Oman Leads MENA Region In Prospective Solar Farm Capacity

Oman Leads MENA Region In Prospective Solar Farm Capacity


The above-featured image is for illustration and is credit to MEPMiddleEast


Oman Leads MENA Region In Prospective Solar Farm Capacity

Oman Leads MENA Region In Prospective Solar Farm Capacity
Representational image. Credit: Canva

Oman has solidified its position as the frontrunner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region concerning potential solar farm capacity, as per the latest data from the Global Solar Power Tracker.

This report, focusing on solar farm projects of 20 MW capacity and above, indicates that Oman ranks first in the MENA region and eleventh worldwide, boasting an impressive anticipated capacity of 18,349 megawatts (MW), equating to 1.55% of the global total capacity.

Oman’s robust dedication to renewable energy and its aspiration to diversify its energy mix is evident in the data provided by the Global Solar Power Tracker.

Capitalizing on its extensive desert landscapes and abundant sunlight, Oman has harnessed its solar potential, positioning itself at the forefront of the MENA region’s solar revolution.

The potential capacity encompasses the cumulative sum of solar farm projects in various phases, including those under construction, in the pre-construction stage, and those already announced. This indicates a substantial growth trajectory for Oman’s solar industry in the forthcoming years.

Beyond highlighting Oman’s commitment to renewable energy, the report also underscores the country’s remarkable progress in executing solar farm projects. Presently, Oman has four operational solar farms, three in the construction phase, twelve in the pre-construction stage, and two announced projects. These advancements signify a burgeoning and swiftly evolving solar sector within the nation.

Oman’s flagship renewable energy endeavor is the 500 MW Ibri Solar Power Complex, one of the largest solar installations in the region. Located in Al Dhahirah Governorate, the project supplies energy to around 33,000 homes and effectively offsets millions of tons of carbon emissions annually.

Additionally, the ongoing implementation of two Independent Power Projects (IPPs) at Manah is set to contribute 1,000 MW of new solar capacity when operational in 2025.

In recent developments, Nama Power & Water Procurement Company (Nama PWP), responsible for power and water procurement in Oman, has outlined plans to secure a new large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) Independent Power Project (IPP) by 2029. Tentatively named ‘Solar PV IPPs 2029,’ the project is slated to have a combined capacity of 1000 MW, consisting of two IPPs each with 500 MW.

The report also provides a broader view of the global solar farm landscape, revealing an astonishing total potential capacity of 1,184,296 MW. This underscores the escalating worldwide focus on renewable energy as countries endeavor to curtail carbon emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

The top five nations on the list include China, the United States, Spain, Australia, and India. In the MENA region, Oman leads the list at the eleventh spot, followed by Egypt (12th with 17,094 WM), Morocco (15th with 13,538 MW), Saudi Arabia (17th with 9,051 MW), Iraq (18th with 8,385 MW), and Kuwait (19th with 7,970 MW).

Oman’s achievement of securing the eleventh global position is a significant milestone not only for the country but also for the broader MENA region. It showcases the region’s extensive potential for solar energy generation and its substantial contribution to global renewable energy targets.

The next big market: Emissions trading

The next big market: Emissions trading


Carbon credits grant organizations the right to emit a certain amount of CO2 annually, thus giving an opportunity to trade off any unused allowance which allows countries to stay within their emission control goals. So, the next big market would undoubtedly be Emissions trading.  

The above-featured image is for illustration and is credit to REFINITIV.


The next big market: Emissions trading

By Zaid Aboobacker in Kuwait Times

17 August 2023

KUWAIT: Step into the world of carbon credits. Picture this: A permit granting countries and organizations a set carbon emission limit. But here’s where it gets intriguing – if they don’t use up their allowance, they can trade it. Imagine a company selling its unused emissions to another that’s gone overboard their emission limits. In simple words, carbon credits grant organizations the right to emit a certain amount of CO2 annually, acting as a regulatory framework which allows countries to stay within their emission control goals.

Emission trading systems

Carbon markets mainly fall into two types: Compliance and voluntary. Compliance markets emerge due to the presence of national, regional and/or global policies or regulatory obligations. These are obligatory responsibilities that businesses must meet. Voluntary carbon markets, both at the national and international levels, refer to the voluntary trading, purchasing and selling of carbon credits. The current supply of voluntary carbon credits comes mostly from private organizations that develop carbon projects, or governments with certified programs that reduce emissions and/or removals.

