The excessive usage of fossil fuels worldwide is causing environmental problems. One solution to these problems is the exploitation of available renewable energy resources, including solar energy. This exploitation of renewable energy resources becomes essential to meet the large energy demand that resulted in depletion of fossil fuel resources, fuel price uncertainty and volatility, and growing concerns about global warming. Oman is located in a geographical region with an abundant and reliable supply of solar energy throughout the year. This paper presents a thorough financial, economic and technical analysis of using Solar Water Heaters (SWHs) in residential units. It was found that using SWHs in all governorates of Oman can save up to 1859 GWh of electrical energy annually, which is equivalent to the annual energy produced by a power station of 212 MW size. Moreover, the net annual reduction in CO2 emission exceeds 1.227 million tons. In addition, the economic feasibility of installing SWHs in residential units is presented. The study shows that the dissemination of SWHs in Oman requires setting policies that motivate people to use them. Besides, subsidies to SWHs customers and/or investors will help making the price of these devices more affordable to the public.
Abdullah Al-Badi, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
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