Oman's utilities sector must harness innovative strategies

Business Sunday 10/December/2017 15:16 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman's utilities sector must harness innovative strategies

Muscat: The energy and utilities sector in Oman must harness innovative strategies to overcome some of the greatest sustainability challenges in the GCC, Booz Allen Hamilton has said in a report titled ‘The Future is Innovation’.
Combined, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states hold almost a third of proven crude-oil reserves and approximately a fifth of global gas reserves.
However, declining reserves and revenues along with increased consumption due to rapid industrialisation, population growth and rising domestic energy demand, are testing the region’s capacity to its limits.
Policy changes and shifting national budgets across the GCC indicate that the region’s governments are responding to these challenges, and the region’s key energy and utilities players will need to adapt to new realities.
“The key to sustainable success lies in innovation, which is a force constantly promoted yet all too infrequently embraced. Energy and utilities companies often face concerns over the sharing of intellectual property, stakeholder reluctance to invest in new research, and financing issues – all of which can impact innovation,” Dr. Adham Sleiman, vice president, Booz Allen Hamilton MENA, said.
Oman’s Authority for Electricity Regulation for example, recently launched the Sahim solar energy initiative allowing residents to install solar panels on their houses while remaining connected to the national electricity grid.
The project is expected to power half of the residences in Muscat in the next five years. Ranked among the best in the world in terms of solar irradiance or energy received per kilometer, the Sultanate has been making significant investments in building solar power capacity to supplement their electricity grid as well as rationalise its consumption.
With the goal to enhance the quality and efficiency of processing data produced by smart metering technology, Oman’s Nama Group is also beginning phase two of the Automated Meter Reading (AMR) technology implementation project, which will allow energy and utilities companies to perform actionable consumption analysis and optimise grid distribution in the Sultanate.