Cut red tape, implement more solar, wind power projects - President

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday instructed the power authorities to cut red tape to allow wind and solar power projects in Sri Lanka.

He was discussing the power and energy policy of the government with Power Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, State Minister of Solar, Wind and Hydro Power Generation Projects Development Duminda Dissanayake and officials at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday.

President Rajapaksa directed them to take action to ensure that the renewable energy developers and private entrepreneurs get ample support from the government to implement solar and wind power projects in the country.

He called on the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Power to jointly identify investment opportunities in the power and energy sector and implement them speedily.

He directed the Ceylon Electricity Board to obtain permission for investors from other relevent agencies so that they arfe enabled to execute the renewable power projects.

He said, “Renewable energy generation projects should unleash a boom in the energy sector and they shall be introduced expeditiously with short-term goals.”

According to the “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour Vision” policy statement, the government expects to meet 70 percent of the country’s total electricity demand from renewable energy by 2030.

The Government relies on capturing full value of the renewable energy to meet the nation’s ever growing demand for electricity. As part of this programme, a wind farm was built in Mannar, which added 30 megawatts to the main power grid. This capacity will be increased to 100 megawatts by the end of 2021, according to the Power Ministry.

Wind farms are also being built in Chunnakam and Pooneryn. It is also planned to gradually increase the number of megawatts produced by solar power and natural gas.

Steps would be taken to generate electricity using solar panels as part of the programme. The project is planned to help 100,000 Samurdhi beneficiary households.

The President said that the government should bear the cost of Rs. 800,000 per household for this. Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera, Power and Energy Ministry Secretary Wasantha Perera and heads of relevant power and energy institutions were present.

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