Residential solar to become reality in Oman

Residential solar to become reality in Oman
Published: 16 May 2017 - 1:59 a.m.
By: Baset Asaba

The Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER) in Oman is planning to allow and introduce residential grid-connected solar power generation systems.

According to a paper, ‘Public Consultation on Residential PV in Oman’, the AER is planning to install solar cells in up to 180,000 homes across the country, as part of a pilot project to test the long-term benefits of switching to solar energy.

The move is expected to result in gas savings over 25 years between 2-6bn standard cubic meter (Sm3), amounting to savings between RO161-RO505mn.

The authority believes that the adoption of residential small-scale grid-connected solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems could also result in CO2 emission reductions over 25 years between 3.2-10mn tonnes and average reductions in annual customer bills between 34 per cent and 42 per cent.

“We want the public to express their views about this initiative. Customers, industry participants, stakeholders and other interested people are welcome to make contributions,” said Qais Saud Al Zakwani, executive director of AER.

“Significant emphasis was afforded to utilising data in Oman, including actual residential electricity consumption, electricity hourly system demand profiles, measured solar irradiance, and the volume, cost and emissions of natural gas used to generate electricity.”

All responses to the paper will be accepted by AER till May 28. The authority suggests an initiative to install PV systems between 2kWp to 4kWp at ten per cent to 30 per cent of residential premises. This would provide positive net benefits to customers, the electricity sector, and the government.

Funding for an initial phase of the initiative would comprise an advance of future gas saving benefits and subsidy reductions and customer contributions based on a multiple of either annual bills, or the present value of five-years of anticipated bill savings.

Payback periods for customer contributions would be between three to five years after which customers would continue to receive full benefit of bill reductions.

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