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WB support for Sri Lanka’s renewable energy drive


15 October 2015 03:58 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
In an effort to push the nation towards green financing, the World Bank (WB) yesterday pledged its support in allowing Sri Lanka to achieve the 20 percent non-conventional renewable energy (NCRE) target by 2020.

“To achieve this 20 percent Sri Lanka needs to mobilise more than US $ 2 billion investment in the coming 20 years. To satisfy the huge investment demands, our partnership is focused on encouraging and helping the nation in building public-private partnerships (PPPs) for smart investment and creating an enabling environment,” said WB Carbon Finance Specialist Zhuo Cheng at the Green Finance Forum organised by the French Embassy. While only last week the agency announced it will increase climate financing to US $ 29 billion annually with the support of its members, Cheng said Sri Lanka will fulfil its goal with renewable technologies such as wind, hydro (under 10 MW), biomass, solar and possibly with others such as waste and run of river hydro. The overall design is observed to be in the format of technical assistance, capacity building and the utilisation of international climate finance. 

Aiming to play a catalytic role in developing PPPs and access to climate finance, the WB, in its efforts looks to fulfil the objective of allowing Sri Lanka to have effective and creditable NCRE electricity pricing, a cost-effective solution for NCRE development, improve the commercial viability of NCRE projects, a smart grind system to allow higher penetration of NCRE and to have a politically and financially empowered government intervention.

With regard to the NCRE Feed-in Tariff reform, the WB said it is currently extending its assistance in a cost-benefit analysis, which is carried out at a project and economy level. Whereas in the area of competitive procurement of electricity, a mechanism for governments to purchase electricity, the WB aims at sharing international experience on auction for NCRE electricity, which will help the country achieve cost-effective solutions for NCRE development. 

Furthermore, while the WB has supported the utilisation of the GCF concessional loan and grant support for phase 1000 MW development of the ‘Mannar 375 MW Wind Development Project’, Cheng shared there could be potential support from the World Bank Group in favour of PPP development for Phase II and III.
Highlighting future plans, Cheng said by December 2015, the initial results of two to three Sector studies, which contribute to strategic sector planning for NCRE development, would be released. During the same month, the draft design document package for the carbon crediting programme would be out.

In June 2016, the GCF funding proposal for Mannar wind investment would be submitted, and by September the Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement between Sri Lanka and the WB is expected to be inked.

Sri Lanka is currently in the midst of preparing the concept note to apply for GCF readiness support, having received support from the WB via PPIAF to support capacity development to access GCF and for strengthening Sri Lanka Climate Fund (previously known as Sri Lanka Carbon Fund).

SL yet to submit proposals to combat GW

Gearing up to host Conference of Parties (COP) 21, France has requested all countries to put forward their contributions in overcoming global warming (GW), but Sri Lanka is yet to respond to this call.

Addressing the Green Finance Forum in Colombo yesterday, Ambassador of France for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Jean Marin Schuh said, “Every country has been requested in advance to deliver a national contribution summarizing its intended actions to combat global warming. As far as Sri Lanka is concerned we are still waiting for the national contribution.”

During his brief address he invited President Maithripala Sirisena to participate in the launch of this Conference in Paris. “It is a great honour for French authorities to welcome him. 

It will be an excellent symbol of the high involvement of the Government of Sri Lanka on climate change issues,” added Schuh.

It is expected that the COP 21 meeting will deliver a joint promise on the set climate finance target. Sri Lanka stands to benefit in a number of ways through preparing for, and using climate finance for the development of renewable energy.

Such include reducing the risk of a possible fossil fuel price shock to the economy, decreasing the exposure of the economy to foreign exchange requirement, and providing access to low/no cost finance for energy generation infrastructure investment.

Furthermore, it will allow establishing smart public-private partnership models to finance sustainable and green infrastructure, to consolidate the visible leadership position of Sri Lanka in resilience finance by covering both mitigation and adaptation financing, and strengthens the branding of Sri Lanka as a global leader in addressing climate change and promoting green growth.


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