Demand is generated by businesses with sustainability goals, private individuals looking to offset their carbon footprints and other parties looking to profit by trading credits. One of the first tradable emission offset mechanisms is the 1997 US Clean Air Act. This act enabled a permitted facility to increase emissions if it compensated by paying another company to cut emissions by an equal or greater amount.

This act laid the groundwork for a mesmerizing dance of emission trading that echoes across subnational, national, and international stages. In 2023, under India’s Carbon Credit Trading Scheme, entities exceeding emission limits now face a choice: Pay a penalty or embrace responsible practices. Programs like California’s Cap Trade Program cover about 85 percent of statewide GHG emissions. One of the biggest emission trading systems is the European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS), which witnessed emission allowances from €12.4 per ton by the end of 2010 to a jaw-dropping €100.3 per metric ton of CO? by 2023.

Nadine Mustafa

Carbon offset schemes for carbon credit

Let’s talk about carbon offset schemes — these schemes are programs which produce credits in exchange for funding programs that offset carbon emissions. Carbon credits and offsets are produced from diverse projects like fuel switching, energy efficiency, reforestation and renewable energy. In practice, a developed country can fund a greenhouse gas reduction project in a developing country. As a result, the developed country receives credit for achieving its carbon reduction goals, while the developing country receives funding for projects, technologies or a favorable change in land use. This falls under the Clean Development Mechanism, a UN-administered carbon offset initiative. CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, represents a global initiative aimed at limiting international aviation emissions, which also establishes a framework for generating credits and offsets on a global scale. The REDD+ program is another international program that aims to monetize landowners to refrain from deforestation or degradation. In doing so, the program fosters a collaborative balance between conservation and compensation. Dr Nadine Moustafa, a PhD researcher specializing in carbon capture technologies, said: “Should Kuwait embark on implementing such a scheme, it must brace itself for an ongoing and vigilant monitoring process.

Embracing an emissions trading scheme becomes especially pivotal if Kuwait intends to embrace industrial innovation, championing technologies like carbon capture and storage.” Some carbon markets are implementing blockchain technology for processes like tracking carbon credit transactions or monitoring, reporting and verification. This can improve the auditability of emission-reduction project data, streamlining verification processes, thus reducing transaction costs and enhancing trust among market participants, according to the World bank.

Value of Credits

How are the carbon credits valued? How can we ensure the quality of a carbon credit? How do we determine the value of a carbon credit produced by a carbon offset program? We will all answer it here. A number of factors can affect the prices of the value of the credits produced in an offset program. Project development costs and certification from a respected organization, projects that absorb CO2 and projects with added social and environmental advantages can all command a higher price. Carbon credits with older vintages tend to be valued lower on the market. The vintage is the year in which the carbon emissions reduction project generates the carbon offset credit. Certification programs are a key component of this community. In 2022, voluntary carbon market prices ranged from $8 to $30 per ton of CO2 for the most common types of offset projects.

Risks of the current market

Dr Moustafa also informed Kuwait Times about potential drawbacks and uncertainties such as carbon leakage, overallocation of credits, lack of additionality and inaccurate emission accounting. She added it is important to note that these risks can be managed and mitigated through proper design and transparency.

Carbon credit for Kuwait

Kuwait has huge potential to implement this into their system in the future, according to Shariq Ahmed, who works as an HSE Specialist in a Kuwait petroleum company. “Several factors could influence the implementation and success of carbon credits or an emission trading system, as Kuwait’s economy profoundly depend on oil exports, and the oil industry is a major supplier to its carbon emissions.

The availability of technologies for monitoring and reporting emissions is important for an effective ETS or carbon credit system. Precise measurement is necessary to ensure the integrity of emission reductions,” he said. Kuwait Finance House supported the first carbon offset platform in 2021. Its aim was to mitigate carbon emissions by increasing tree plantings and starting new environmental projects. But Kuwait has still not established a proper emissions trading system.


Read more on Kuwait Times



AC: This building has a sustainable solution

New York (CNN) — In mid-July at the construction site at 1 Java Street in Brooklyn, New York, the outside temperatures can reach sweltering highs in the 90s. But 500-feet underground, it’s 55 degrees all year round.

That stable, underground temperature will be key to making life comfortable in the residential building that will soon sit on the site, a scenic spot in the Greenpoint neighborhood along Brooklyn’s waterfront.

With 834 rental apartments plus commercial space, 1 Java Street is set to be the largest multifamily, residential building with “geothermal” heating and cooling system in New York State — and potentially the country — when it’s completed in late 2025, according to developer Lendlease.

