Published on April 4th, 2016 | by James Ayre0
Oman Developing Solar Rooftop Support Project
April 4th, 2016 by James Ayre
Following the successful completion of a study late last year to determine the potential of such a project, the middle-eastern country of Oman began working on the “Solar Rooftop Project” — a program intended to spur solar energy system adoption by local homeowners.
The program will allow homeowners to sell electricity generated by residential rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) systems back to the grid in return for cuts to electricity tariffs, reportedly.
Considering that the above-mentioned study found that the country’s potential residential rooftop solar PV system capacity could be as high as 1.4 gigawatts (GW) — with as much as 450 megawatts (MW) of this potential capacity being in the capital city of Muscat — the country clearly has some untapped reserves in that regard. It should be no surprise that the country’s Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) is now working to encourage the growth of the sector.
“We are currently establishing minimum technical standards and metering to compensate (customers for the electricity that they will supply to the grid) from their rooftop (solar) PV installations,” stated the AER’s executive director Qais bin Saud al Zakwani, in a recent interview with the Oman Daily Observer.
Commenting recently on the research, the PAEW’s Senior Engineer Khalil Alzidi noted that a feed-in-tariff (FiT) program should probably be introduced in Oman: “One of the recommendations that came out of the study was for the introduction of a feed-in-tariff mechanism, which does not exist at the moment. The absence of FITs is one of the shortcomings that needs to be addressed if private investment in renewable energy development is to make headway in the Sultanate.”
While the Solar Rooftop Project will initially be focused on spurring residential rooftop solar PV growth, the program will possibly be extended to included commercial installations as well, according to Zakwani. The project is currently expected to be introduced by the middle of 2017.