Electricity for all to promote sustainable development - Power
The Power and Energy Ministry is to
provide electricity and meet the demand of the energy services with an
affordable, reliable, diverse, safe and environmentally acceptable
choice for the people of Sri Lanka. Such services are to be provided in
the most economically and socially efficient manner, thereby promoting
sustainable economic development for the social well-being of the
country, Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage explained his views
Question: What is the continuous
power supply in the basic foundation of sustainable development?
Answer: Energy plays the
main role in the country's efforts towards its development. In order to
make the development process a success, a continuous energy supply
should be ensured. It is the most important factor in the designing of a
At present any country uses fuels and electricity to meet its energy
requirements. As every country is moving fast on its way to development,
energy consumption too increases day by day. This situation results in
the emergence of a competitive environment in the field of energy.
Norochcholai Coal Power Plant under construction. Picture by
Fuel is used in two forms namely timber fuel and fossil fuel in
today's society. The reason for the rapid decrease in timber consumption
is that timber is replaced by other efficient and reliable energy
sources. Deforestation which is on the increase has enforced restriction
for the use of timber.
The use of fossils too would become problematic in the future.
According to the estimates if fuel consumption goes in the present
manner for another 40 years all the oil deposits would dwindle and
unless new oil deposits are discovered the whole world would face a
The most efficient way of energy consumption is to convert it to
electricity. The use of water as a source of electricity generation is
very effective but the quantity of water usable for this purpose is very
low due to human activities. So, alternative methods have to be used.
Although petroleum products are used very often, it will not be
profitable any further with today's high fuel prices. The use of coal is
very popular due to the estimation that coal deposits would not run out
for another 250 years and its low prices in comparison to petroleum
prices. Although the use of natural gas for electricity generation is
environmentally friendly, when compared with the cost of gas importing
countries, it is profitable to use coal for electricity generation
applying the right conditions.
Countries with a higher level of electricity consumption use unclear
power for electricity generation. Although it is profitable it would
bring very dangerous results even for a small mistake. Establishment of
petroleum powerhouses and the use of fuel for passenger transport have
become the main reasons for the increase of fuel prices. Therefore, we
have to concentrate on renewable methods, which are more profitable and
practical. A coal-fired power plant is one such popular method.
The construction of the first coal-fired power plant at Norochcholai
in order to overcome the economic crisis is in progress. For this, the
Government is formulating plans to carry out the process of obtaining
firewood for electricity generation known as dendra power using
gliricidia or wetamara, which has been identified as a small-scale
source of energy. It is a commendable effort to save at least a part of
The use of energy in an efficient manner is also as equally important
as the method of energy generation.
As citizens of Sri Lanka it is the responsibility of all of us to
explore the means of economical energy consumption. We would be able to
save a considerable amount of foreign exchange by identifying the areas
where energy is wasted and take prompt remedies. For instance, it has
been grossly estimated that energy wastage in the field of
transportation itself is 20 percent.
If we create a well-planned road system to minimize the traffic
congestion and maintain and efficient railway system, we would be able
to save vast amounts of money.
It is the responsibility and duty of all of us to save energy and now
is the time to open our eyes with a broad mind towards the designs
formulated in the energy industry.
Question: What is the hydropower
Answer: The CEB Hydropower
stations generated 2,755 - GWH or 34 percent of total energy demand
during 2004. Hydropower came from the Mahaweli, Victoria Randenigala,
Kotmale, Samanala Wewa, Laxapana, Kukuleganga power stations and three
smaller hydropower stations at Inginiyagala, Udawalawe and Nilambe.
The upper Kotmale
Hydropower plant with the reduced scope of the project confining
activities for the main Kotmale Oya and St Clairs
Waterfall, with an installed capacity of 150MW (10 percent of
the total peak demand) is now under construction
Independent Mini Hydro Power Producers generated 206 GWH or 2.6
percent of total energy demand during the year 2004. The upper Kotmale
Hydropower plant with the reduced scope of the project confining its
activities for the main Kotmale Oya and St Clairs Waterfall, with an
installed capacity of 150MW (10 percent of the total peak demand) is now
The JBIC of Japan has provided funds for this project. The total
donor contribution for the project JY 33,265 million and total
government contribution is Rs. 5,952 million.
The contract of the preparatory works was signed on July 27, 2005.
The contractor Maeda Corporation, Japan was mobilized at Talawakele on
September 23, 2005.
A comprehensive Income Enhancement Program (IEP) has been drawn up
and its implementation has already commenced. The IEP comprises three
major components i.e., Occupational Skills Development Training,
provision of extension services and provision of micro credit facilities
through a Revolving Fund.
A total of 380 affected households have opted for different income
generating activities and the project will provide necessary training
and credit facilities.
Question: What is the future for
Answer: The proposed
Broadland hydropower projects are located about 65 km east of Colombo
and near the confluence of Maskeliya Oya and Kehelgamuwa Oya which are
the main tributaries of the Kelaniya river basin. This will be located
downstream of the existing Laxapana Hydropower Complex.
In 1986, a feasibility study of the above project was conducted by
the Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB) in 2004, further study
was conducted jointly by Electric Power Development Co. Ltd and Nippon
Koei Co Ltd, Japan. In this study, a capacity of 35 MW was concluded as
the optimum and the cost of the project excluding taxes and duties was
estimated as US $ 89.34 million.
The study further revealed that no serious impact on the natural and
social environment is expected with the implementation of the project.
The expected annual energy generated by the project is 1,236 GWH in
2004. The CEB has requested funds from the Department of External
Resources (ERD) for detailed design and implementation.
is the situation of Moragolla, Uma Oya, Ginganga Hydropower projects?
Answer: The Moragolla
project is located on the Mahaweli Ganga near the Moragolla downstream
of the confluence of the Kotmale Oya and upstream of the tailrace outlet
of the existing Lower Kotmale hydropower scheme.
The project was earlier (in 1962) identified by the Hunting Survey
Corporation of Canada. This project was studied under the Master Plan
study concluded in 1989.This is a run-of-river project with 27 MW
capacity and the expected annual energy of the project is 111 GWh. The
Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development has informed of their
willingness to provide grant assistance for the feasibility study of the
In basin and trans-basin development are the two main proposals for
Uma Oya Development.
A diversion of the Uma Oya water of the Kirindi Oya (i.e. Uma Oya
trans-basin proposal) is being implemented.
The expected power generation capacity and annual energy generation
are 88 MW and 175 GWh respectively.
The Ginganga Project was also identified under the master plan study
concluded in 1989. The dam site is to be located on the upper Ginganga
near Deniyaya town, about 1 km down stream of the confluence with a
right bank tributary named Aranuwa Dola. The powerhouse is to be located
9 river kilometres downstream, at the end of a high gradient river
The expected power generation capacity and annual energy generation
are 49 MW and 209 GWh respectively. The CEB had requested funds from the
External Resources Department (ERD) for a feasibility study in 2004.