Clean Electricity Leads After 12 Days
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Cheap and clean electricity dominated by hydroelectricity powered by the monsoons and followed by wind electricity became Sri Lanka’s number one electricity supplier for two consecutive days to Saturday (21November after a lapse of12 days, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) data of yesterday (Sunday, 22 November)showed.
Prior to cheap electricity’s two consecutive days dominance to Saturday, the last time cheap electricity dominated Sri Lanka’s electricity landscape for consecutive days were beginning on 5 November and ending on 10 November, a total of six consecutive days. In the interim, the country’s electricity landscape was largely dominated by either the more expensive imported coal or thermal oil.
Meanwhile, of the total electricity supply of 35.23 giga Watt hours (gWh) sold by CEB to the country on Saturday, hydroelectricity supplied 14.05 gWh or 39.88 per cent of total electricity supply, data showed. Second on Saturday was coal 13.15gWh (37.32 per cent), followed by oil-7.16gWh (20.32 per cent) and lastly, wind electricity-0.67gWh (1.90 per cent) .
In related developments, the Mahaweli, responsible for supplying 6.19gWh or 17.58 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total electricity needs that day, dominated hydroelectricity supply of Saturday. It was followed by Laxapana 4.76gWh (13.51 per cent), Kukule Ganga 1.87gWh (5.30 per cent) Samanala Wewa 1.12gWh ( 3.17 per cent) and CEB Small Hydro 0.11gWh (0.32 per cent).
‘Mahaweli’ comprises five hydroelectricity reservoirs. They are Victoria, Kotmale, Randenigala, Rantanmbe and Upper-Kotmale respectively. Victoria, Kotmale, Randenigala and Rantanmbe were built with grant aid from the UK, Germany (then West Germany) and Sweden. The Upper-Kotmale conceptualised in the Jayewardene era was finally commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa with concessional funding from Japan during his tenure of office.
Laxapana conceptualised by Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake was built with Treasury and concessional funding from the World Bank. Kukule Ganga conceptialised by President Ranasinghe Premadasa was commissioned by President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga from a soft loan from Japan. And, Samanala Wewa, conceptualised during the Jayewardene era, was finally commissioned during the Premadasa era. It too was built from a soft loan from Japan.
Meanwhile, the majority of the thermal oil (led by the more expensive imported diesel) and coal powered projects were built during the post Premadasa era, namely when Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa were in power.
State owned CEB and its subsidiary Lanka Electricity Company Private Ltd have the monopoly to sell electricity in the country.