Oman, which boasts the one of the highest solar energy densities in the world, is currently investigating the development of a 200MW solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) project. If the project gets the go-ahead, then the solar farm could generate the entire country’s electricity supply while covering a tiny percentage of the desert with solar collectors, dramatically reducing the state’s dependence on domestic oil.
The project, which will be overseen by the Oman Power and Water Procurement OPWP), is still awaiting approval from the nation’s Council of Ministers via the Public Authority on Electricity and Water (PAEW). However it is expected to get the green light and move forward to calling for requests for proposals soon.
The OPWP have said that they will be build a center for the development and manufacture of solar technologies as well as collecting dust monitoring data from sites in Adam and Manah, Oman. By investing in the technology, it is hoped that the OPWP will be able to create the most efficient solar power possible. The company have already stated that the relative proportions of PV and CSP technologies will depend upon “the maturity of the technology solution”.
If the solar farm is constructed, then Oman will be able to reduce its domestic usage of oil, allowing it to increase exports and boost revenues. However it will also improve the country’s green image and bolster foreign tourism. For a country will such a large level of sunlight, Oman shockingly still relies almost exclusively on fossil fuels. Hopefully, this solar project will show the benefits of renewable energy and inspire the sultanate to diversify its energy supplies even further.