Sri Lanka discusses importance of efficient energy sector for economic and investment growth

Tuesday, 8 October 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the regulator of electricity industry of the country, successfully held the Energy Forum 2019, under the theme ‘Policy Dialogue on Importance of Efficient Energy Sector for Economic and Investment Growth – Sri Lanka’ on 26 September at Ramada, Colombo 3. 

Sri Lanka has forecasted 4.5% annual growth of electricity demand in the next 20 years which needs the installed capacity to be increased up to 10,854 MW during the period. However, investment is the energy sector remains a key challenge in Sri Lanka which will affects economic growth. 

On the other hand, having an efficient energy sector contribute economic and investment growth of Sri Lanka in larger scale. Proper policy and strong regulatory mechanism will play a major role in attracting investment. Energy Forum 2019 focused on discussing the solutions for these challenges.

“The energy sector in Sri Lanka is sensitive to many factors. If you look at some of which are perhaps bit unique to us and therefore the establishment of an efficient energy sector may require to deal with many salient challenges that we may not find elsewhere in the world. In such backdrop it will be quite useful and healthful to have a dialogue among all the stakeholders as to how we can move forward and create an efficient energy sector which ensures energy security, environment friendliness among many other things that we expect from today’s energy sector,” Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka Chairman Prof. Kithsiri M. Liyanage said, speaking at the forum.

The panel of the Energy Forum consisted of Saliya Wickramasuriya (Session Chair) – former Director General of Petroleum Resource Development Secretariat of Sri Lanka, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva – Founding Chair of LIRNEasia and Chairman of Information and Communication Technology Agency, Dr. Pramod Deo – former Chairperson of Central Electricity Regulatory Commission of India, Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne – Senior Professor, University of Colombo and Chairman of Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, Managala Yapa – Chairman of Board of Investment, Dr. Nishan De Mel – Executive Director and Head of Research of Verité Research and Commissioner of PUCSL.

Approximately more than 500 professional representing public and private attended the event. Among the crowd were local and international business leaders, policymakers, experts, industrialists and government officials. They discussed on the investment challenges, barriers and opportunities in the electricity industry, investment trends in other parts of the world for electricity industry and impact of the efficient energy sector for economic and investment growth of the country at this year’s forum. 

PUCSL intends to embed where appropriate the ideas emerged at the forum into policy advice, regulations and rules developed by the Commission.