual energy output of 20 MW. Table 2 shows production cost per MW hr per site. It I assumed that 40 MW wind turbine power plant is replaced by 40 MW power plant. Also with the making of these 40 MW wind farm there is going to a following effect on Omani power system.
• Wind farm will contribute to the actual installed capacity (MW)
• The power generation from the wind turbine will decrease the electricity generation (GW) at other wind power plants, which in turn result in decease fuel costs and also emissions.
Management of Grid Network
In previous times , there were very few electrical supply companies which produce electricity to the consumers of the Oman people. Mostly the companies were owned by the government. Some of the companies are –
• Electricity Holding Company
• Oman Electricity Transmission Company
• Mazoon Electricity Company
• Muscat Electricity Distribution Company
• Rural Areas Electricity Company
• Oman Power & Water Procurement Company
• Mazan Electricity Company
The above companies represent a mix of government and private ownership such as United Power Company, Dhofar Power company, Sohar power company. These companies have majority of private shareholders. The government’s approach to privatization is to allow 100 % private ownership shareholdings through Muscat securities market. Some of the activities in the sector are to be regulated like-
Generation, transmission and distribution of supply of electicity
Generation of electricity combined with desalination of water
Funtions of Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP)
Regulation & Permitted Tariffs
The Supply of electricity to consumers in Oman is strongly followed. The suppliers of electricity are ensured by law to charge a) Permitted Tariffs approved by Council of Ministers; b) Cost Reflexive Tariffs
It has to be taken into mind that the Permitted Tariffs are an important form of consumer protection that no company or person can can be allowed that what price to be charged for the electricity - its solely matter of the government.
Permitted Tariffs have following characteristic.
1) These tariffs have been in place for number of years without any changes in a) general inflation b) Actual cost of generation , distribution and supply.
2) Permitted Tariffs provide less in the way of "Price signals"
It indicates how the cost of electricity supply varies by time of day and also in different months.
The Commercial Tariff is 20 baisa/ Kwh (every hour). Consumers have very less incentive to manage their hourly consumption.But the Industrial Permitted Tariff is 24 baisa/ Kwh in peak months when system demand is at its highest and 12 baisa / Kwh in non peak months.
During the afternoon peak hours between 1 Pm - 5PM , the price is 40 baisa/ kwh and is 20 baisa/Kwh during evening hours. In other hours it is 8 baisa/ Kwh.
3) Permitted Tariff does not recover full economic cost of electricity supply
The relation between Permitted Tariff and economic cosr of electricity supply is made up by electric subsidx provided by Ministry of Finance of Oman.
Figure shows MIS economic cost, Tariff revenueand Electriciy subsidy. Strong growth in electricity demad and policy decisions such as requiremer to underground cables and lines in built -up areas is exerting pressure to increse over 110 million RO in 2009 and RAEC subsidx to increase from 24 millio RO in 2009 to 29 million in 2009.
Potential of Wind Energy in Oman
Oman will necessarily need to diversify its renergy resouces by investing in the field of renewable energies to meet its current and future domestic energy demands . It dent not mean that the Govt. of Oman should concentrate only on Wind and Solar energies. There is considerate future in Biomass, Hydro power energies as well but due the geographical location and Oman gets the maximum advantage of Wind and Solar energies. Morever their application actively contribute to the stratefic goals of Oman , concentrating on – environmental sustainability, increasing the economic growth, and most importantly creating a knowledge based society.
There has been a great suuceess in the field of Wind energy and Solar energy. Talking about the wind energy , the crucial factor is the Land suitability , which was conducted for the wind farms application similar to the solar energy application but with different criteria and tools. It was also found that the highly suitable lands for wind farm installation at 50 m wind turbine hub constitute 0.1 % of the total land of Oman and these are mainly in the Southern part of Oman in Dhofar region
The Wind energy potential are mostly in coastal areas in southern most part of Oman and also in the mountains North of Salalah. The Wind speeds in these regions are similar to the speeds at inland sites in Europe , where large number of wind turbines are installed. Wind speed are normally highest in Summer months which combines with the peak periods of electricity demand in Oman.Also the moden grids connected Wind turbines have developed mostly in few years in Oman. The typical capacity of a modern grid is in the range of 1-5 MW. The wind turbines are designed in accordance with the high or low winds and also depending upon the different regions in Oman.Wind turbines designed (forlow wind areas) are normally defined by large swept of rotor area depending on the capacity and energy output of wind turbinbes. The current technical potential for grid conneected wind turbines in Oman is approximately 50 MW , which corresponds to 20% of the installed capacity of the Salalah Power System.Morever, the interconnection between Main Interconnected System (MIS) and Salalah Power ystem would further increase the capacity of the wind turbine to around 750 MW, which corresponds to the net energy output of 2300 GWh/yr.Also, the forecast for the electric generation capacity in Oman is 5691 MW (in 2014). The scenario where 5% of capacity is covered by renewables could consist of the combination of 125 MW (wind farm capacity) and 100 MW (solar thermal power capacity), the remaining capacity of around 50 MW (big) solar PV and 10 MW (small) PV.The interconnection of Main Interconnected System and Salalah power System could provide basis for 500 - 800 MW wind farm power capacity.
Current R.E status in Oman
There is significant potential for the Renewable energy sources in Oman especially in the areas of Wind and Solar energy
Renewable Energy projects to be implemented within the existing framework and market structure.
With the suitable market structure it becomes very necessary to provide :-
Customer protection safeguards (quality of supply and security) of energy.
Careful monitoring and assessment of cost and subsidy implication
Private sector investment and secure transfer ‘know-how’ to Oman
Assurance that only appropriate and responsible person implement projects
The Authority is promoting pilot projects in RAEC authorized area within the existing framework
Some of the current studies going on in the field of Renewable energy sources in Oman
Pilot Projects :-
Oman vision 2020 concentrates to reduce the dependence on oil, diversify the economy and create new employment opportunities to the people of Oman . Also the promotion of technology transfer, increased use of natural and renewable resources with regard to the social and natural environment.
Despite Oman’s extensive potential for power generation through solar energy, it has yet to develop a developed transparent legislative regime designed to regulate the renewable energy sector.The two large scale commercial projects mentioned above alone will produce 8.2 per cent of Oman’s energy needs when completed. This shows that Oman’s first tentative steps in renewable energy would already push the Sultanate close to achieving its initial aim of meeting ten per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.Evidence from recent studies has shown that renewable energy, in particular solar and wind energy, has tremendous potential in Oman. What remains to be seen is the role that the Government of Oman takes in promoting this. With the right policies and incentives, this could become one of the premier growth industries in the Sultanate over the next decade.
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