Mar 26, Colombo: Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Economic Policies and Plan Implementation Anusha Pelpita to take immediate action to remove obstacles to the use of renewable energy as a solution to the power crisis.
At the progress review meeting of the Ministry of Economic Policy and Plan Implementation held at Temple Trees yesterday (25), the Prime Minister emphasized the need for an immediate solution to the power crisis.
The progress of the institutions under the Ministry including Department of National Planning, Department of Census and Statistics,
Institute of Policy Studies, Sustainable Development Council, Comptroller General's Office, Valuation Department, Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, Welfare Benefits Board and Public Service Mutual Provident Association, was reviewed at the meeting yesterday.
It was revealed at the meeting that a unit of electricity generated from fuel costs more than 60 rupees while a unit of electricity generated by renewable energy sources can be obtained at a minimum cost of around 20 rupees.
Accordingly, there is no alternative except renewable energy to solve the power crisis, the Director General of the Public Utilities Commission, Damith Kumarasinghe pointed out.
According to the PUCSL officials, in order to generate 70% of the country’s total electricity requirement from renewable energy sources by the year 2030 in line with the President’s Vision of Prosperity policy statement, 19,800 gigawatt hours of the 28,200 gigawatt hours of electricity demand forecast for 2030 need to be obtained from renewable energy sources
The Public Utilities Commission officials said that in order to do so the current Ceylon Electricity Board Act of 1969 should be amended and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) should be restructured to suit the present situation.
It was also pointed out that the CEB was slow in making arrangements to connect the electricity generated by renewable energy to the mains supply.
The Premier emphasized the need for an immediate solution to the current power crisis and pointed out that the people affected by the power crisis should be provided with uninterrupted power supply as soon as possible.
It was revealed that out of the 22 million people in Sri Lanka, about 6 million receive Samurdhi assistance and the government spends around Rs. 62 million per month to provide the benefits. It was also revealed that while some do not receive the benefits they deserve there were reports that some other ineligible people are receiving the benefits.
The officials noted that there were only data for 46 indicators to measure progress towards sustainable development and that the data has now been increased for 105 indicators. Sri Lanka is currently ranked 10th in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of data, officials said.