Solar Show Sri Lanka 2018


During the Presidential election 2015, Sri Lanka`s president Maithripala Sirisena declared his manifesto under the theme of compassionate Maithri governance, a stable country. In the chapter 10 of the manifesto, he pledged to reach the basic energy amount what country needsvia renewable energy. However, it`s uncertain whether the President`s dreams has become a reality or not as total energy production from solar and Wind Energy is Sri Lanka is still less than 10% in national grid.. In recently concluded Solar Show 2018 exhibition,the largest renewable energy exhibition in Asia,which was organized by Terrapin, the need for the improvement of Renewable Energy in Sri Lanka,specially the solar and wind energy were discussed.

The energy experts/the consultants who came to the exhibition clearly stated that Sri Lanka should move to the hybrid energy era where considerable percentage of energy is being generated through solar power and wind power. During the exhibition, Mayura Botheju, the energy consultant said to EarthLanka that the need to establish hybrid way of Energy plan was a need of the moment and however the plan had been delaying due to the policy issues and lack of efficiency to implement the plans. He further added that lack of funding also harmfully influencing to implement proper policy decisions about Sri Lanka.

To analyze what Botheju says, it’s worthy to have a better understanding of the current energy situation of Sri Lanka. Until early 90s, Ceylon electricity board relied on Hydropower since it was introduced to country in 1950, s.Until late 2010, hydropoweracted a major role in energy production, however after that respective governments had to move to the harmful solutions like coal, power due to the inability to establish new hydro power plants due to the geographical and environmental causes.Electrification of the country was less than 10% in 1970`s and however now it has changed to almost 100% Therefore, the energy generation should be increased via eco-friendly way what was said by MayuraBotheju and other energy consultants who attended to the Solar Expo-2018 exhibition in Colombo.

Preparedness to introducesolar and wind energies into the national power grid in significant percentage is an upcoming issue that Ceylon electricity Board (CEB) has to face with the current circumstances. It is needy to utilize new tools to get new tools to absorb a large share of variable renewable energy to the system.

It is a universally recognized remark that the leverage cost for thermal and coal power plants are higher than the leverage cost of renewable energy plants if we consider about the cost of power plants. Cost of maintaining the renewable energy power plants are being reduced rapidly by improving technology and it will be reduced more in future. Reductions of solar energy can be noticed worldwide due to higher level technology, financial solutions and etc.

Oliver Duguet,the entrepreneur,one of the dozens of international entrepreneurs in renewable energy sector who visited there to theSolar Expo exhibition said to the EarthLanka that as a country Sri Lanka was still lagging behind the renewable energy sector specially in wind and solar energy when we compare the situation with other South Asian countries like India.

“India has already become a major renewable energy player in South Asian region, basically there are lot of wind and solar energy plants at there.”, he said.

According to the opinion of Duguet, the renewable energy power projects, basically the solar and wind power firms should have community support and should be established.

“If we consider about the countries like German, Denmark, the wind and solar power plants are established as a community-basedprojects invested by community members itself from their privately-owned money without the involvement of government and people who invested in projects get their profits in annual basis.”, he said.

However, Duguet further added that the state support or the sponsorship of the government was necessary for the making awareness among the public over significant nature of solar and wind energy.

“Sri Lanka is not that so much behind with respect to the countries in South East Asia, like Malaysia and Indonesia. But, however as a country, Sri Lanka has a great potential to improve the facilities related with solar power.”, he said.

Duguet accepted that the initiation of the projects to the rural areas would be challengeable task as there would be financial difficulties in funding the projects.

“However, without improving solar and wind power, any country doesn’t have a future.”, he noted.

The Solar Show, Sri Lanka ,2018, Asia`s Largest renewable energy exhibition, organized by Terrapinn was held on 28th and 29th of November at Colombo with a participation of dozens of international exhibitors and local facilitators like energy consultants where EarthLanka participated as a media partner. Thousands of local visitors including university academics, entrepreneursattended to it.

Sri Lanka is a country where we have been talking about renewable energy -wind and solar power for decades. However, still we have been in a failure to implement the plans. Holding the Solar Show,2018 can be considered as the good foundation to improve the renewable energy production of the country.