Oman’s Green Energy Transformation

National Economy

The population of the Sultanate of Oman is approximately 5.44 million people[1]. In 2021, 100% of the people in this Middle Eastern country had access to electricity[2].

In 2022, Oman’s economy was ranked 70th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of crude oil, liquified natural gas, refined petroleum, semi-finished iron, and nitrogenous fertilizers.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Oman signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to an unconditional 2% cut in greenhouse gas emissions, relative to business as usual.

In 2017, Oman announced a national renewable energy target[6] to source 10% of the nation’s total electricity generation from renewable energy by 2025.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, state-owned  Oman Power and Water Procurement Company used natural gas (99.6 %) and renewable energy (0.4 %) to generate electricity in Oman.[7] Solar was the only types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Oman in 2021.

Recent renewable energy projects in Oman include:

  • 25,000 MW Wind + Solar Project – An international consortium led by the state-owned Omani oil company OQ is continuing work to develop a massive wind and solar project in central Oman. The consortium includes American green hydrogen developer, InterContinental Energy and Kuwait investment company, Enertech.
  • 3,000 MW Solar + 500 MW Wind Project – Indian renewable energy company, Acme Solar is continuing work on a solar plus wind project near the Port of Duqm, approximately 300 miles south of the nation’s capital, Muscat. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 975 MW Solar Project – The Port of Sohar, located 162 miles west-northwest of the nation’s capital, Muscat is continuing work to develop a green hydrogen generation hub powered by solar energy. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 125 MW Solar Project – In June 2020, Indian solar company, Sterling and Wilson Solar commissioned the Amin Solar project, which is located in the southwestern region of the country.
  • 100 MW Solar Project –Omani energy company OQ is continuing work on the Liwa Solar project at a site approximately 225 miles southwest of Muscat.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – In January 2023, Omani company Solar Wadi announced plans to build a solar project at a site approximately 35 miles northwest of Muscat.
  • 25 MW Solar Project – In January 2021, Sterling and Wilson Solar commissioned a solar project in the Port of Sohar, which is approximately 125 miles northwest of Muscat.

Conclusions

Commercial oil was first discovered in Oman in 1964[8]. In 2021, Oman was the 13th largest natural gas[9] and 13th largest crude oil exporting country[10] in the world.

Export of oil, and natural gas have been the cornerstone of Oman’s economy. In 2020, Oman exported[11] U.S. $13.3 Billion in crude oil, U.S. $4.4 Billion in natural gas, and U.S. $2.39 Billion in refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting in the European Union, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and South Korea to place embargos on Russian exports. As a result, the price for crude oil and liquified natural gas increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Why the recent surge in new renewable energy projects in Oman? In the short term, economics pure and simple! Oman’s government plans to use renewable energy for domestic power, preserving oil and natural gas resources for export.

Longer term, the government intends to develop massive wind and solar projects to generate green hydrogen, the fuel of the future. Oman intends to transition from a fossil fuel to a green energy economy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

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Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

 

[1] Sultanate of Oman (2023) –  January 20, 2023, www.worldmeters.info

[2] World Bank, Access To Electricity (% Population) – Sultanate of Oman

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Sultanate of Oman

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, “Challenges In Maximizing Renewables In Oman’s Energy Mix”

[7] Our World In Data, Oman: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[8] Oman – Economy, Britannica

[9] Natural Gas Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[10] Crude Oil Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[11] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Oman Exports

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