Sri Lanka’s new regime calls for PPPs to develop wind and solar energy sector

Apr 07, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s private sector participation is needed for the Island’s energy sector to further explore and develop the wind and solar energy in the country, an official said.

“The theoretical potential is there in wind and solar, but we (government) need your (private sector) help to convert this to technical and financial,” Suren Batagoda , secretary of power and energy ministry said, speaking at an energy forum held recently in Colombo.
“We need to partner the government and the private sector together , so that we can achieve this,”

“As the government we will provide the necessary policy environment and also help with the finances for the investments that are required in this regard.”

Data from the Sustainable Energy Authority shows that there is an estimated 5000 km2 (kilo meters) of windy area with good wind resource potential while the windy land represents about six percent of the island.

These areas include the North-Western coastal region from the Kalpitiya Peninsula north to the Mannar islands and the Jaffna Peninsula, the central highlands and the parts of the Sabaragamuwa and Uva provinces.

Mannar is one of the best sites for wind power, as confirmed by a 2011-2013 study funded by the Asian Development Bank.

“Turbines there are likely to generate electricity for 38 per cent of every year. In comparison, Puttalam has an annual capacity factor of 32 per cent and Hambantota 17 per cent.” Batagoda said.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the USA data shows that Sri Lanka’s dry zone shows substantial potential for harnessing solar energy.

In a study funded by the Asian Development Bank, calls Sri Lanka to go for more renewable energy sources like solar parks as they are easier to build and less controversial than nuclear plants.