Electricity generated by the cheap and non-pollutive renewable energy led Sri Lanka’s electricity sector for four consecutive days to Wednesday (13) after a lapse of 35 days, Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB’s) yesterday’s (14) data showed.
The last time renewables led the way by providing over 50 per cent of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs for four consecutive days or more was for 30 consecutive days from 10 May 2022 to 8 June 2022.
Of the total electricity supplied by the CEB to consumers in Sri Lanka in the four consecutive days to Wednesday, renewables share were 50.1, 52.55, 52.36 and 56.71 per cent respectively, while the balance electricity supply was provided by the polllutive and imported fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, of the total amount of 35.92 gWh of electricity consumed by the country on Wednesday, renewable energy was responsible for 56.71 per cent (20.37 gWh) of it and non-renewables only 43.29 per cent (15.55 gWh), respectively.
Wednesday’s non-renewable energy breakdown comprised CEB coal (12.735 gWh), CEB diesel (2.77 gWh) and private sector diesel (0.05 gWh) respectively. And Wednesday’s renwable energy breakdown comprised CEB Hydro 13.61 gWh, equivalent to 66.81 per cent of total renewable energy generated on that day, followed by private sector wind (2.20 gWh), CEB wind (2.19 gWh), private sector mini-hydro (1.82 gWh), private solar (0.30 gWh) and private biomass (0.25 gWh) and respectively
According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s 2021 Annual Report, the cheapest source of electricity generation to the CEB last year was “CEB Hydro,” costing a mere Rs 1.67 a unit or one kilo Watt hour (kWh) of electricity followed by coal (Rs 10.87); non-conventional renewables such as mini-hydro, wind-both CEB and private sector, biomass and solar (Rs 18.99), “CEB diesel” (Rs 29.01) and “private sector Diesel” (Rs 30.35), respectively.
CEB’s hydro breakdown of Wednesday comprised Mahaweli (6.64 gWh), Laxapana (5.88 gWh) and Samanalawewa (ie both Samanalawewa and Kukule Ganga hydroelectric power project (HEPP) together): 1.10 gWh respectively.
In the 194 days that have transpired in the year up to Wednesday, renewables were responsible for providing 50 per cent or over of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs in only on 45 (23.20 per cent) of those days and non-renewables in the balance 149 (76.80 per cent) of those days.
Meanwhile, the 900 mW Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, is however, generally, only partially operable for several days, forcing the Government of Sri Lanka/CEB to be over reliant on the expensive diesel to meet a large size of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs.
BY Paneetha Ameresekere