Renewable energy sector pledges support | Sunday Observer

Renewable energy sector pledges support

29 January, 2023

The renewable energy sector announced its full support for the pledge made by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, at COPE 27 held on November 8, 2022, to secure the power and energy security of the country, at a press meet held in Colombo recently.

Addressing the press Small Hydro Power Association Secretary, Warna Dahanayake Attorney at Law said, “We the renewable energy sector of this country is firmly and steadfastly extending our support to President Ranil Wickremesinghe who at the COPE 27 of November 8, 2022 firmly pledged his commitment to increasing the renewable energy contribution to the grid to 70 percent which at the moment stands at 12 percent.

Also to reduce the carbon footprint to 14.5 percent from present levels by 2030.

At this crucial moment of a national crisis, therefore it is not a time for petty bickering but a time we must raise up and stand by the President who has a clear vision to lead us out of this crisis to prosperity.

In order to achieve this he said that countries that are interested in investing and being a part of this country’s progress should be brought together to make this project a success. Consequently, this pledge given by the President to the international community should also be a guide and path for our development.

He said, today the danger is the country losing its’ capacity to produce and supply the country’s energy and power needs. This present risk of losing 1200MW of power supplied by the renewable energy sector to the national grid is genuine and will have certain adverse repercussions on the country.

This loss to the grid will cause longer power outages and higher tariffs. The shortfall of this power will have to be met only by using costly imported fuel.

This will translate into further raising of tariffs, which are already raising grave concerns among all sectors of the industry and the domestic market. 

Therefore, this will also discourage both local and foreign investment in the future he said. Speaking on the present situation, Small Dahanayake said, it is an opportune moment that the President is of this view and commitment as the renewable energy sector has in hand projects that can immediately add 150 to 500MW to ease the present power shortage situation which is affecting the country.

Nevertheless, it is very encouraging and fortunate that the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka under Section 35 of 2002 has by this act been empowered to take all measures to protect and nurture this sector.

In its scope of authority, PUCSL has all the required power to intervene and direct the relevant departments to act in any way necessary. Moreover, the settlement of the dues to the sector is an issue that has been tackled by placing this in a proper place of priority in the order of payments made.

 Whilst having large loan outstandings to local banks all this can be sorted with proper prioritisation of settlement, Small Hydro Power Association, Dahanayake said.