June 16, 2017 (LBO) – The Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGP) 2018-2037 proposed by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is not in line with the policy of the government, the Strategic Enterprise Management Authority (SEMA) said.
“According to the CEB’s plan only 35 percent of the islands energy demand will be met by renewables by 2030 and further reduced to 31 percent by 2037,” said Ashoka Abeygunawardana, chairman of SEMA, speaking at a public consultation on the plan organized by the Public Utilities Commission at BMICH, Thursday.
“The CEB’s Plan does not agree with the policy of the government. The President has made it clear that the government is aiming at 60 percent of the energy mix to be renewables by 2020 and 70 percent by 2030.”
He says also that the CEB should look at the issue of the energy mix from the aspect of climate change issue and the Paris agreement.
“The quota for renewables is an afterthought in this plan.”
“The CEB is insisting on coal where as the government’s policy has “no place” for it.”
According to CEB statistics wind power is the cheapest.
“They say it is not optimal as it cannot be stored and that when storage costs are added to renewables, their costs are higher than that of coal.”
“But they have not taken into account the cost of building pump storage plants for coal. There are problems with these numbers.”
The proposed energy mix for the next 20 years consists of major hydro, coal, pump storage hydro, combined cycle, oil and gas turbines.
In addition by 2018, they plan to add 15MW of mini hydro power, 160MW of solar power 5MW of biomass, 320MW of oil based power to the nation grid.
The plan would also require an investment of US 14.57 billion dollars in the next 20 years to be fully implemented.
The CEB has noted that coal as base power would be more reliable and cheaper than renewables at present but would amend their mix as technology for renewables improves.
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The PUCSL has asked the CEB to re-submit their report in line with government policy.