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Sri Lanka Can Meet Energy Demand With Renewables

Sri Lanka would be able to meet its current and future electricity demand by use of renewable energy by 2050, according to a joint study by the UN Development Programme and Asian Development Bank.

The report, titled Assessment of Sri Lanka’s Power Sector—100 percent Electricity Generation through Renewable Energy by 2050, noted that by then Sri Lanka’s installed electricity generation capacity needs would increase from the current 3,700mw to about 34,000mw.

Of this, 15,000mw would be wind energy and about 16,000mw solar. The remainder is expected to be met from hydroelectric and biomass power plants.

The study also identified a need to ensure stability of the electricity grid by introducing electricity storage capable of the instantaneous provision of 3,600mw and energy storage capacity of 15,000mw hours.

A long-term switch from fossil to renewable fuels would reduce Sri Lanka’s fuel import bill by about $18bn cumulatively but found the country would need investment of $50bn.

Priyantha Wijayatunga, director in the ADB’s South Asia energy division, said: “ADB has expressed its continuous support to low-carbon development of Sri Lanka.

“Recent proposals including a rooftop solar programme and a large-scale wind power project demonstrate ADB’s commitment in this regard. This assessment report can serve as a comprehensive example for future utilities globally on how decentralised clean energy services can be governed.”

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