With summer temperatures reaching record highs around the world, experts say finding ways to cool buildings that are less taxing on the environment could be crucial in fighting climate change. Even back in 2018, air conditioning and electric fans accounted for around 20% of total global electricity use, according to a report published that year by the International Energy Agency. Now, energy and urban development experts are urging cities and developers to implement new solutions to keep buildings cooler. And both New York City and the Biden administration have identified geothermal systems as one way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Whenever we look at a site, we consider how we can make it more sustainable,” Layth Madi, Lendlease’s senior vice president and director of development, told CNN, adding that the development firm is aiming to reach net zero by 2025 and be fully decarbonized by 2040.

“I think many residents will choose to live in this building because of its green credentials,” Madi said. “We know a lot of people are thinking about climate change and our impact on the planet.”

Geothermal plumbing works by sending water from a building deep into the ground below it to take advantage of the earth’s naturally stable internal temperature — on hot days, the underground temperature will reduce the temperature of warm water from the building to help with cooling; on cold days, it will warm up cold water to help with heating.

At 1 Java Street, construction crews are drilling 320 holes, each around 4 inches in diameter and 499-feet deep, to create the building’s geothermal piping system through which the water will be pumped.

“Your thermostat turns on and it tells your building, ‘I need heating or cooling.’ And it energizes pumps, and those pumps flow fluid through the [geothermal] circuit that we’ve established here on site,” said Adam Alaica, director of engineering and development at Geosource Energy, the Canadian firm that’s installing and drilling the vertical geothermal piping at 1 Java Street.

For now, the process doesn’t come cheap. Installing the building’s geothermal system increased construction costs by around 6%, according to Madi, and required securing equipment and trained manpower that remains relatively scarce.

“We’re seeing rapid growth — I would say approaching that of exponential growth year over year in interest in the technology, which is very exciting for the industry as a whole,” Alacia said. “The bottlenecks to that growth have always been, and will continue to be in the years to come, specialty machinery to implement this infrastructure and the people resources it takes to do this.”

Eventually, though, as more developers invest in geothermal and more companies provide the specialty training needed to install the technology — Geosource operates its own training program — Madi said he expects the costs to come down. And once the building is up and running, it should be more cost efficient to heat and cool.

Lendlease didn’t specify whether residents of 1 Java Street will experience any cost savings on utilities thanks to the geothermal system (the units themselves will be priced at market rate, with 30% of them set aside as affordable housing). “Ultimately, it will be up to tenants to manage their power consumption and work with the utility company on billing,” the company told CNN.

While 1 Java Street will be one of relatively few geothermal buildings in the state, the companies behind its development say New York — and the world — could use more buildings like it.

“Geothermal is not a new technology … there’s kind of a primitive component to it, using the earth as a heat source and heat sink,” Alacia said. “In general, geothermal can really be used anywhere you have ground under your feet … The cost and the business case can vary, but technically it has strong credentials really anywhere in the country.”



COP 28 Agenda — Phase Down Of Fossil Fuel Inevitable & Essential


COP 28 Agenda — Phase Down Of Fossil Fuel Inevitable & Essential

COP 28 Agenda should encompass a Phase Down of Fossil Fuel that is, at this stage, an Inevitable & Essential step towards a more healthy future because, as we all know, Fossil Fuel ‘Addiction’ Is Sabotaging Every Sustainable Development Goal.

Here is how  in CleanTechnica sees it.

When COP 28 kicks off in Dubai on November 30, it may be the world’s last real chance to tackle the challenge of an overheating planet finally.

The COP 28 Climate Summit is scheduled for November 2023 in Dubai. The president of the conference is Sultan Al Jaber, who just happens to be the head of Adnoc, the national oil company of the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part.

“Wait!’” we hear you cry. “At a time when the need for urgent climate action is apparent — the heat index in the Middle East on July 18 reached 152 degrees F (67 degrees C) — the next head of a critical climate conference will be an oil executive? Is this a joke?” The answer is yes, that is exactly what is happening here, and no, it is not a joke.



The backlash against Al Jaber has been strong. The optics of this situation are just all wrong. What were the people who made this decision thinking? But before you turn away in disgust, give a listen to what Al Jaber told The Guardian recently:

“Phasing down fossil fuels is inevitable and it is essential — it’s going to happen. What I’m trying to say is you can’t unplug the world from the current energy system before you build the new energy system. It’s a transition — transitions don’t happen overnight, transition takes time.”

Al Jaber started the storm of criticism shortly after he was named to head the conference when he said the world’s emphasis should be on lowering fossil fuel emissions instead of a phaseout of fossil fuels themselves, which is a key demand of more than 80 countries.

