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Sri Lanka wants to build 3,000MW of solar power in 10 years

Aug 18, 2016 06:34 AM GMT+0530 | 5 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka is planning to boost renewable energy to 70 percent of total by 2030 from the current 50 percent by building 3000 MW of solar power capacity in the country, Information Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said.

The cabinet has approved a proposal to give incentives to smaller power users as part of the plan.

Total renewable power, which is already high at 50 percent, will be boosted to 60 percent by 2020 and 70 percent by 2030 under a proposal to cabinet by Power Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister Karunathilake said.

By 2050, all energy will be made through renewable or 'indigenous' sources.

Sri Lanka will also build 600MW of wind power over the next 10 years.

The private sector has a special interest in generating solar power, the cabinet had been told.

Sri Lanka has a powerful and articulate renewable energy lobby, which is pushing expensive and unreliable power that is exposed to the vagaries of weather uncertainties into the electricity system to extract profits, and forcing the utility to build stand-by thermal power to compensate, critics have said.

Sri Lanka has a history of scuttling the cheapest generating plants identified and planned by the Ceylon Electricity Board, and substituting them with high-cost plants.

A large portio of renewable energy capacity, however, comes from large hydros, which are the cheapest and were built by the CEB itself with no outside lobbying. (Colombo/Aug18/2016)


 

5 Comments

  1. StatingTheObvious August 20, 05:08 AM

    Hi Not so obvious, it appears you need to educate yourself on renewable power generation and power management in general. Please examine the case studies prior to retorting.

    Take a look at power usage throughout the day and how power management plays a key role. Hydro is also considered a renewable source but you are assuming solar and wind only take over the generation at full times. I will explain this briefly, but do read up on the widely available literature to understand fully.

    Highest usage of power is known to be during the day when most people and high-energy demand industries are active, with enough solar plants, some (if not all) of this power demand can be met. Thereby not requiring the use of hydro power which can be saved for during the night along with wind to meet the night-time demand.

    New coal plants will not be needed in that case which helps save costs as we will not need to import the expensive coal from other countries which helps narrow the trade gap, benefiting the economy in the bigger picture.

    We have been running without a coal power plant until norocholai, and still the plant breaks down ever so often so we can meet the demands with enough renewable sources: Sun, wind, hydro instead of new coal plants which this article is connected with.

    The CEB is lobbying extensively for coal mind you, with false facts about how the coal plant is not affecting the environment but the BBC and other news outlets have reported otherwise from the local residents (coal has a powerful international lobby and therefore it seems deals have been struck with regards to the coal plant which has more cons than pros). I am no liar, the facts are out there, take a look at countries which are running at more than 50 renewables, more countries are doing so and some are now reaching almost 100 renewable.

    There is nothing political about my statements, it's just common sense, just take a look at the case studies. Renewables will reduce the hardships on the poeple as I mentioned earlier as we can tap into free energy. Yes, initial costs are high, but with minimal running costs, we won't need to import expensive fuels to meet our energy needs making it much more cost effective and with reduced imports, reduce our trade gap with less foreign exchange leaving the country thereby helping the economy improve.

    But feel free to believe the naysayers. If I am so wrong, how come so many countries are making the switch? even China is now commissioning more new renewable power sources than non-renewable one.

    Thereby increasing the percentage of power generation from renewable sources. Many European countries are reaching or have exceeded 50 of power generation and even middle eastern countries are setting up 100 renewable cities.

  2. NOt so obvious August 20, 02:07 AM

    Hi Stating the obvious. If everything you say is true, and renewables are oh so cheap and oh so reliable, there is no need to pay lobbyists to appear in television and get around the politicians and cabinet papers to get these 'cheap and reliable' plants in to the grid.

    People who own or run power networks will be rushing to build these so quickly that there will be a traffic jam. Come on...

    How can solar be a viable alternative to fossil fuels or hydro with storage? If it is is not available in the night? You need batteries or a pump storage plant to do that.Come on... Don't lie.

    You know you are lying and hiding the truth from a gullible public.

    You are not saying this out of ignorance like innocent members of the public who have been brainwashed by people like you. I myself like clean energy, but we have a crisis in this country. It is a shame for the renewable lobby to seek profits through political means by victimizing people who are already going through hardships.

  3. StatingTheObvious August 19, 10:16 AM

    Hi John, were you the author of this article?Best check your facts before proceeding with highly opinionated rants not backed by credible sources. Solar and wind have been successfully demonstrated to be a viable alternative to fossil fuel burning methods of power generation.

    Several countries have already demonstrated as such, not just in developed countries, mind you. This has led to a reduction in the number of new coal power plants being commissioned wold-wide. Clearly, you have not been keeping up-to-date with the technological advances in the sphere of solar and wind power generation either. Costs have been coming down, and efficiency has been increasing.

    Also, your life-span estimation is inaccurate as solar panels have been demonstrated to last longer, and with very low running costs, it works out to be more cost effective in the long run anyway. As for wind, unless you build a wind turbine indoors, I think you can say the wind will keep blowing. One thing is guaranteed for sure though, the long term effects of coal and fossil fuels in general are unsustainable at best with rising costs and damage to climate.

    Btw, thanks to the admin for editing my comment earlier and ommiting my referral to another article which can help educate the readers as to why there is so much resistance to renewables in this country and why it is the only way forward.

  4. John August 18, 06:35 AM

    The problem with solar and wind is the reliability. With solar the effective life of plant is limited and the efficiency reduced with age and will not be economic afte about ten years with the current technology. Wind is unreliable and we do not know what are the long term effects of loosing wind. Who thought fire god was dirty.

  5. StatingTheObvious August 18, 03:38 AM

    The author seems to be biased towards coal and other unsustainable methods of energy generation. Sri Lanka has a powerful and articulate renewable energy lobby- are you living under a rock? Coal lobbyists seem to be more powerful with norocholai being a prime example. No care is given to the fact the residents there are suffering from the pollution, the adverse effects to the environment and the high cost of running the plant with constantly requires importation of coal. Oh, and are you saying that plant has been reliable? It's constantly breaking down. Also, keep in mind, technology nowadays has improved the efficiency of renewable tech as well as bringing costs down. Stop trying to mislead the public with your backward opinion.

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