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No attempts to discourage solar power – Ravi

Insisting that no decision has been taken to discourage the use of solar power, Power & Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Parliament today (18) that the Government will formulate the policies needed to strengthen the renewable energy sector.

The Minister denied reports of a Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB)-issued circular allegedly rejecting applications for the installation of plants amounting to more than 50KW of solar power.

Karunanayake was responding to a statement made by Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) Leader MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake earlier in the House today.

Explaining the Government’s position, the Minister said no plans are underway to abolish the existing net metering system or the net counting system to make way for a Net Plus system for customers to make their payments.

After the commencement of the program to add 100MW of power to the national grid, Net Plus, Net Metering and Net Accounting Systems were introduced to Sri Lankan consumers on the basis of reviewing financial impact, he said, under a technical condition of the program.

Karunanayake further said that the CEB has appointed three committees to review the situation and that tenders have been awarded to 126 solar power plants.

“They are not going to let the consumer prices go up, and about 1,200MW are needed by 2020,” said.

“The President has also instructed the Prime Minister to promote solar energy. No decision has been taken to discourage solar power,” he added.

The Minister reiterated that the Government will formulate necessary policies to strengthen the renewable energy sector through the study of local energy sources using solar power.

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