Sri Lankan industries to explore sustainable energy future.
The Morning: Leaders from across industries, civil society, finance, and academia met in Colombo on 13 November to explore short and long-term energy solutions for Sri Lanka, amidst the country’s worst-ever energy crisis. With Sri Lanka’s industrial sector among the largest consumers of costly imported fossil fuels, more than 100 participants heard from experts and shared their insights into how this economically important sector can move towards more sustainable energy use.
“By decoupling Sri Lanka’s industrial development from the use of imported fossil fuels, we can avoid energy crises in the future and help slow down global climate change,” said Minister of Environment Naseer Ahamed during his opening remarks. Minister of Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana stated: “The industrial sector employs 30% of the national workforce, so it’s essential that we future-proof this sector.”
Organised by the European Union (EU)-funded “Accelerating Industries, Climate Response in Sri Lanka” (AICRSL) project, the event’s highlight was a panel discussion between leading energy experts and innovators. With expertise in leveraging finance, new technologies, and international trade in a changing world, the panellists shared some of the latest developments in the area of sustainable industrial energy.
Speaking at the event, EU Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Denis Chaibi stated: “As global markets demand products with lower carbon footprints, we are eager to help Sri Lanka reap economic benefits by tapping into niche markets that seek sustainably produced goods while also acting on climate change. This is part of the external dimension of the EU’s Green Deal, our blueprint for securing a sustainable energy future.”
Meanwhile, a showcase of Sri Lankan Energy Savers, people in industry and Government who are already helping improve energy use, was on display at an in-event exhibition. Those attending were invited to nominate other Energy Savers whose efforts should be recognised – and could inspire others to take similar action.
“Every transformational story needs people who will take on a challenge, run with it, and make change happen. Sri Lanka’s Energy Savers are exactly that: Courageous industry leaders and energy practitioners determined to help the country slash industries’ energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions. I look forward to seeing more Energy Savers emerge as the initiative progresses,” said United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Project Manager Nicholas Dehod.
The event is the first in a series of industry dialogues planned by the AICRSL project – a Rs. 2.8 billion (EUR 7.56 million) partnership between the Sri Lankan Government, the EU, and UNIDO. This effort is designed to help the country’s industrial sector cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 7% by 2030. The initiative will achieve this aim by supporting industries to use more renewable energy, such as solar PV and biogas, and improve energy efficiency.
The five-year initiative will work across a wide range of areas, including measurement, reporting, and verification of GHG emissions and creating policies to support industries to move to low-carbon technologies. Hundreds of industry managers and service providers will gain expertise on renewables and energy efficiency, and funding opportunities will be unlocked to increase low-carbon technology investments. Industry dialogues and other events will be held throughout the initiative to enable the Government, the business community, the finance sector, and civil society to share the technical knowledge, insights, and solutions needed for a low-carbon future.
The ongoing power crisis in Sri Lanka has opened up a host of new business/investment opportunities in the country’s power sector, especially in the renewable energy generation sector. The government of Sri Lanka is also focused on increasing the capacity of power generated through renewable energy sources to 70% of the total power mix. The growth and profits recorded by local businesses engaged in the renewable energy generation sector is indicative of the expanding growth and business potential in Sri Lanka’s power industry, especially in the renewable energy sector. With the country focusing on becoming an emerging business destination in the South Asian region supported by Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, there will be a continuous increase in the demand for power generation. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s power industry, especially in the renewable energy sector.
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