ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is working on a plan to power the country using entirely renewable energy sources within the next decade, Power Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said.
Responding to questions from Opposition Parliamentarians Alahapperuma told Parliament today Tuesday, March 9, that currently, the government is dependent on oil-fired generators which are placed close to the city of Colombo and are part of the cause for high levels of air pollution.
He said the country is facing a crisis in power supply forcing it to resort to buying power from diesel and furnace oil-fired, privately-owned power plants.
“The crisis was averted somewhat because of the Covid situation which saw a drop in power consumption,” he said.
“Since 2013 no major stable power plant has been joined to the grid,” he said.
He said wind and solar power generating facilities are being expanded with wind plants being equipped with battery storage units to ensure a continuing supply, Alahapperuma said.
He said several schemes are being launched to reduce consumption and increase generation from renewable sources.
“We are planning to equip selected Samurdhi families with 5 kW solar panels they can install on their rooftops as another source of power,” he said.
He added that a scheme to distribute LED bulbs that consume less power to schoolchildren will also be launched.
Opposition Parliamentarians said that when the former government was in power MPs from the current government criticized the then government for purchasing expensive oil generated electricity from private sector providers.
“We were accused of giving in to the power mafia,” Opposition MPs said. (Colombo, March 9, 2021)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana