Small hydro developers seeks presidential intervention to iron out issues with CEB

29 January 2020 09:33 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The Small Hydro Power Developers Association (SHPDA) seeks President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s intervention to sort out issues in the mini hydro sector, which has been stagnant since 2016 due to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) halting the implementation of new mini hydropower projects.

“The renewable energy sector, which has seen heavy local investment from 1996 to 2015, resulting in significant foreign currency savings, has been stagnant since 2016 due to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) halting the implementation of new mini hydropower projects,” a SHPDA statement said.

This policy continues despite the CEB projecting the need to spend Rs.6.5 billion on purchasing emergency power this year, the association pointed out.

SHPDA, representing the major local power generators of renewable energy in Sri Lanka, recently held a general meeting at the Sri Lanka Foundation about the current 
energy crisis.

“There are projects with a total cumulative capacity of about 100 MW, which have received all the approvals and are ready to commence construction and feed energy to the national grid in the next two to three years. Projects of this capacity will potentially save taxpayers Rs.4.5 billion - which would have otherwise gone towards the purchase of fossil fuels - while serving our environment by reducing greenhouse gases which is the equivalent of planting three million trees,” SHPDA Chairman Prabath Wickramasinghe said.

“But as a result of fabricated and baseless legal arguments, the industry has been completely on hold since 2016 while the CEB tries to introduce a failed and unsuccessful bidding process to the small hydropower sector that will not be successful in helping achieve our national renewable energy targets and has only achieved to discourage investment in the sector.
This in turn has further increased our dependence on fossil fuel based power generation and the steady outflow of our foreign capital,” he added.

That is why we humbly call upon His Excellency the President to save our nation a huge foreign exchange outflow, the taxpayer from power cuts and the world from greenhouse gases by protecting this industry through the right decisions,” Wickramasinghe said.

SHPDA seeks to jointly work with relevant state authorities to formulate and implement appropriate national renewable energy policies that will improve the lives of Sri Lankans.
SHPDA members currently supply approximately 10 percent of the nation’s energy demand, saving millions of dollars in foreign exchange to the 
country annually.

Moreover, small hydropower projects, while being environmentally friendly, have stimulated tangible economic progress among rural 
Sri Lankan communities.



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