Wind power can help SL reach renewable energy target – Narayana

ECONOMYNEXT-Sri Lanka can achieve more than half of the renewable energy target for 2030 by using windmills to generate electricity, a Moratuwa University Professor said.

“The target for 20 per cent renewable energy is possible with available resources ” University of Moratuwa, Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Mahinsasa Narayana said.

Narayana said out of the targeted energy percentage 15 per cent can be generated through wind power.

“In Sri Lanka, the Northern province and the up-country areas are the places we can use to build wind farms” he said.

Narayana said the main barriers that the wind power plants face is the lack of land and the inability to control the flow of wind.

“Wind power plants take a vast area of land and which is scarce in Sri Lanka”

Narayana said the decision to build the Mannar wind power plant was taken because the area is sparsely populated.

He said the inability to control the wind is another disadvantage in building wind power plants.

“There are two types of energy, prime energy and embedded energy, “Narayana said.

“Wind  belongs to the embedded energy, energy we cannot control according to the demand”.

Narayan says that even if there are certain barriers it is more productive than solar energy production.

“One wind turbine can generate the same amount of power as 48,704 solar panels” Narayan claimed.
Mannar Wind Power plant project, which was started in 2019, now adds 100 Megawatts (MW) to the energy demand of the country after finishing the first phase.
“There are several wind power plants. Currently the state owned Mannar wind power plant adds 100 MW while private owned wind power plants in Puttalam and Jaffna generated 150 MW and 40 MW” Narayan said.

Narayan said installing a Wind mill for electricity generation will cost 1200 US dollars.

Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) reports that 100MW wind power plant in Mannar is expected to generate approximately 320 Gigawatt hours (GWh) annually after the completion of all the four stages.

CEB adds 900 MW of electricity to the national grid from renewable energy sources. (Colombo/Feb12/2019)