Sri Lanka plans big increase in renewable energy investment
COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s new government expects a big increase in renewable energy investment by the public and private sectors as it unveiled an ambitious plan to gain energy self-sufficiency in the next 15 years.
By 2030 the island aims to phase out fossil fuel imports which account for 25-30 percent of the total import bill and burns up 40 percent of export earnings, according to the Sri Lanka energy sector development plan for 2015-2025.
"If current trends in fossil fuel imports continue, soon export earnings will not be enough to meet the fuel import bill," Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said.
About half the island’s primary energy supply is imported today, making it vulnerable to international supply shocks, he said.
The government intends to replace these imports by developing indigenous energy sources and reducing energy usage and waste, Ranawaka told a forum held to launch the new energy plan.
About 20 percent of imports would be replaced by developing to the fullest potential non-conventional renewable energy such as wind and solar by 2030, he said.
"We will also reduce the technical and commercial losses of the electricity transmission and
distribution network from 11 percent to eight percent, which is the international norm, by 2020."
The government also aims to reduce annual energy demand growth by two percent through "through very rigorous conservation of energy and efficient use," he said.
The plan aims to increase the share of electricity generation from renewable energy sources from about half today to 60 percent by 2020 and finally to meet the total demand from renewable and other indigenous energy resources by 2030.
Current total installed power generation capacity is about 4,050 MW, consisting of 900 MW of coal power, 1,335 MW of oil burning thermal power, 1,375 MW of hydro power and 442 MW of non-conventional renewable energy sources such as wind, mini hydro, biomass and solar power plants.