Jun 16, 2017

CEB power generation plan vs. state policy Featured

The power generation plan formulated by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) goes against the state policy and cannot be deemed the most cost effective one, according to chairman of the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA) Asoka Abeygunawardena.

He made the comment at a seminar at the BMICH in Colombo yesterday (15) with the participation of the chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

The SEMA chairman noted the CEB plan was to raise coal power generation to 48 per cent by 2030 and to 54 pc by 2037, as against the 35 pc and 31 pc contributions for the respective years from renewable energy sources, which is totally against government policy.

Abeygunawardena noted that president Maithripala Sirisena’s policy manifesto wanted renewable energy to generate the power requirements of the country almost entirely, although it did not give any time-frame for that.

Furthermore, the 100-day programme of the present government, envisaged meeting 60 pc of the power requirement through the locally-available sources by 2020 and fully by 2030, he said.

The locally-available sources mentioned therein would be renewable energy and the gas and oil said to be available in the Mannar Basin, according to him.

He went onto say that a cabinet approved paper in August 2016 basically focused on solar energy, which could generate 70 pc of the power requirement by 2030.

Abeygunawardena stressed the need to formulate a proper framework to tap the country’s renewable energy sources.

The CEB has once again proved that it cannot do it on its own, so the PUC should pay attention to handover the task to a panel comprising experts in the social, financial and environmental fields, he added.

Full speech by the SEMA chairman: