Oman prepares 200 MW solar tender; Investments shift towards emerging markets

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Oman set for 200 MW solar tender in 2016

Oman is to tender for up to 200 MW of large-scale solar power capacity this year and has selected two prospective development sites at Adam and Manah in Dakhiliyah Governorate, Qais bin Saud al Zakwani, Executive President of the Authority for Electricity Regulation Oman (AER), told the Oman Daily Observer.

The government will invite bids for large-scale plants combining Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and PV technologies, according to the report, published March 29

“We hope to be using the same type of tendering mechanism [used] for conventional power plants [for] these two large-scale projects in Adam and Manah,” Al Zakwani said.

Oman Power and Water Procurement Company (OPWPC) is currently overseeing the collection of solar radiation data from the two sites.
In addition, the AER is working on minimum technical standards and net metering regulations for rooftop PV installations.

Oman's residential sector could accommodate 1.4 GW of solar power capacity, according to a study by the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW).

Renewables investments shift towards developing nations

Renewable energy investments in developing and emerging economies rose by 19% in 2015 to $156 billion, surpassing investments in developed countries for the first time, according to the UN Environment Program's (UNEP's) Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016 report.

Renewable energy investments in developed countries fell by 8% last year, to $130 billion, impacted by lower investments in Europe.

China was the largest growth market for renewable energy, with investments rising 17% year-on-year to $102.9 billion. India, South Africa, Mexico and Chile all saw significant growth.

       Key developing countries for renewable energy

Data source: UNEP

Some 134 GW of renewable power was added worldwide in 2015, compared to 106 GW in 2014 and 87 GW in 2013.

US' NREL doubles estimate for rooftop PV potential

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has doubled its estimate for total potential rooftop PV systems to 1.1 TW of capacity and 1,432 TWh of annual energy generation.

"This current estimate is significantly greater than that of a previous NREL analysis, which estimated 664 GW of installed capacity and 800 TWh of annual energy generation. Analysts attribute the new findings to increases in module power density, improved estimation of building suitability, higher estimates of the total number of buildings, and improvements in PV performance simulation tools," NREL said in a statement March 24.

The three-year research project used LiDAR data, Geographic Information System methods, and PV-generation modelling to calculate the suitability of rooftops for hosting PV.

The study examined 128 cities representing approximately 23% of U.S. buildings and extrapolated these results to make national estimates.