Sri Lanka gets ADB aid to expand solar power use
ECONOMYNEXT – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a project under which Sri Lanka will get aid to adopt more solar energy in its power generation mix, upgrade transmission systems and raise funds.
The ADB aid for deploying solar energy at scale covers south Asia and includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives and Nepal.
The funds, from the Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility, will ensure environmentally sustainable and inclusive economic growth as well as regional integration, the ADB said.
The project will help with identification and development of solar project pipeline which may include pilot testing, identification of financial instruments and help in mobilising funding for solar investments.
“Solar is the world’s largest available energy resource, much larger than all other resources combined: the solar radiation hitting the earth every hour is more than total global energy consumption,” the ADB said.
“In the context of sustainable development and climate change, scaling up of solar energy investments is one of the best options with respect to distribution of the resource in countries which are energy poor in terms of conventional energy, as well as a broad spectrum of applications and scale and speed of deployment.”
The project will also help implement the cooperation agreement between ADB and the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which promotes solar power.
Potential projects will use solar energy for electricity generation, irrigation, mini-grids, and other applications which all require similar viability assessments covering technical, financial, economic, safeguards, governance, and procurement aspects, the ADB said.
The project will include grid impact assessments to determine need for transmission capacity upgrades, substation augmentation, and other grid infrastructure upgrades.
It will also help Sri Lanka develop financing instruments for solar power plants, including direct equity investments, green bonds, and co-financing from specialized funds and other development partners.
(COLOMBO, 14 June, 2019)