Renewable energy leads over fossil fuels


Electricity generated by the cheap and non-pollutive renewable energy (RE) took the lead over the imported and pollutive fossil fuels (FFs) to be Sri Lanka’s lead electricity provider on Sunday, Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB’s) Sunday’s (17) data showed.

Of the total electricity supplied by the CEB to consumers in Sri Lanka on Sunday which was 35.49giga Watt hours (gWh), RE’s share was 18.51 gWh (52.16 per cent) and  FFs share was 16.98gWh (47.84 per cent) respectively.

Sunday’s FFs breakdown comprised CEB Coal (12.94gWh), CEB Diesel (3.94gWh) and private sector (PS) Diesel (0.10gWh) respectively. And Sunday’s RE breakdown comprised CEB Hydro 13.36gWh, equivalent to 72.18 per cent of total RE generated on that day, followed by CEB Wind (1.90gWh),PS Mini-Hydro (1.43 gWh), PS Wind (1.41gWh),  PS Solar (0.27gWh) and  PS Biomass (0.14gWh) 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 RE such as Mini-Hydro, Wind-both CEB and PS, Biomass and Solar (Rs 18.99), “CEB diesel” (Rs 29.01) and ‘PS Diesel’ (Rs 30.35), respectively.

CEB’s hydro breakdown of Sunday comprised Mahaweli (6.48 gWh), Laxapana (5.42gWh) and Samanalawewa (ie both Samanalawewa and Kukule Ganga hydroelectric power project (HEPP) together):1.46gWh respectively.

In the 198 days that have transpired in the year up to  Sunday, RE was responsible for providing 50 per cent or over of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs in only on 47 (23.74 per cent) days and FFs in the balance 151 (76.26 per cent) of those days.

Meanwhile, the 900mW 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 on most days.

By PaneethaAmeresekere