Exploring the potential of solar, tidal, and wind energy resources in Oman using an integrated climatic-socioeconomic approach

Mohamed Hereher, Ahmed M. El Kenawy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study presents - for the first time-a comprehensive assessment of the potential renewable energy resources in Oman, with a particular focus on solar, wind, and tidal energy resources. This study adopts a novel approach to assess the potential of these energy resources, in which information from multiple climatic indicators is coupled with socioeconomic drivers of energy development. Specifically, based on a daily dataset of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), three climate indicators were employed to characterize the frequency, intensity and duration of solar radiation and wind speed. Then, we introduced a new overall assessment index (OAI) based on these three climatic indicators to explore the best localities – from a climatic perspective-for generating solar and wind energies. The validity of the recommended sites was discussed in the context of important physiographic, environmental, and socioeconomic constraints (e.g. population density, urban settlements, distance to water bodies, transportation network, etc.). Results demonstrate that both solar radiation and wind can be seen as promising and substantial alternative sources of fossil fuel resources in Oman, with almost 3.2% and 4.4% of the Omani territory being valid for a sustainable use of wind and solar radiation, respectively. The most recommended sites for wind generation are located mainly along Al-Jazir and Duqum coasts of southeastern Oman, where a promising wind energy center can be constructed. The best localities for the development of hybrid solar radiation generation centers are likely to be placed in Sohar and Thumrayt, where solar intensity approaches 8.1 kWh/m2, with a high frequency of occurrence throughout the year. In contrast, Oman showed low potential to generate tidal power, mainly due to a low tidal range (<2 m) along the majority of the Omani coastline. This study provides a solid base for national and local decision makers in Oman for a reliable assessment, monitoring, and sustainable exploitation of clean and renewable energy resources, especially with high population growth, accelerated urbanization, and rapid economic growth over the past few decades, which can pose more challenges to future energy demand in this country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-675
Number of pages14
JournalRenewable Energy
Volume161
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • GIS
  • Oman
  • Renewable energy
  • Solar radiation
  • Sustainability
  • Wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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