Sri Lanka has to fill a void of 400 MW of power within next two years

Sri Lanka needs to fill a void of 400 MW of power within next two years - Keerthi Wickramaratne, Chairman - Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority
 
dailynews.lk, 05th October 2016, By Shirajiv Sirimanne

With the Sampur Coal Power Plant project not coming in to effect, Sri Lanka would urgently have to fill in a void of 400 MW in the next two years.

“Solar energy would be the solution for this”, said Keerthie Wickramaratne, Chairman Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority.He said that the potential of Solar Power is heavily under utilized in Sri Lanka despite the country having ‘sunshine’ and that solar power is used regularly for Agriculture in other countries but in Sri Lanka this segment has been virtually ignored.

Wickramaratne said that another area is energy solutions offered via solar to households. “This area is now fast catching up in Sri Lanka and we have taken a further step forward to buy the ‘extra power’ from households and power them back to the national grid, allowing the households to earn money which is net metering

He said with the involvement of the private sector and competition among them today, prices of ‘solar units’ are coming down, “We hope to have one million households to come under this program by 2020,”he said.

Wickramaratne said that they will also issue more licenses for private sector to build ‘solar’ plants and already several companies have responded. “This is a very good investment since we have offered them a ‘good’ buy back plan.

This is a very sound investment and it would be a cheaper than investing in mini hydro. He also said the country could save a lot of money by replacing electrified street lighting with solar power.

“Its true that the initial capital investment would be high. But on the long run it could save millions.

If we increase the use of solar power, then costs will decrease, while in the long-term it will be cheaper and most importantly, it is environment-friendly,” he said.

Central Bank Report of 2014, indicates that the total generation of electricity in Sri Lanka has increased by 3.9 percent to 12,357 GWh up from 11,898 GWh in 2013.

Currently while 69 percent of the power supply is generated by the CEB the report also says that hydro power generation during the year became difficult, due to the prevailing drought in Sri Lanka, once again proving without any doubt, the importance of cheap and alternative energy options such as solar and wind power.
 
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