25th February 2011, www.dailynews.lk, By Indunil Hewage
Small Mini hydropower industry in Sri Lanka announced yesterday the connection of 175 megawatts to Sri Lanka national grid. Hence, 4.5 percent of the country’s electricity requirements can be supplied from the hydropower industry while saving Rs 10 billion each year from country’s foreign exchange bill.
It is targeted to feed 350 megawatts from hydropower to the national grid within the next decade.
Addressing a ceremony held in Colombo yesterday Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said 83 hydropower plants that are operational in the country adds 175 megawatts to the national grid and another 60 mini hydro plants are to be commissioned in the country by adding another 119 megawatts to the entire national grid in the future.
National Renewable Energy Authority has also called tenders inviting eligible investors to set up additional 176 mini hydro plants with 333 megawatts.
The present maximum electricity capacity in Sri Lanka is estimated 2,000 megawatts and it is estimated that it would reach up to 7,000 megawatts in 2030. The present maximum electricity capacity in the world reaches 13 terawatts and it is predicted to reach 30 terawatts in 2030.
Small Hydropower Developers Association Vice President Probodha Sumanasekera said that out of all renewable energy technologies small hydropower retains the most amount of investment within the country with an over 60 percent local contribution possible. However industry is faced with many challenges.
“There are more than 300 megawatts more of small hydropower projects which can be developed within the next five years. However most of these projects are high cost, low yield projects and we request the relevant authorities higher tariffs to justify the investments,” Sumanasekera said.
Sri Lankan engineers have also engaged in building mini hydropower projects in remote areas in Asia and Africa by exporting Sri Lankan expertise and technology to the world.
Related Info :
• Sri Lanka Non Conventional Renewable Energy Contribution to the National Grid was 6.8pct in 2010 with New Projects