Sri Lanka wants to build 3,000MW of solar power in 10 years

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is planning to boost renewable energy to 70 percent of total by 2030 from the current 50 percent by building 3000 MW of solar power capacity in the country, Information Minister Gayantha Karunathilake said.

The cabinet has approved a proposal to give incentives to smaller power users as part of the plan.

Total renewable power, which is already high at 50 percent, will be boosted to 60 percent by 2020 and 70 percent by 2030 under a proposal to cabinet by Power Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Minister Karunathilake said.

By 2050, all energy will be made through renewable or ‘indigenous’ sources.

Sri Lanka will also build 600MW of wind power over the next 10 years.

The private sector has a special interest in generating solar power, the cabinet had been told.

Sri Lanka has a powerful and articulate renewable energy lobby, which is pushing expensive and unreliable power that is exposed to the vagaries of weather uncertainties into the electricity system to extract profits, and forcing the utility to build stand-by thermal power to compensate, critics have said.

Sri Lanka has a history of scuttling the cheapest generating plants identified and planned by the Ceylon Electricity Board, and substituting them with high-cost plants.

A large portio of renewable energy capacity, however, comes from large hydros, which are the cheapest and were built by the CEB itself with no outside lobbying. (Colombo/Aug18/2016)

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