Solar power sector will boost the economy
Published: 10/05/2017 12:00 pm
Interview: Ken Paton, CEO of Symtech Solar MENA, talks about the possibilities offered by the industry
How long has Symtech been operational in Oman?
Symtech MENA is a new company we are part of the global Symtech Solar Group. We have access to their solar technology, technical expertise and international purchasing power. Although we have been operational for only a short while, we have already made an impact in the local Oman market. We are an Omani SME company and our operations are based in the sultanate but we have International ambitions as we are the exclusive distributors for the Symtech Solar Group in MENA and the wider Middle East and will be operating in a total of 17 countries within the next few years.
What are the products and services offered by Symtech Solar?
Symtech Solar Group is an American renewable energy company that develops, produces and installs the world’s most complete and cost effective photovoltaic solar energy solutions. With an established and proven track record worldwide and with a highly experienced management team, Symtech Solar has created multiple product lines designed for specific solar energy installations and applications including industry leading PV kits.
The use of PV kits designed by Symtech Solar yields cost and time savings by offering users an ‘all in one bod’ packaged product thereby eliminating the need for the customer to deal with multiple manufacturers and suppliers. Our innovative packing solutions, all in one box, offers our clients and easier and faster way to carry out their solar businesses.
What are the factors that make Oman ideal for solar power generation?
Have you ever looked up at the sky in Oman? The sun shines for 342 days of the year and according to a study completed by Cowi Consultants for the Authority for Electricity Generation. It said, ‘The level of solar energy density in Oman is amongst the highest in the world,’
Oman also has one of the highest recorded levels of sky clearness in the world and the government is supporting the uptake of rooftop solar energy generation. The authority for electricity generation has issued its specifications to allow home owners and industry to connect rooftop solar systems to the electricity grid so the time is perfect for us to enter the market with our unique product offer.
Which sectors do Symtech Solar cater to?
Symtech Solar MENA caters to the domestic, industrial and commercial sectors. Coupled with a wide variety of street lighting options and solar irrigation pumps for farming use, we believe we can offer a comprehensive. We also provide totally off-grid solar systems for remote desert areas that are not connected to the electricity grid such as high quality desert camps for tourism, hotels and labour accommodation.
We can also provide hybrid solar systems for areas where the electricity supply in unstable or subject to frequent power outages.
Please mention a few of your major projects in the region, especially in Oman.
Symtech MENA was awarded the contract for the first totally solar powered building project in Oman. The building is located in Wahiba sands and 2km from the nearest power supply. We are installing a 24kWh totally off-grid solar powered system complete with batteries to allow the building to function without connection to mains electricity. We are currently involved in major projects in Kuwait, the UAE and Morocco.
How can the renewable energy sector contribute to the economy?
Currently in the UK, renewable energy jobs grow at a rate seven times faster than the national average employment growth and a significant boost to employment for Omanis can be expected from the uptake of solar power to replace electricity generated from natural gas. In the UK as a whole, employment in renewable energy increased by nine per cent across all sectors, bringing the total number working in the industry to 112,026. In comparison, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported average growth of 1.2 per cent during the same period. Renewable energy is a totally new sector of the job market and presents an opportunity for Oman to lead the way in both the uptake of renewable energy and creating jobs in a new market sector for Omanis.