July 29, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is giving top priority to cutting high costs of running thermal power plants, encouraging energy conservation measures and shifting to renewable energy sources, minister of power and energy Champika Ranawaka said. “Our short-term plan is to convert high-cost thermal power plants using diesel and heavy fuels into low-cost thermal plants within the next five years,” he told a news conference.
“We want to minimise operational losses.”
Sri Lanka’s state power utility, the Ceylon Electricity Board, makes huge losses by selling power below cost and has been a drag on government finances for years.
Ranawaka said the cost of generating electricity in the island has risen sharply over the years.
“The main reason is our reliance on the use of fossil fuels to generate electricity.”
The base load power is provided by petroleum-based thermal power plants with hydro-power stations being used for peak loads.
Ranawaka said he intends to reduce and eliminate losses at the CEB over the next five years.
“Thereafter, we want to make our main energy sources renewable ones like wind, solar, and dendro.”
The news conference was held to announce plans for an energy awareness initiative called ‘Vi