Fossil fuels lead electricity supply for second day

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Electricity generated by the imported and pollutive fossil fuels (FFs)  took the lead for the second consecutive day to Tuesday (19) over the cheap and non-pollutive renewable energy (RE) to provide 50 per cent and over of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs, Ceylon Electricity Board’s data as of yesterday (20) showed.

Of the total electricity supplied by the CEB to consumers in Sri Lanka on Tuesday which was 40.21 gigaWatt hours (gWh), FFs share was 21.19 gWh (52.70 per cent)  and RE’s share was 19.02 gWh (47.30 per cent) respectively.

In the 200 days that have transpired in the year up to  Tuesday, RE was responsible for providing 50 per cent or over of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs in only 47 (23.50 per cent) days and FFs in the balance 153 (76.50 per cent)  days.

Tuesday’s FFs breakdown comprised CEB Coal (12.96 gWh), CEB Diesel (3.11 gWh) and private sector (PS) Diesel (5.12 gWh) respectively. Sri Lanka’s sole coal electricity generator, 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 on most days

 In related developments, Tuesday’s  RE breakdown comprised CEB Hydro 16.94 gWh, equivalent to 89.06 per cent of total RE generated on that day, followed by PS Mini-Hydro (1.11 gWh),   CEB Wind (0.36 gWh), PS Solar (0.28 gWh), PS Wind (0.20 gWh)  and  PS Biomass (0.13 gWh) 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 kiloWatt 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 Tuesday comprised Mahaweli (8.52 gWh), Laxapana (6.85 gWh) and Samanalawewa (ie both Samanalawewa and Kukule Ganga hydroelectric power projects (HEPPs) together): 1.58 gWh respectively.

Mahaweli comprises Victoria, Randenigala, Rantanbe, Kotmale and Upper Kotmale projects.

BY Paneetha Ameresekere