In line with Sri Lanka’s international commitment to climate change, conventional hydroelectric power generation projects under renewable energy needs to be replaced by more renewable energy. Part of the development in the framework of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ‘Vistas Prosperity’ Policy Framework.
Below is an interview with State Minister for Development of Solar Power, Wind and Hydroelectric Power Project Development Duminda Disanayake.
Q: What is the progress being made in the implementation of renewable energy development programs in the country?
A: For the first time in the history of President Gotaba Rajapaksa’s ‘Prosperity Vista’ policy framework, significant progress has been made since the creation of a separate Ministry of State to implement solar, wind, biomass and hydropower projects.
Q: Is it your government’s and state ministry’s goal to meet the country’s energy needs with renewable energy resources?
A: Yes. He is a serious target and a great challenge. According to the first chapter, by 2030 we plan to feed 70% of the national grid with renewable energy. To achieve the goal of self-sufficiency in renewable energy, it is planned to increase the percentage of renewable energy in renewable energy by 2050 every year. -Educated electricity will be a major milestone in the country’s energy and energy history.
Q: What progress have we made since the contribution of DJ Wimalasurendra?
A: Wimalasundandra, a brilliant and innovative electric engineer, used the power plant as a national source of electricity, and hydroelectric power supply was inadequate. Eight percent per year. In this context, we have chosen to fill the gap with thermal energy based on traditional fuel sources.
Also, the use of imported fossil fuels not only pollutes the environment but also drains large amounts of foreign exchange. In these cases, the In 2007, the Sri Lankan Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) was established to develop a historic energy development plan. Over the past decade, under the sponsorship of SLSEA, 210 small power stations have been set up to generate 422 megawatts for the national grid.
Q: What is the current state of renewable energy under the newly formed Ministry of State?
A: The State Minister has been set up to accelerate the progress made in this sector. Last year, we were able to generate 370 megawatts and 88 megawatts (a total of 458 megawatts) respectively from rooftops and other large solar systems. 248 MW has also been added to the National Grid for wind power projects in Manar, Ta Talam, Hambetta, Jaffna and Balangoda. In a nutshell, the State Minister for Solar Power, Wind and Hydroelectricity Project Development has so far added 2,700 megawatts of renewable energy to the national grid.
Q: Are you sure your ministry will be able to achieve 70 percent of its target for 2030 renewable energy?
A: Yes of course. We are confident that we can achieve this goal. The State Ministry, in collaboration with the SLSEA, has developed a five-year renewable energy strategic plan in accordance with the CEB power generation plan. Accordingly, renewable energy capacity is being improved by 2030, including solar, wind and hydro power, including biomass, wind and hydro-roofing and ground-based solar systems — 4,500 megawatts; Wind power (high ground / water top) – 4,500 MW; Biomass – 500 MW; Low Hydro Power – 600 MW.
In connection with these targets, we first set up a 100 megawatt solar power plant in Simbaland, the first 360 megawatt of Hybrid Wind / Solar Energy Park in Poonerine, and a 240 megawatt wind farm project in Manar.
In addition to these works, we intend to introduce “power wheel” and “pump storage” systems in order to generate renewable energy through solar systems and hydroelectric power.
We will start a research project to find out if geothermal energy can be generated in areas with strong currents and hot springs. Outside of these strategies, we are encouraging investors to produce solar energy batteries and generate energy at night.
There is a growing demand for solar panels in the world, and we can earn enough foreign exchange by marketing any surplus product.
Q: They seem to be choosing to introduce solar-powered power plants with other renewable energy resources. Can you explain?
A: Since these resources are readily available in the country, we plan to achieve our renewable energy goals first.
So under the first phase, we decided to install solar panels on the roofs of government hospitals, government universities, and public schools. Under this program, we will soon be installing solar systems on the roofs of 15 selected government hospitals in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
We plan to install small solar systems on the roofs of 100,000 Samurai receivers to enhance their livelihoods with the surplus electricity purchased from CEB solar panels. According to the “Solar Generation to the Village” program, it is planned to start 10,000 solar power plants mainly in rural areas, each generating 100 megawatts for the national grid. These are practical and innovative renewable energy development projects.
Q: It has been reported in the media that some of the agencies entrusted with the implementation of some renewable energy development projects are not making any convincing progress. What is the current situation?
A: Many renewable energy projects have fallen into disrepair. After lengthy discussions, the participants were instructed to speed up the construction in accordance with the recommendations of the special committee. I have given additional contractors three more months to demonstrate the progress of the projects that have been entrusted to us in the past, and we have now canceled 68 projects due to poor performance. It seems that some construction companies are either too late or too late to complete the project.
Q: In addition to the direct contribution of energy generation to the economy, are there additional indirect benefits to the economy by increasing renewable energy?
A: Yes, there are about 300 companies involved in solar power generation in the country and more than 10,000 new jobs have been created in the field. The need for new techno-engineering skills development has been created from vocational training to university level.
Among other renewable resources, biomas energy development is a major requirement for developing the biomas supply chain by increasing the number of manpower and mechanization raw materials required for mechanization.
I discussed the possibility of launching new innovative research courses to design “solar technicians” in a network of vocational training centers, including technical colleges. The trainees successfully completed their first class training in the Solar Pv Technology Technology Course (NVQ – Level 4). By the end of 2021, we expect to train at least 500 technicians.
Q: Is there a plan to transfer ownership of power plants to foreign companies?
A: We never have such an idea. It is a misconception. By 2030, we will not expose the renewable energy generation to 7030 by promoting the growth of the national grid or by any unwarranted action or threats of the union.
Q: We seem to be on the verge of achieving self-sufficiency in a renewable energy-intensive environment in a renewable energy environment described in the Vistas Prosperity Policy framework. What is your opinion?
A: We have the same goal as above. We have a clear master plan that can be put into practice. We have identified shortcomings in expediting or minimizing ongoing power generation projects and outdated administrative, technological, and outdated aspects. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, as well as Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, have been cooperating in directing, advising and releasing funds for our renewable energy program.
While foreign investors are encouraged to engage in the promotion of energy resources, we are giving priority to local entrepreneurs by awarding contracts for the implementation of energy projects. There are many foreign aid agencies and friendly countries that are interested in our renewable energy development. The Iranian government can help us with the implementation of the Siambaland Solar Park and start six small hydroelectric power plants, and there is a possibility that some of our country’s reservoirs and pools will be powered by solar-powered power plants. It is unfortunate that all governments in power since 1948 have focused on hydroelectric power and renewable energy in Sri Lanka. There is a possibility of transmitting our renewable electricity to India via Danamkodi, 18 km from the Adaman Wind Power Project.