Muscat: In the Sultanate, the current energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) activities in the demand side are limited to small scale efforts led by the government or by distribution companies. Thus, comprehensive EE&C measures are required in conserving power consumption and load leveling, asserted Dr Ali Al Ghafri, vice-president, Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), Oman.
He was addressing the Gulf Eco Conference 2013 which began yesterday with the theme of "Harnessing the potential of Oman's renewable energy." The event is being organised by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs and OITE in collaboration with several government bodies and the private sector.
Dr Ali observed, "Under these circumstances, the PAEW has almost completed a study for establishing a national energy efficiency and conservation plan in the power sector. It is to propose EE&C policy in Oman's power sector and create a master plan regarding electric power towards 2023 in order to promote EE&C including improving power efficiency on the demand side and conserving electric power."
Phase one on the current situation and phase two on consideration and proposal on EE&C measures have been completed while phase three on creating energy efficiency conservation master plan will be completed in the first week of February, he said, adding that announcement of the master plan to the public, economic analysis and evaluation discussion on further action will be followed thereafter.
Dr Ali said, "The total power generation in Oman in 2012 stood at 7,417MW and we have undertaken a study on renewable energy resources with a view to provide an overview of renewable sources of energy in Oman and the potential use of renewable energy for electricity production and to provide a platform for developing renewable energy policies for Oman." "From the findings we can say that there is significant potential from solar and wind power while there is limited potential from biogas, geothermal and wave," he added.
Earlier, Ibrahim bin Ahmed Al Ajmi, director-general of climate affairs at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, observed, "The Gulf Eco Conference has been organised alongside the celebration of Oman Environment Day for the year 2013 with the theme as 'Our Environment ... Our Responsibility.'
"The ministry actively promotes and supports the cooperation between government sectors, private sectors, organisations, local and international and civil society organisations in promoting use of renewable energy in the Sultanate," he added.
"It is of the utmost importance to for the Ministry to create forums to discuss challenges related to the environment and climate issues such as environmental pollution, climate changes, ozone layer depletion and to take advantage of technological solutions to reduce the negative impacts of these challenges to environmental regulations and achieve the goals of sustainable environmental development," he further said.
Dr Mohamed Abdel Raouf, research fellow, environment programme, Gulf Research Centre, spoke on 'Sustainable development in the Middle East and the real outcome of Rio+20.'
Renewable energy laws and regulations in the GCC region was the topic Sami Al Ali, senior advisor and special envoy for sustainable development in the Middle East threw light upon. Dr Benno Böer, an ecologist with international experience in the environmental sciences, said that Unesco mandate in the natural sciences is centered on promoting science-based ecosystem and water management and practices.
The programme stretches from science and technology policies, basic sciences, engineering, ecological sciences, earth sciences, marine sciences, ocean observation, unbiased science into climate change, climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation.