Renewable energy provides over 50% of electricity needs

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Cheap, clean and low-cost renewable energy (RE) for the first time for the year provided more than 50 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total electricity needs in a phenomenon that took place on 10 May, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) data released yesterday (11) showed.

Yesterday’s RE figure was 54.48 per cent (13.39 GWh) and second was the environmentally pollutive and more expensive imported coal 38.37 per cent (12.96 GWh). Total number of electricity units consumed on Tuesday was 33.78 GWh.

In related developments, coal and RE together were responsible for meeting 93.87 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total electricity needs on Tuesday, while the balance was met with other electricity sources such as ‘wind electricity’ and privately operated ‘mini hydros.’

Meanwhile, the last time RE provided more than 50 per cent of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs was on 22 December 2021, with a figure of 54.45 per cent.

In like developments, Tuesday’s RE electricity, powered by the inter-monsoonal rains, was led by CEB Hydro which provided 72.77 per cent (13.39 GWh) of all of Sri Lanka’s RE electricity needs on that day. CEB hydro in turn was led by the ‘Mahaweli’ comprising the Victoria, Kotmale, Randenigala, Rantambe and the Upper Kotmale reservoirs.

Victoria, Kotmale, Randenigala and Rantambe were built during President J.R. Jayewardene’s tenure of office (1977-1988) after obtaining grant and/or concessional aid from the UK, Sweden and the then West Germany, while Upper Kotmale, though conceptualised during the Jayewardene era was implemented during the Mahinda Rajapaksa era (2005-8 January 2015) after obtaining concessional aid from Japan.

By Paneetha Ameresekere