Rajapaksa has laid emphasis on eco-friendly power generation
which would provide cheaper electricity to the consumers.
Speaking at the Energy Awards Ceremony at the BMICH Tuesday
where several corporate bodies received awards for energy
efficiency innovations, the President said the Government had
laid special focus on environment-friendly power generation
which would bring benefits to the consumer.
Today, electricity supply has reached the far corners of the
country which at one time were abandoned outposts. More than 85
percent of the country is provided with electricity today.
Needless to say there is a heavy demand on the national grid.
Added to this, rapid industrialization of the country and the
mega development projects undertaken by the Government in the
post-war reconstruction all make for soaring power demands.
Thankfully the mega power generation projects are on track so
that in a couple of years demands could be appeased to a great
extent. However, while more and more power generation sources
are needed to meet the present unprecedented demand it is
equally important to stress on the need for conservation. This
is because heavy consumption not only adds to the electricity
bills but it also taxes consumers in other ways too.
We say this because today power takes up a very high
percentage of overhead costs in production and manufacture of
consumer goods resulting in inflated prices. This is why the
steps taken to reward the corporate sector for their energy
conservation methods should be lauded. Because if energy
conservation moves are adopted by manufacturing companies, their
cost of production will invariably be reduced thus benefiting
Hence conservation will profit the public directly and
indirectly. That is why the President said “we should go for
more profitable and environment-friendly power generation which
could bring more benefits to the consumers.”
Most Companies today adopt energy efficiency methods to
reduce cost of production while some others who are self reliant
in their own power requirements also sell their surplus power to
the national grid thus augmenting the national supply. Such
efforts should receive all the encouragement and even special
incentives granted to such entities by way of tax rebates.
This will spur others too to adopt energy efficiency systems
thus relieving the strain on the national grid. Factories and
manufacturing plants which rely heavily on the power should also
be told to rotate their worker rosters so as to avoid the peak
hour consumption which would help in easing the demand.
It goes without saying that these are ideal ways to conserve
power until such time our power generation plants now under
construction are fully commissioned. In the meantime, we should
strive to develop alternative energy sources to meet the extra
demands and make electricity cheaper for the consumers. Today,
most investors have second thoughts about Sri Lanka due to the
heavy electricity costs that are said to be the highest in the
region. Therefore the sooner we find cheaper energy sources the
better it will be for the national economy.
While looking for cheaper energy the subject of energy
conservation on the part of the public too is important. This
should be promoted on a national scale with more vigour because
all efforts so far have not borne the desired results. Today,
there is wanton waste of domestic electricity which has come to
be taken for granted especially by a spoilt, pampered gadget
oriented society who only thinks about their creature comforts.
Government institutions are no less guilty in this
connection. Burning street lights during the day time, the
casual air in the Government Departments to idle fans, air
conditioners etc are good examples of this. Much power could
also be saved by avoiding unnecessary night-time illuminations
most of which are carried out by pirated power.
Energy Conservation should be introduced as a subject in
schools so that the value of this would be carried into the
adult life of the students.
The President also said that the Government had granted
approval for 200 mini hydro power projects some of which are
already completed. An accumulation of these could be a big boon
in the Government’s quest for cheaper electricity to the public.