OABC to Share Benefits Of Solar Power as Part of Upcoming Renewable Energy Series

Bureau18-10-2017, 03:50 AM

In partnership with renewable energy developers Hussam Technology Company and Symtech Solar MENA, the Oman American Business Centre (OABC) is organizing the upcoming Renewable Energy Series to share the benefits and opportunities of solar photovoltaic (PV) power in the Sultanate. Scheduled to be held on October 22nd, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Muscat, the event will include participation from five prominent stakeholders in Oman’s renewable energy sector and will be open to all members of the OABC as well as the general public.

Ali Daud, President of the OABC, said, “Over the past decade, renewable energy systems have grown significantly in their efficiency and ability to provide a highly reliable, clean, and affordable alternative to fossil-fuels. As a result, solar installations such as PV systems are continuing to prove increasingly popular worldwide. The spread of this technology can bring massive benefits to Oman and it is integral that we gain a comprehensive

The event will be opened with a keynote speech delivered by H.E. Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Mahrouqi, Chairman of the of Public Authority for Electricity & Water (Diam). The keynote will be followed by a discussion panel moderated by Dr. Michael Tsang, owner of Three Pillars Consulting, and featuring Eng. Yaqoob Al Kiyumi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Oman Power & Water Procurement Company; Qais Al Zakwani, Executive Director of the Authority for Electricity Regulation (AER); Dr. Sausan Al-Riyami, of The Research Council (TRC); Dr. Firas Al-Abduwani, CEO of HTC; and Jonathan Bolton, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) for Symtech Solar MENA. Khalifa Mukheini, Managing Director of SIMPA-Energy and a Board Member of the OABC, will host the event.

Mohammed Al Mahrouqi chairman of PAEW, said: “The world is changing and this event is taking place at a really exciting time for renewables in our region.  Renewable energy will doubtless play an increasingly important role in Oman’s energy future and putting in place the infrastructure to enable this to happen over the next few years will bring significant opportunities for both Omani and international players to contribute to this vital new industry.  Gatherings like this will help facilitate cooperation and a sharing of ideas and I look forward to meeting many of the key players in our industry there.”

Attendees will hear from the panel experts about how Oman’s solar industry and solar infrastructure is shaping up, what opportunities lie ahead and how others can get involved. The event’s organizer OABC anticipates that this will be a great opportunity for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), larger engineering, procurement and contracting (EPC) firms, academia, and other regional stake-holders to understand the upcoming changes and steps being made to move solar photovoltaics ahead in Oman.

Talking about the steps the Sultanate has recently taken to implement solar power, Dr. Firas Al-Abduwani, CEO of HTC, said, “A sequence of monumental milestones have been achieved and continue to progress Oman’s energy sector including the release of Small Scale Grid-Connected Solar PV Systems Guidelines by AER and the future introduction of Oman’s first multi-100MW utility scale solar PV tender. The energy generation sector has become significantly more inclusive to a wider spectrum of players including SMEs, creating significant opportunities for entrepreneurship, innovation, job creation and in-country value. We are thrilled to have delivered Oman’s first AER-guidelines-compliant project and are determined to continue working along with other pioneers in growing this sector and contributing to our nation.”

Ken Paton, CEO of Symtech Solar MENA, added: “From an outside perspective, I was quite surprised to see the lack of solar uptake in Oman considering the sun shines for 320 days of the year and Oman has one of the highest solar irradiances in the world. It was important for my chairman and myself to diversify into a different business sector, but one that was analogous to what we already do, which is generate electricity. As government subsidies for petrol and diesel are being reduced, government subsidies for electricity are likely the next ones in line. Recognizing that solar was a massive, untapped opportunity and the likelihood of reductions in government subsidies for electricity being combined with reduced customized service costs in this sector, it has created a perfect storm. The government has a great opportunity to encourage the uptake of rooftop solar and that is exactly what it is doing.”

Given this series of developments just in the last year alone, Dr. Michael Tsang added that "the OABC is putting together an extremely timely event. The GCC region, in general, has witnessed huge strides in planning and building photovoltaic capacity, and the potential for Oman in this industry and market is just as promising."

The unique event will welcome members of the general public for free, offering everyone an opportunity to learn from experts about the innovative solar PV technology set to transform the Sultanate’s energy sector. Prospective attendees can register by emailing Meruyert Shagmanova at meruyert.shagmanova@oabcoman.org. 

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