Mon, 22 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

SOLAR POWER an ALTERNATE ENERGY source

19 March 2022 01:05 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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solar panels fixed on rooftops

There are only three energy issues that are faced by Sri Lanka today. That is Fuel, Gas and Electricity. Electricity is easy to be solved. Fuel and Gas are beyond our control, but Electricity is not

Many Ministers of Power and Governments have been talking about Alternate Energy. None went out of the way to solve the electricity shortage. Sometime back our Pundits said we will have enough power even to supply to India

The Olympic Games held in Japan was totally supplied by Solar. All hot water  supplies in China has to be with Solar Power. That is progress

 

Energy is a hot topic these days globally. So be it in Sri Lanka. The subject energy makes headlines year in and year out in Paradise. When it rains, we run around stating Floods and Disaster Relief amounting to millions is doled out. During dry season we run around once again stating Drought and Disaster Relief is doled out by the State on both occasions to the delight of many Politicians and their Henchmen who await disaster to make it an opportunity to get rich at the expense of the Tax Paying public and those affected by disaster. For the past many years this country has had this issue of disaster during rains followed by drought. Ancient Kings were smart enough to create Reservoirs to store Rain Water. Some rulers stated no rain water should be allowed to go to the sea without being made use of it. Since Independence, the country has had no record of cubic metres of rain water flowing in to the Sea. This is one country blessed with rain and water but no Planners or Politicians have ventured to store the maximum amount of water, make use of water for Agriculture and Power Generation. There is still an opportunity for Hydro Power Plants. Storage area of reservoirs has reduced drastically from originally specified areas. No technology is used in reclaiming lost storage area of reservoirs but blindly go into an exercise of using machinery in removing Mud and Sludge in Reservoirs / Tanks. The area where mud is removed in tanks must be compacted and water sealed to prevent seepage using the technology of ancient kings or modern technology, and then water released to the reclaimed area. De-silting of reservoirs has been a failure from the time a political party ventured to reclaim 1,000 tanks, and it has been a failure up to now. Currently, a high dry season is on. Politicians, Engineers, all Pundits of the country, are talking of Power / Water Shortages. Have they ventured into having Dredging Campaigns other than encouraging religious leaders to pray to the Rain Gods? This will go on and on as the Ministry of Disaster is standing by for Disaster. Ministry of Power / CEB is looking forward to the shortage of Power. Maybe Ministry of Disaster Relief be abolished and subject handed over to Ministry of Power, who will be then responsible for Storage and Utilisation of Rain Water.


There are only three energy issues that are faced by Sri Lanka today. That is Fuel, Gas and Electricity. Electricity is easy to be solved. Fuel and Gas are beyond our control, but Electricity is not. There is an old English statement which states “If there is a will, there is a way” There is a Way for Sri Lanka, but there is No Will by Politicians who assume they rule the country but lead the country towards disaster from 1960. 


Power cuts have become a norm again in the so- called developing country for the past 44 years. At one time when power cuts were a norm, Minister of Power and Energy nicknamed Karuwala got over the issue by starting power plants and the power crisis was put on shelf for the time being.

 

Much has been spoken about Alternate Energy. Most of the power requirements of the country can be done by Solar


Many Ministers of Power and Governments have been talking about Alternate Energy. None went out of the way to solve the electricity shortage. Sometime back our Pundits said we will have enough power even to supply to India. It is a Big Joke now. Paradise has no power. For the moment we have sufficient power plants to supply daily requirements. But they have no energy supply due to inefficiency. The objective is to buy power from private diesel operated Power Plants but diesel Power Plants of the State, lie idle due to lack of energy supply. Up to date, no future plans to meet country’s demand which increase by approximately 10% year by year. If our planners and the highest number of Electrical Engineers employed by any organisation in the country, Ceylon Electricity Board has not been able to make the Government of the country understand the need to have a Power Production plan for the next 20 years to make this country a developed country. At present, the Stable Door is closed after the Horse has bolted. This has been the way backward instead of forward in this country.


20 years ago our neighbours were short of Power. Now the story is different. All neighbours have no shortage of power. Most countries have an oversupply of power and there are no more power failures as the Governments, Planners of those countries had forward plans inclusive of introduction of Private Power Plants and quickly becoming Industrialised nations overtaking a country which boasted of being a country ahead of all others in South Asia other than Japan. Sri Lanka is trying to go forward in Neutral Gear expecting a push from others and have no guts to move forward. Only Talk but No Walk. 


Much has been spoken about Alternate Energy. Most of the power requirements of the country can be done by Solar. If all roofs of the country are installed with Solar panels with no backup storage batteries, the daytime power requirements produced by Fossil Fuel / Coal consuming power plants can be shut down and be used to supply requirements for the night. This is a country where night-time power requirement is greater than a day. That means we have a long way to go to be an Industrialised Nation. Whereas power consumption in Industrialised Nations during the day is greater than night-time consumption.


In my numerous visits to newly Industrialising Nations, I observed Solar Panels installed 10 – 12 feet above the ground. There are Fruits, Vegetables grown under the Solar Panels as the Solar Panels absorb only 30 – 40 % of Sunlight, 70 – 60 % pass-through making Ideal ground to grow. Land taken for Solar Farms have been distributed to farmers. The productivity is better and less water is used as evaporation is reduced to a greater extent. There are no backup Battery Packs, thereby bringing the cost of instillation and production of electricity very much cheaper than the capital cost is reduced. These are all Private Ownership. Our planners are yet to come up with innovative ideas such as this. Capital Cost, Interest Cost is low that power produced in USD terms is single digit supplied to consumers as Private Power or some connected to National Grid for which the producers get paid. In a country like Sri Lanka, this is an ideal scenario if the CEB and political mafia are not involved in corrupt practice with money in their pocket, forget about country attitude. If such progressive ideas are implemented, countries will save millions of USD spent on Importing Energy for Production of Power. I was also told of Floating Solar Plants using the same technology for daytime power supply. Growth of specially selected Fish have been introduced to these Reservoirs / Tanks thereby increasing fish production and income generation of tank/reservoir fisherman/women. Most of them are BOO, BOT or PPP. This is the norm today. Fewer and fewer countries are going into State monopolies. If the Government of Sri Lanka / Board of Investment offers the same or better facilities as for FDI sans corrupt practice. There will be Entrepreneurs / Mega Conglomerates that will commission BOO / BOT / PPP projects on loyalty to country.


The Olympic Games held in Japan was totally supplied by Solar. All hot water  supplies in China has to be with Solar Power. That is progress.


There is another laughing topic in this country. Maybe this is the only country that has a Consumer Protection Authority that is on the side of Monopoly Power / Fuel / Gas Mafia by giving excusers to Consumers on behalf of Power / Energy Producers / Gas Importers, Distributors without calming for damages on behalf of consumer for loss of production, depression caused to households with compensation paid by Monopoly Power / Energy / Gas Mafia. Even death / injury due to LPG explosions. Those responsible have gone scot-free with our so-called Legal system. There are many Attorneys in this country. None have formed a legal Council to sue the mafia on behalf of consumers without a payment who themselves are consumers. The Consumer Protection Authority must be disbanded as they have not fulfilled their Mandate to Consumers “Consumer Protection”.

 


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Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

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Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka