Sri Lanka receives US$ 100 million line of credit from India for solar power sector
Sri Lanka has received a boost to its solar power generation with a US$ 100 million credit line from India.
Sri Lanka’s Finance Secretary S.R. Attygalle and Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay have reportedly signed an agreement to this effect in the presence of Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The funding is to be from the Export Import Bank of India.
The President’s Media Office has reportedly stated that the support for solar power projects is in line with the National Policy Framework ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour,’ which has outlined measures to increase the contribution to the national power grid by renewable energy sources.
“A key plan of the Government is to generate solar power by obtaining the contribution of State-owned buildings, places of worship and houses of the low-income families. It is expected to provide financial benefit to low-income households and to curtail the expenses incurred by the State institutions for electricity from the project,” the statement has noted.
“Steps will also be taken to provide facilities to store solar energy in batteries for the low-income families that are unable to access the national power grid. The project also includes generating power by installing floating solar panels as a solution to land scarcity,” it has further noted.
Plans have been initiated under the first phase to generate electricity required for the Parliament centring the Diyawanna Lake as a model project.
Sri Lanka’s State Minister for Renewable Energy Duminda Dissanayake, Foreign Secretary Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Ministry of Power Secretary Wasantha Perera, and officials of the Indian High Commission and the Finance Ministry were also present at the occasion.
The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka issuing a statement has stated that India becomes the first country to partner with Sri Lanka in fulfilling the vision of President Rajapaksa, to ensure that 70% of Sri Lanka’s national power requirements are fulfilled by renewable energy sources by 2030.
The US$ 100 million line of credit will help finance various projects in the solar energy sector in Sri Lanka, including those announced during the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) held in March 2018, such as rooftop solar photo-voltaic systems for households and government buildings.
According to the Indian High Commissioner, 89 countries, including Sri Lanka, have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA, which was jointly launched by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France, to bring together countries to promote large-scale deployment of solar energy and overcome challenges related to technology, finance and capacity.
“President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and High Commissioner of India discussed the striking similarity in the national objectives outlined by India and Sri Lanka in connection with solar energy,” the Indian High Commission statement has said.
“The shared vision of our countries in the renewable energy sector reflects our common national priorities and convergence of approaches for sustainable development. Strengthening collaboration in this vital sector will help enhance our overall energy partnership and contribute towards our global efforts to tackle climate change and reduce emissions,” the statement has added.
Sri Lanka’s power sector has become a hotspot for business/investment opportunities due to the continuously increasing demand. The demand for has seen massive increases with Sri Lanka fast becoming a business hub in the South Asian region given it’s geographical positioning in the Indian ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country. The Colombo Port City project once completed will also see a further increase in the demand for power. In this backdrop, the government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to meet the growing demand for power through sustainable energy generation options has increased the demand for renewable energy generation projects. The Indian line of credit will add to the attraction of Sri Lanka’s renewable energy generation sector as a potential business/investment opportunity.
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