Prez calls for support of experts in power sector

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa called on the experts in the power sector to assist in making a significant
contribution from renewable energy sources to the national grid.

This was made known via a media release by the President’s Media Division today (27).

“The government has set a target to generate 70% of the total electricity demand from renewable energy
sources. The potential is already there to generate nearly 700 megawatts of electricity from solar energy.
However, the public opinion is that it has not been made possible due to the opposition of the CEB
engineers. The President said that it could be rectified and that a practical contribution can be made in
resolving the power crisis,” the statement read.

Additionally, the statement mentioned that solar power generation has become a major strategy in many countries around the world and President Rajapaksa said that roof-top solar panel systems should be used as an immediate solution to the ongoing power crisis.

“Additional General Manager (Transmission) of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) P.W. Hendahewa pointed
out that based on the existing capacity of the main power grid, a new power generation amounting to 1,000
megawatts can be added to the grid. Its costs Rs.100 to generate a unit of electricity using petroleum and more than Rs.50 using coal. Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of the Public Utilities Commission said more than USD 300 billion can be saved annually if renewable energy sources were used instead. Thermal power generation costs more than USD 100 million a month,” the statement further mentioned.

Further, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera pointed out that it will be a difficult task to supply electricity at current prices.

Secretary to the Ministry of Environment, Dr. Anil Jasinghe, said that a large area of land could be saved by utilizing the roofs of government buildings including schools and hospitals in the process of generating
electricity from solar energy, the statement read.

Secretary to the President Gamini Senarath, Chief of Staff to the President Anura Dissanayake, Secretaries to
Ministries and Heads of Line Institutions were also present during the discussion.