Welcoming the Government’s plan to shift to renewable energy, a senior businessman pointed out that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Minister of Power and Energy was hindering the transformation by delaying tenders and its processing.
“We welcome the present Government’s policy which clearly outlines the need to shift to renewable energy sources and thereby to achieve a target of supplying 70% country’s electricity demand in 2030 through renewable energy sources,” said Ceylinco Group Director, Upali Witharana.
However, according to him the slow approach by the CEB and Ministry of Power and Energy in floating a sufficient number of solar and wind tenders, and not processing the tenders within the set timelines have killed the momentum and excitement amongst investors in the sector.
Transparent procurement procedures are required to procure energy, at least on the path to achieve 70 per cent renewable energy by 2030, he said.
In this regard, as a Company we believe that renewable energy resources, which have a huge potential – such as wind and solar – has to be procured through a competitive bidding process for the available limited grid capacity, he said.
During 2021, certain attempts to develop methodologies lacking transparency while shortlisting bidders, he said.
According to him the delays, the shortage of foreign exchange is a major challenge to develop renewable energy in the short term.
At present, Sri Lanka is facing major difficulties in providing uninterrupted electricity in the country and the CEB has implemented a islandwide planned power shedding programme, which has drastically affected the day-to-day life of citizens as well as operations of companies.
Last Wednesday, the Renewable Energy Association warned of the national grid losing 1,200MW of electricity as the CEB failed to honour payments during the last eight months.
According to the Association, the CEB owes more than Rs 22 billion to renewable energy suppliers.
By Mario Andree