22nd March 2023
Oman to add 1.9 GW of renewables by 2026: IEA
The important strides made by the Sultanate of Oman in decarbonizing its power generation sector have been highlighted by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in a newly published report that tracks global efforts to switch to low-carbon fuel resources for electricity generation.
Titled ‘Electricity Market Report 2023’, the document underscores the importance of electricity security and affordability amid the current global energy crisis, sparked in part by the Ukraine-Russian conflict.

“Electricity is central to many parts of life in modern societies and will become even more so as its role in transport and heating expands through technologies such as electric vehicles and heat pumps,” the Paris-based intergovernmental agency noted in its report. “Power generation is currently the largest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally, but it is also the sector that is leading the transition to net zero emissions through the rapid ramping up of renewables such as solar and wind. At the same time, the current global energy crisis has placed electricity security and affordability high on the political agenda in many countries,” the Agency further stated. According to the report, Oman’s electricity consumption posted a sharp 8 per cent rebound in 2021 (after a 2 per cent drop in 2020) and is projected to rise at an annual average of 2.6 per cent over the 2022-2025 period.

At least 1.9 gigawatts (GW) of renewables capacity is targeted for development by 2026, which comes on top of the existing 550 MW of grid-connected capacity currently in place, it said.

Oman’s state-owned energy capacity procurer Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWP) is overseeing the procurement by competitive tender of a pair of solar PV-based Independent Power Projects with a combined capacity of 1 GW of electricity output. The two projects, dubbed Manah-1 and Manah-2, will be built in the Wilayat of Manah in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate. Separately, OPWP has plans to procure a new 500 MW capacity solar PV project at Ibri in Al Dhahirah Governorate, next to an existing 500 MW capacity plant that was brought into operation in November 2021. A slew of wind farms offering around 400 MW of capacity are also envisioned for development by 2026.

Significantly, natural gas consumption for electricity generation is projected to fall as new renewables capacity is brought online, according to the IEA report. “We estimate that the share of gas in total generation will decline from 97 per cent in 2021 to 87 per cent in 2025, while the share of renewables is on course to rise from below 2 per cent in 2021 to around 11 per cent by 2025,” it said, adding that Oman’s long-term plans target a renewable generation share of 39 per cent by 2040. The IEA also cited Oman’s success in launching the region’s first electricity spot market in 2022 in an “effort to increase system-wide efficiency and support energy transition goals”.
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