Optimal wind conditions in parts of the Sultanate of Oman, notably Dhofar Governorate in the south of the country, offer an attractive proposition for wind-based renewable energy development, according to a top official of Masdar, one of the region’s leading renewable energy companies.

Abu Dhabi-based Masdar supported the development of the Gulf region’s first wind farm – a 50 MW facility in Dhofar Governorate - which came into operation nearly two years ago.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), held in the UAE capital recently, Fawaz al Muharrami, Executive Director at Masdar Clean Energy, outlined opportunities for renewable energy development in the Sultanate of Oman and the wider Gulf region.

“Oman, compared with other GCC countries, has good solar, as well as wind, resources. All the GCC countries, of course, have good solar resources. Oman, by the way, even has a little bit better than the other GCC with respect to solar, but on top of that, Oman has excellent resources when it comes to the wind, especially in the southern part,” Al Muharrami said.

“And that is why we developed the Dhofar project, which was 50 megawatt wind project, in the right location where you have wind speeds of around 8-metres per second, which is excellent to develop wind projects in an economical way. I think, the Sultanate of Oman has definitely potential to grow even much bigger (in the renewable energy space),” Al Muharrami stated.

Masdar City: Hub of sustainability

One of Masdar’s flagship initiatives – Masdar City – continues to serve as a paradigm for sustainable community development, said Abdulla Balalaa, Executive Director, Masdar City.

A pioneer in sustainability and a hub for research and development, Masdar City – constructed close to Abu Dhabi - is home to a rapidly growing clean-tech cluster, business free zone and residential neighborhood with restaurants, shops, and public green spaces. It is also billed as the world’s first zero-carbon urban development.

Abdulla Balalaa said in an interview to visiting journalists that the success of Masdar City will inspire similar initiatives in various parts of the world.

“We have developed a cumulative knowledge in sustainable development. And today we are considered the largest developed sustainable community in the world. We have been approached by deferent countries within the region, GCC, Middle East and North Africa and even Asia to basically share that knowledge and build on the existing knowhow Masdar and the Abu Dhabi government have developed over the past 16 years. So, yes, we are about to export this knowledge and we will provide consultancy to support whoever is seeking to develop such a noble goal,” he commented.

At the heart of the Masdar City project is the idea of sustainability, said the Executive Director.

“The UAE has been always at the forefront of anything sustainable. We play a significant role in the region in spreading the knowhow of sustainability.”

Set up 16 years ago, Masdar has become synonymous with sustainability, he said. “At that time, the word sustainability was rarely known. (Its establishment) reflects the wisdom of the UAE and Abu Dhabi leadership, as well as their great foresight, and sense of responsibility towards future generations,” he noted.

Masdar is keen to share its expertise and partner with other nations and communities in supporting sustainable development, Balalaa sadi, adding that the company is exploring how the Masdar model can be replicated outside the UAE.

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