French Development Agency supports wind and solar power generation in Sri Lanka


At the panel discussion: Zhuo Cheng, Buddika Hemashantha, CEO, Sri Lanka Carbon Fund, Kapila Subasinghe, K. S. Popli, Yatin Kundra, CIO Proparco, Kamal Dorabawila, PIO International Finance Corporation and Gregory Villeneuve, FDA, Sri Lanka and the Maldives. (Pic by Nishendra Silva)

By Steve A. Morrell

Greening Finance, with support from the French Development Agency, initiates ‘greening’ power generation for sustainable expansion of power.

Ambassador of France in Sri Lanka, Jean-Marin Schuh, Guest of Honour at the ‘Green Finance’ forum last week, said the Conference of Parties (COP 21) to be held in Paris during the first 10 days of December, will discuss and determine global warming to limits of 2 Degrees Centigrade over the next century.

The US$ 100 billion per year contributed by developed countries is expected to mitigate and adapt climate change for sustainable and resilient development, the envoy noted.

He said the French Embassy with the French Development Agency, will create awareness and provoke extenuating circumstances to enhance such awareness with multilateral and bilateral agencies, for example Banks, Regulators and Government Administrations to initiate and determine action within the Sri Lanka context.

Carbon Finance Specialist, The World Bank, (WB), Zhuo Cheng, said the WB commitment of US$ 29 million will initially foster an integrated approach for solar power generation. The Mannar wind belt was identified for wind power generation, and eventual contribution of about 20 percent to the main grid.

Concurrent to the WB contribution, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) would be involved in central level planning, to bring about future expansion, she said.

Asked by the media, Cheng, confirmed the private sector was an important player in the Mannar wind project. Additionally, further power enhancement was also the possibility of solar power generation.

Both possibilities were concentrated on Carbon Reduction programs relating to project level technology. The expected integrated approach, also included hydro power generation, she explained.

She said major hydro projects continued to generate power, but re-cycling of water could yet be brought to its full potential through major expansion of such projects.

Chairman/Managing Director, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency, K. S. Popoli identified the Indian concept of Solar Parks and roof top solar power for domestic use, and that such power use would not be drawn from the main grid.

Currently, about 400 million people in India do not have access to electric power or any power source. Demands for power originate from mostly the rural mass; villages in far flung areas of rough terrain do not have access to usual channels for procuring power. This problem is progressively being solved through the ‘roof top’ panel installation, he noted.

Big businesses, motivated by profits and service, are installing solar panels on roofs of houses in varying degrees of usage. Naturally, the options are varied in cost and user capacity. Subject to discussions each household could install only what he or she could afford, he elaborated.

However, the Indian concept of Solar Parks was an outsourcing area of interest that was within interest areas for development. Responding to a question, he said India had the technology and could disburse their knowledge for development. He said if government-to- government bilateral technological exchanges takes place, India was in a position to assist such programs in Sri Lanka.

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