Al Jaber told The Guardian he welcomed the scrutiny. “When we signed up to the hosting of COP 28, we knew exactly what we were signing up to. I don’t think there has ever been a country that has hosted the COP that did not get this type of pressure or heat from activists and media, so that’s part of the game. The scrutiny sometimes also makes us dig deeper into issues, understand better, analyse more to draw better conclusions. Never have I said that I have all the solutions, or I have all the answers.”

Last week, Al Jaber met with representatives from 40 nations to lay out his specific proposals for COP 28, which fell into four main topic areas.

COP 28 & The 1.5°C Goal

The Paris agreement required countries to hold global temperature rises “well below 2°C” above pre-industrial levels, while “pursuing efforts” to stay within 1.5°C. At COP 26 in 2021, world governments agreed to focus on the more stringent goal of 1.5°C. Since then, some governments have tried to refocus the discussion on 2°C, but Al Jaber has made it clear from the outset that his plan is based on the tougher goal. “This plan is guided by a single north star, and that is keeping 1.5°C within reach,” he told the assembled ministers and government officials.

Kate Hampton, chief executive of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, who contributed to the COP 28 plan, said,  “The commitment to 1.5°C is particularly important. The presidency has recognized it is time to accelerate the essential and inevitable end for fossil fuels. The challenge now for the presidency is to ensure delivery across a comprehensive agenda, which can only be achieved with a transformational plan for mobilizing finance.”

National Plans

At COP 28, governments will conduct for the first time a “global stocktake” that will set out the progress countries have made on the emissions reduction commitments — known as “nationally determined contributions” or NDCs — they made in Paris.

The stocktake is certain to find that the world is way off track to meet its Paris goals, but the COP presidency has decided against naming and shaming individual countries. Instead, all countries will be required to submit updated NDCs in September that are sufficiently tough to meet the 1.5°C goal. In line with that requirement, the UAE itself has submitted a revision to its NDC that contains emissions reductions of 40% compared with a business-as-usual approach.

Phase Out Or Phase Down?

Al Jaber emphasized that this effort would entail “the phase down of fossil fuels,” which he said was “inevitable and essential.” The wording is significant. He was heavily criticized two months ago for repeatedly referring to the “phase out of fossil fuel emissions,” which observers took to mean that oil and gas companies could carry on extracting fossil fuels as long as the resulting carbon dioxide was somehow captured. But scientists have warned against using carbon capture and storage technology as a “free lunch” to excuse continued extraction.

Nevertheless, the “phase down” language will disappoint the more than 80 countries that want COP 28 to pass a commitment to phasing out fossil fuels entirely.

Clean Energy

Commitments to double energy efficiency, triple renewable energy capacity to 11,000 GW globally, and double hydrogen production to 180 million tons a year by 2030 will be put to governments at COP 28, where they are expected to be agreed to.

COP 28 & Reality

Romain Ioualalen, global policy lead at Oil Change International, told The Guardian, “Recent history has shown that more renewable energy does not automatically translate into less fossil fuels. COP 28 will only be a success if its presidency sets aside the interests of the oil and gas industry and facilitates a clear outcome on the need for a decline of all fossil fuel production and use, as well as a rapid phase-in of wind and solar. The only way we’ll build a new energy system that is both clean and fair is by actively phasing out the old.”

Al Jaber wants to formulate a plan to get the world’s biggest oil and gas producers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in line with the 1.5°C target — this at a time when those companies are fleeing any promises made previously as they go panting after more and bigger profits from selling their climate-killing products.



To activate his plan, he intends to bring fossil fuel executives to COP 28, despite the objections of many climate advocates who well remember that there were more fossil fuel advocates in Egypt last year for COP 27 than government representatives. The Guardian says if Al Jaber can get the companies to address their duty to the environment, “it would be an astonishing step forward for climate action.”

When Al Jaber first spoke to oil and gas companies earlier this year, he focused on what they could do to make their operations less carbon intensive by improving their extraction efficiency and plugging leaks of methane. These are known as scope 1 emissions, because they are fully under a company’s control. But critics pointed out that approach ignored scope 3 emissions, which are by far the greatest impact of fossil fuels. Those are the emissions created when oil or methane is burned by customers.

Last Thursday, Al Jaber adjusted his message in response to that criticism. “Let us end the reductive discussion of scope 1 v scope 2 v scope 3. We need to attack all emissions, everywhere — one, two, and three.” That is a huge victory for climate activists.

Who Will Pay?

