Sri Lanka targeting affordable renewable energy: DG PUCSL

Jan 13, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s dependency on fossil fuels should be substituted with renewable options which are much greener and safer, a senior official said.

“In total, in 2015 about 45 percent of energy was through renewable energy including large and small hydro, wind and others. This is a very healthy situation,” Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said.

“Currently 10 percent of energy in the system is through non-conventional renewable energy plants,” he added.

Experts say that Sri Lanka has good potential to generate renewable energy, given abundance of natural resources in the country.

Kumarasinghe says that the government policy was to have more renewable energy in the system given the environmental impact.

Data shows that 50 percent of Sri Lanka’s export income has to be spent to meet the country’s import demand of fossil fuel which is equivalent to approximately five billion US dollars annually.

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6 years ago

I challenge director general PUCSL to validate his statement using resource potential of non-conventional renewable energy sources in Sri Lanka. My brief response is he got no reliable facts on Sri lanka’s non-conventional renewable energy resource potential, but like others make fictitious statements.

Currently there are privately operated Wind and solar power generators in Sri Lanka. For a unit
price which is equivalent to 1 kWh, wind energy Independent power producers (IPP) are paid approximately Rs 19.50 which is equivalent to 19.50*1000= Rs.19500 or current exchange rate approximately US$137.00 per MWh (Standard followed by developed countries to pay power producers is MWh). The equivalent unit kWh paid for solar power producers in Sri Lanka is approximately Rs 23.00 equivalent to Rs 23000/MWh or US$ 161/MWh.

Let compare these values with international standards practices. Usually in any developed country IPPs are paid approximately US65/MWh for power input to the distribution system. The amount IPPs receive can vary due to peak supply/ demand curve, but overall the averaged amount paid for one MWh is approximately US$65. Some of these IPPs have non-conventional RE sources within their power production portfolio. Usually it cost them about US$ 85/MWh to produce power using non-convectional renewable energy sources. The higher rate is generally compensated producing power at a rate lower than US$ 40/MWh using other methods within their portfolio or issuing REC (renewable energy credits).

Returning back to Sri Lanka, the IPPs producing non-convectional renewable energy are compensated handsomely, distributing country’s wealth amongst few interested parties and producing few individual fat cows at the cost of the whole society. The numbers above are the most reliable one can have access to, and I challenge any party to defy them.

Sri Lanka on average has about 35 to 45 percent renewable energy input to the power system primarily due to the number of larger hydropower.

There are better more pragmatic models available to use solar and biomass resources is Sri Lanka for domestic applications and small scale industrial applications without the participation of the IPPs where the wealth can be distributed to cover larger portion of the populations. However, I am not sure Sri Lanka currently has calibre of decision makers to implement them.

5 years ago

it is more advisable for business owners to purchase diesel power generators rather than totally depending on CEB power…