Comments /2124 Views / Saturday, 18 March 2017 00:02
By Uditha Jayasinghe
Treading in the footsteps of the rest of the world, the Sri Lankan Government has decided to redirect its power policies from a mixture of hydro and coal to solar and wind power with a slew of new measures to subsidise home solar installations, purchase power at higher prices and build a floating solar farm.
The Government has earmarked Rs.3.5 billion to pay 50% of the interest incurred by home owners when applying for a loan to install a solar power grid onto their roofs. The new measure is aimed at encouraging home owners who would otherwise be deterred by higher prices of solar panels.
“There are many companies doing this now, and most of them have set up loan arrangements through banks. However, some people are still cautious because of the interest rates. Therefore, as a government, we thought we would take half that burden away from the people. We will keep this subsidy going until every last cent is spent,” Deputy Power Minister Ajith P. Perera told reporters.
The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) would also purchase excess power from the homeowners at Rs.22 per unit to provide an incentive for more people to install solar panels in their homes.
“We are very clear that the way forward is renewable energy and we want to source the bulk of Sri Lanka’s power from wind and solar. With this in mind the Government will on 1 April call tenders for 60 solar power plants at a cost of $1 million each to increase the footprint of solar in Sri Lanka,” the Deputy Minister added.
The Government is also planning to call bids for a 100MW floating solar farm with storage, which the Cabinet approved this week.
The go-ahead would mean the Power Ministry can call for international tenders for a 100MW floating solar farm in the Maduru Oya reservoir which is expected to cover an area of 500 acres of the 15,790 acre water body.
The solar plan will be a joint venture with Sri Lanka’s Mahaweli Authority which will have to be paid a 10% royalty fee.
Prospective investors would have to bid for the cost of the plant and battery. Stored energy will be released to the grid during the night peak when CEB operates diesel reciprocal engines at over Rs.20 a unit and gas turbines at higher cost.
The CEB is also expected to buy any energy that the battery cannot store in the day time.
24 June 2017
Politics as the science of attaining “power” The first lessons taught to any student of the science of politics almost invariably includes a reference to the 16th century Florentine philosopher Machiavell...
24 June 2017
“I think that hate is a feeling that can only exist where there is no understanding” – Tennessee Williams, Sweet Bird of Youth A few days ago we had the Ven. Warakagoda Shri Gnanarathana, Mah...
24 June 2017
For the first time in the history of Indian presidential elections, caste has been brought to the fore in the run up to the 17 July presidential poll, reflecting the nature of politics in the country now. Both the ruling National Democrati...
23 June 2017
I was very hopeful when circumstances necessitated a national government of sorts in a hazy summer concatenation now long forgotten. At the time, we all thought the union of two major mainstream mindsets would result in a smorgasbord of good thing...
Yes or no to Paris Accord; let us reassess climate change
Faster, clearer data on disasters might help shield women and children
Bridging the skill gap: A challenge in Sri Lanka’s quest for economic growth
Professional way of dealing with damaging public protests to speed up economic development