Sri Lanka notes the need to keep up with increasing annual energy demand
A senior Sri Lankan official has reportedly underscored the need for the government of Sri Lanka to implement forward-looking policies in order to keep up with an estimated 6 percent increase in annual energy demand. The official has also noted the need to implement a staggering 10,000 MW of renewable energy to meet its target of 80 percent renewable energy by 2030.
Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) Director General Damitha Kumarasinghe has made this observation at the Sri Lanka Chapter of the Renewable Energy Growth Forum, organised by Informa Markets, India.
Kumarasinghe has stated that of the current power generation, only 40 percent was renewable energy and that increasing this to 80 percent was an enormous task that provided opportunities for investment, technological inventions, and engineering practice.
The need for capacity expansions in the power sector was not solely about achieving the 2030 target, but also vital in keeping up with the growing demand, it has been reported.
According to the PUCSL, energy demand growth is 5-6 percent per annum and peak demand is also increasing.
By 2027, it is estimated that daytime demand will outstrip night-time peak demand.
The local media has noted that according to the state owned power utility company, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), 40 percent power generation is from coal, 40 percent from oil, and 15 percent is from hydro while less than 3 percent is from wind.
Kumarasinghe has further stated that despite the lower generation at present, solar and wind were where the most promising development was expected within the decade.
“Supplying daytime energy at a good price and in an environmentally-friendly way is key, and I think that’s why the Government has set a very high target for renewable energy penetration within the next decade.”
There are many challenges to meeting this goal, and Kumarasinghe has been quoted as saying, “If we are to achieve 80 percent by 2030 from renewable energy, we need about 10,000 MW of renewable energy to be installed within a span of ten years.” This would require capacity expansions of 1,000 MW per annum.
He has noted that there was a need for sources to supply daytime energy, especially at affordable prices and with technical feasibility.
“We are thinking of transforming energy from 70 percent imported fuel to 80 percent indigenous sources. That’s a major paradigm shift,” Kumarasinghe has said.
Sri Lanka is facing a looming power crisis and authorities are engaged in addressing the issue. Sri Lankan authorities are looking at new means of bridging the shortfall in the country’s power supply. Also, attention is being focused on the promotion of renewable energy generation options. Foreign power companies could therefore explore business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s power and energy sector.
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