ECONOMYNEXT – Competitive tenders for about 190 MegaWatts of renewable power plants are stuck without ministerial approval, though the official policy is to expand non-carbon energy, engineers at the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has revealed amid fears of a return to high cost ‘feed-in’ tariffs.
“The bid documents have been submitted for approval to the ministry of renewable power about 10 months ago,” CEB Engineers Union President Saumya Kumarawadu said.
“Recently also we asked about it.”
The CEB had prepared bid documents for a series of small plants which could be connected where the grid had capacity.
Industry analysts fear a return to the so-called ‘feed-in’ tariff scheme where competitive tendering was by passed to give extra billions to the renewable lobby.
The CEB at one time was forced to buy power by passing competitive tender through pre-arragned ‘feed-in’ tariffs which were around 50 to 80 percent higher than what came through competitive tender.
CEBEU said the average cost of renewable plants now was around 18 rupees a unit, due to competitive tenders which came in at around 12 to 15 rupees compared to around 22 to 25 rupees for feed in tariffs.
There are fears that the controversial feed in tariffs outside of competitive bidding will re-emerge. (Colombo/Aug05/2021)