Plans to reduce power demand and wastage


By Ifham Nizam

Sri Lanka is to focus more on Research and Development in the energy sphere. "We plan to implement clear cut policies. Plans are underway to cut down electricity wastage from 11 per cent to eight per cent, while taking steps to cut down the annual electricity demand by two per cent, Power and Energy minister Patali Champika Ranawake said.

"The government has set an ambitious goal of 100 per cent energy self-sufficiency by 2030, the minister said while introducing a policy document titled `Energy Sector Development for Knowledge Based Economy 2015-2025, Towards an Energy Empowered Nation’ recently at an event held at Water’s Edge, Battramulla.

The event was attended by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Ranawaka said: "As a developing economy the challenge ahead of us is enormous and I am convinced that we can reach it if we set our priorities right and adjust our actions along the way.

"Sri Lanka Energy Sector Development Plan for a knowledge-based economy 2015-2025 will help us to restructure the energy sector of Sri Lanka, he said.

He said Sri Lanka has embarked on a challenging task of entering a new energy era. "This will be a long journey with full of challenges. With resolution, steadfastness and dedication we should overcome the obstacles on the way, stressed Ranawaka, who is an electrical engineer by profession.

He noted that major challenges of the energy sector are energy wastage and losses, unsustainable consumption patterns, large investment needed for infrastructure development in the power and energy sector, traditional institutional set up not geared to meet emerging energy sector challenges, lack of local capital development, research and technology, 100 per cent dependency on imported oil for the transport sector, high cost of electricity and increasing demand trends across all sub sectors.

Ranawaka also spelt out the eight thrust area of the plan; integrated national energy policy formulation, a cleaner future through green energy, conservation and efficient use of energy- a national priority, customer satisfaction in service and quality, timely development and infrastructure, efficient energy sector institutions and good governance, innovative financing for a diverse energy sector and investment in Research and Development for cutting-edge product development.

The the investment programme is as follows: USD 3, 600.00 million on Petroleum Sector-Upstream and Downstream Development, Electricity Generation USD 1,800.00 million, electricity transmission USD 1,725.00 million and electricity distribution USD 220,00 million.

The above four identified areas constitute future projects and on-going projects.

Petroleum Sector Upstream and Downstream Development include four ongoing projects including oil and gas exploration and 24 future projects.

Electricity generation has nine on-going projects and nine future projects. Electricity transmission has 33 on-going projects and 28 future projects.

Electricity distribution has eight on-going projects and 17 future projects.

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