Talk is cheap. It is “put up or shut up” time for fossil fuel companies. Their argument is that the transition to renewables and a phaseout of fossil fuels will be too costly, but that fails to take into account the direct and indirect cost of a warming planet. By some accounts, fossil fuel interests get the benefit of nearly $7.5 trillion in direct and indirect subsidies every year. No less a personage than Elon Musk says it will cost $100 trillion to transition to a zero-carbon economy, but sticking with a business-as-usual approach will cost far more — $130 trillion.

Al Jaber called for “a comprehensive transformation” of the World Bank and other international finance institutions, and for private sector funding to be brought in. He wants to make sure that a commitment by rich countries to provide $100 billion a year to poor nations is finally fulfilled. He also repeated the demand from UN Secretary General António Guterres for a doubling of finance for developing countries to adapt to climate impacts.

The Takeaway

COP 27 last year was an unmitigated disaster where oil companies got everything they wanted. Climate advocates are right to be concerned that this year’s conclave will be another debacle. But … Al Jaber is making the right noises. He is talking the talk. Now it remains to be seen whether he can walk the walk. The world has run out of chances to get this right.

Featured image by Kyle Field | CleanTechnica



Renewables growth did not dent fossil fuel dominance


Renewables growth did not dent fossil fuel dominance in 2022, report says

LONDON, June 26 () – Global energy demand rose 1% last year and record renewables growth did nothing to shift the dominance of fossil fuels, which still accounted for 82% of supply, the industry’s Statistical Review of World Energy report said on Monday.

Last year was marked by turmoil in the energy markets after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which helped to boost gas and coal prices to record levels in Europe and Asia.

“Despite further strong growth in wind and solar in the power sector, overall global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased again,” said the president of the UK-based global industry body Energy Institute, Juliet Davenport.

“We are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris Agreement.”

The annual report, a benchmark for the industry, was published for the first time by the Energy Institute together with consultancies KPMG and Kearny after they took it over from BP (BP.L), which had authored the report since the 1950s.

Scientists say the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 43% by 2030 from 2019 levels to have any hope of meeting the international Paris Agreement goal of keeping warming well below 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Here are some highlights from the report on 2022:


  • Global primary energy demand grew around 1%, slowing from the previous year’s 5.5%, but demand was still around 3% above pre-coronavirus levels in 2019.
  • Energy consumption grew everywhere apart from Europe, including Eastern Europe.
  • Renewables, excluding hydropower, accounted for 7.5% of global energy consumption, around 1% higher than the previous year.
  • The share of fossil fuels in global energy consumption remained at 82%.
  • Electricity generation was up 2.3%, slowing down from the previous year. Wind and solar power grew to a record share of 12% of power generation, again surpassing nuclear, which fell 4.4%, and meeting 84% of net electricity demand growth.
  • Coal’s share in power generation remained dominant at around 35.4%.
  • Oil consumption increased by 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) to 97.3 million bpd, with growth slowing compared with the previous year.
  • Compared with pre-Covid levels in 2019, oil consumption was 0.7% lower.
  • Most oil demand growth came from revived appetite for jet fuel and diesel-related products.
  • Oil production grew by 3.8 million bpd, with the lion’s share coming from OPEC members and the United States. Nigeria saw the largest decline.
  • Oil refining capacity grew by 534,000 bpd, mainly in non-OECD countries.


  • Amid record prices in Europe and Asia, global gas demand fell 3% but still made up 24% of primary energy consumption, slightly below the previous year.
  • Gas production was stable year-on-year.
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) production was up 5% at 542 billion cubic metres (bcm), a similar pace to the previous year, with most growth coming from North America and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Europe accounted for much of LNG demand growth, increasing its imports by 57%, while countries in the Asia-Pacific region and South and Central America reduced purchases.
  • Japan replaced China as the world’s largest LNG importer.


  • Coal prices hit record levels, rising 145% in Europe and 45% in Japan.
  • Coal consumption rose 0.6%, its highest level since 2014, driven mainly by Chinese and Indian demand, while consumption in North America and Europe declined.
  • Coal output was 7% higher than the previous year, with China, India and Indonesia accounting for most of the growth.


  • Growth in renewable power, excluding hydro-power, slowed down slightly to 14% but solar and wind capacity still showed a record increase of 266 gigawatts, with solar taking the lion’s share.
  • China added the most solar and wind power.


  • Global energy-related emissions, including industrial processes and flaring, were up 0.8% reaching a new high of 39.3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
  • Lithium carbonate prices jumped 335%. Cobalt prices were up 24%.
  • Lithium and cobalt production rose 21%.
Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by Philippa Fletcher