ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka had received proposals from operators to build around 6,000MW of renewable capacity when expressions of interest were called, according to industry officials as competitive procurement was also ended.
Adding 1.500 MW renewable capacity to the grid will not be a challenge, officials of the Federation of Renewal Energy (FRED) have told reporters.
Sri Lanka had high feed-in tariffs above global rates for renewable energy at one time, which were given against the country’s electricity law. The Feed-in Tariffs were then halted and competitive bidding was brought in.
When feed-in tariffs were in place over 700MW of capacity were added, according to the renewable industry.
The renewable industry representatives say under competitive tendering new additions to the grid had reduced.
However, Ceylon Electricity Board officials have said that tendering was progressively blocked at high political levels and tender documents prepared by the CEB did not go past the minister with pressure put into bringing back feed-in tariffs.
A case in point was a tender for 190 MW of renewable energy plants which was systematically blocked at the minister level pending the bringing back of feed-in tariffs according to critics.
Related: Sri Lanka renewable power competitive tenders stuck for 10 months without a ministerial nod
Sri Lanka’s sustainable energy authority has now outlined the following renewable feed-in tariff for CEB to procure plants without competitive tender.
These include 32 rupees per unit for mini-hydro, 29 for wind and over 33 rupees per unit for solar, reducing over time. However, there is a scalable rate for operation and maintenance.
Sri Lanka’s parliament backed by the ruling party recently changed the electricity law to allow non-competitive bidding, which the opposition said will pave the way for systematic procurement corruption.
Related: Sri Lanka opens floodgates for corruption in power sector: Harsha
Sri Lanka’s electricity sector has been a magnet for corruption with political and business interests trying to push high-cost plants to the grid, including in LNG procurement.
Sri Lanka however is now in the worst currency crisis in the history of the island’s intermediate regime central bank after soft-pegging macro-economists printed money to suppress rates yet again.
This is a total misrepresentation of the actual situation. There are many statements which are totally untrue. For example CEB tendered for over 300 MW of solar but less than 50 MW were implemented showing that their system of tendering was totally unviable. It is not true to say that the FIT system is against the law. It is covered by the SLSEA act. But some personal opinions on interpretation of a particular clause in the Electricity act was used illegal to block all RE projects under the SEA system for seven years. This is the cause for the present crisis. I can provide substantiation of the above
Sadly a piece of sloppy reporting.
1. The headline is wrong as we have not stopped competitive bidding. In fact a 100MW solar tender is ongoing along with another 60MW.
2. “Sri Lanka had high feed-in tariffs above global rates for renewable energy at one time, which were given against the country’s electricity law.” Please share the court case that determined that this scheme was against the electricity law.
3. Please share the basis of the claim that Sri Lanka has high feed in tariffs above global rates also? Are you getting your talking points from CEBEU?
4. “Sri Lanka’s parliament backed by the ruling party recently changed the electricity law to allow non-competitive bidding” What is ‘non-competitive bidding’? I mean the Act amendment removed the block placed by CEB for feed-in tariffs – how did this become non-competitive bidding?
EconomyNext showing its fossil fuel bias again. Planning to get bought by Murdochmedia?