September 9, 2013, 10:39 pm
By Ifham Nizam
Plans are underway to suspend the solar and wind power generation though the two sources have the potential not only to produce thousands of megawatts but also contribute power to the national grid without polluting the environment. The decision will also discourage developers who are keen to promote renewable energy without depending on imported fossil fuels.
The Island learns that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has sent a confidential letter signed by its General Manager F. K. Mohideen to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Sri Lanka (SEASL) ordering the immediate suspension of all upcoming renewable energy projects.
When contacted, SEASL Director General Dr. Thusitha Sugathapala told The Island that his institution had been instructed to limit solar power to 80MW and wind power to 220 MW due to technical issues.
Authorative sources said that the shocking CEB decision was based on a study done by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the CEB management had stated that it would review the matter after April, 2014.
Dr. Sugathipala said plans were underway to obtain 20 per cent of the national power requirement from those two sources by 2020, but the CEB had specifically stated that the grid could only take 300 Mw of wind and solar power.
Bio Energy Association of Sri Lanka President Parakrama Jayasinghe criticised the CEB for its heavy dependence on fossil fuels for power generation.
An official who wished to remain anonymous said the CEB management was not keen on introducing smart meters to link up with solar power producers.
Despite numerous efforts the CEB management could not be contacted, though some officials said only CEB Assistant General Manager Senajith Dasanayake was permitted to speak to the media as he had been appointed as the CEB’s Media Spokesman. However, due to personal reasons, he was out of office.