Sri Lanka should push harder to cut peak power demand: think tank

Apr 04, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka should push harder on cutting peak power demand as ‘average’ costs are meaningless and trimming the most expensive 5.0 percent of energy has the potential to eliminate losses at Ceylon Electricity Board, a think tank has said. About 17 percent of the generation costs of state-run Ceylon Electricity Board went towards the most expensive last five percent of energy purchased, LirneAsia, a regional think tank said in public consultation called by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.

The CEB also spent 17 percent of its costs on the least expensive energy, which amounted to 50 percent of the total energy purchased.

“Thus, if energy purchases could be reduced by 5 per cent, it is possible that the losses of the CEB could be eliminated,” LirneAsia chair Rohan Samarajiva said.

“This is the importance of managing demand. Not all the demand needs to be reduced in absolute amounts. Shifting it to off-peak, (when the sole base load coal plant, producing inexpensive energy is asked to back down) could also provide substantial relief.

“If peak demand is lowered, the overall costs of supplying electricity will be reduced.”

‘Average’ Cost

Costs range from less than 5.0 rupees a unit of electric