Sri Lanka to allocate Rs 500 mn to facilitate private investment in renewable energy

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka plans to allocate 500 million rupees to facilitate private investment in the renewable energy sector with a view to adding 2,000 megawatts to the national grid in three years, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said.

Presenting the annual budget for 2022, Rajapaksa told parliament on Friday (12) that the 2,000 megawatts will be added with the support of the private sector by generating electricity from the renewable plants of Uma Oya, Pooneryn, Siyambalanduwa, Mannar, Boardland, Moragolla and Seethawaka.

“I encourage local government agencies to move into the provision of street lighting through renewable energy sources in a bid to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the country, given that even countries with fossil fuels are now shifting into renewable sources by 2030,” he said.

Earlier this month, the cabinet of ministers approved a series of policy guidelines with regard to power generation including a proposal to generate 70 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Other proposals included a decision to forego the construction of new coal power plants and to neutralise net carbon emissions from power generation by 2050, according to a statement from the cabinet office released on Tuesday (02).

In September this year, Sri Lanka joined six other countries in pledging a No New Coal Compact, promising to cease the issuance of permits for new unabated coal power plants after the end of the year.

It has also been decided that “General Policy Guidelines” for the electricity industry should be released in par with the cabinet decision, while the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is to be tasked with formulating a minimum cost long-term generation plan applicable to the period 2022–2041 as per the aforesaid guidelines.

The cabinet also green-lit the ‘General Policy Guidelines for the Electricity Industry’ that has been prepared subject to section 5 of Sri Lanka Electricity Act No. 20 of 2009.

Presenting the budget, the Finance Minister said on Friday that action will be taken to remove obstacles in purchasing raw materials for the production of electrical and electronic appliances and promote investments of the private sector to achieve targets of the international market.

“So as to promote renewable energy, ensuring the reduction of the use of carbon emitting fuel and foreign currency outflows, I propose to encourage the local manufacture of equipment and appliances required for the generation of renewable energy,” he said. (Colombo/Nov12/2021)

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