President explores possibility of rapidly adding “renewable energy” to national power supply

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa explored the possibility of rapidly adding renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and natural gas to the power grid.

Many countries in the world today are turning to renewable energy sources for power generation. As per the ‘Saubhagyaye Dekma’ Policy Statement, by 2030 the Government expects to meet 70 per cent of the total electricity demand from renewable energy sources.

During a discussion on power generation held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (15), President Rajapaksa stated the generation of renewable energy should be done expeditiously in a systematic manner with short-term objectives.

The Government aims to meet the increasing demand for energy from renewable energy sources when implementing development projects in the future. In the first phase, the wind power project installed on the island of Mannar has added 30 megawatts to the main power grid.

By the end of the year 2021, this capacity will be increased to 100 megawatts. Wind farms are also being built centring Chunnakam and Poonaryn areas. It is also planned to gradually increase the power share generated using solar power and natural gas.

The President emphasised that the Government should intervene to remove all obstacles faced by private entrepreneurs when implementing projects, while providing all incentives needed in this regard. The Ministry of Power and Energy is responsible for obtaining prior approval from other institutions and awarding it to investors.

President Rajapaksa also said the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Power and Energy should jointly take steps to explore investment opportunities and implement projects expeditiously.

Solar power generation is to be done under several schemes. One of the projects will be implemented to identify 100,000 Samurdhi families and to build solar panels on the roofs of their houses and provide them with an additional income. The President further stated that the Government should bear the cost of Rs 800,000 per house for this project.