Smart grids good for Oman’s economy, says report
The developing industrial sector and growing population in Oman is increasing the demand for greater utility output capacity
The utilities sector has historically under-invested in information technology, but an increasing number of utility companies in the MENA region are waking up to the benefits of smart technology – particularly smart grids, a Booz Allen Hamilton report has found.
The developing industrial sector and growing population in Oman is increasing the demand for greater utility output capacity.
With a population that has been forecasted to grow to 6.6mn by 2040, the Oman government has begun to implement initiatives that will incorporate and service rural areas of the country into the central utilities network.
Demand for power is expected to grow by ten per cent per year and require a 5GW capacity by 2020, according to Oxford Business Group.
In its latest report, Switched On: How MENA Can Build Smart Grid Success, Booz Allen says that customising smart grid strategies to suit an organisation’s objectives and mitigate challenges, while focusing on business transformation will determine the successful adoption of smart grids in Oman.
Smart grids are a convergence of the electric power, communications and IT industries, built on the foundations of advanced metering infrastructure, or AMI - an integrated system that enables two-way communication between utilities and their customers.
Using a blend of classic electric grid with information, communication and control technologies, smart grids help utilities companies overcome many of the operating and customer service obstacles that stand in their way, thus delivering results for both companies and consumers. Dr Walid Fayad, executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton MENA, said, “Increasingly we are seeing that MENA utility companies are becoming open to employing smart grid technologies to manage their operations more efficiently. Smart grids provide an opportunity for the region to modernise its infrastructure and lay the foundations for renewable energy development which can help economic diversification.”