Sri Lanka will have to add 5,000 MW of renewable energy(RE) during the 2022- 2030 period to achieve the Government’s intended target of generating 70 % of its installed electricity capacity through renewable energy by 2030. Out of the 5,000 MW, 1,245 MW, 3,204 MW and 134 MW will be required to add to the system from energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass respectively.
“In addition, 150 MW from mini hydro power and another 190 MW from major hydro power are required to be added to the renewable energy system per year to achieve the 5,000 MW by 2030,” Rohan Seneviratne, Additional General Manager- Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) told an expert panel discussion on ‘Achieving Low Carbon Development Targets in the Power Sector’, organized by the Centre for Banking Studies and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
“When I look at the policy target of 70 %, what I see is not only CEB can achieve this target , there are a number of other institutions that we have to work together on an integrated and designed plan to achieve this target,” Seneviratne said. He said this target has to be achieved through private public participation while most of these power plants should be built by the private sector. The total investment to put up these power plants is estimated to cost about USD 4,000 million. To accommodate large quantities of renewable energy power, Seneviratne emphasised the need to improve transmission and distribution networks. It is essential to maintain system stability while bringing those renewable energy generated in different places to the load centres .To do that it is required to develop transmission networks by constructing 400 kV transmission lines. Apart from that it is important to upgrade existing transmission lines, install new equipment to maintain the system stability.
|Rohan Seneviratne – CEB|
“We should convert this transmission grid to a smart grid and that requires about USD 1800 million for the next nine years. In addition to the development of the transmission network; in order to cater to additional large quantities of renewable energy, we have to put up battery storage and pump storage. The battery storage investment would cost USD 1,500 million for the next nine years while the pump storage investment will be about USD 780 million. Altogether transmission and associated development require about USD 4,000 million for the next nine years,” he said.
He noted that seeking for finances and constructing new transmission lines and getting these lines upgraded to smart grid features is a vital task that the CEB should embark on. At the same time, the distribution network has also to be improved and this has to be converted to a smart grid whilst advanced distribution management systems have to be included like smart metering systems, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems to absorb large quantities of renewable energy.
He said further that in 2021, 84 MW of roof solar was also absorbed into the system and this year it is planned to absorb at least 100 MW.