Cabinet Paper clears confusion over energy policy | Daily News

Cabinet Paper clears confusion over energy policy

Confusion over the energy policy of the government was cleared yesterday, with a Cabinet Paper seeking to approve the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy’s policy on the matter.

Ministry Secretary Suren Batagoda speaking to the Daily News said approval was granted for their paper which proposed that all energy sources be included in the energy mix of the country.

This includes the controversial ‘coal option’. The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) in its approval of the 2018-2037 plan, had removed all new coal plants from the mix stating that the government’s policy was to move away from coal.

They approved an energy mix of 60 percent renewable: 20 percent coal (existing) and 20 percent LNG.

“We have stated that there should be an energy mix with all energy varieties, even nuclear. We cannot rule out any. So we proposed that the first option be given to renewable (the maximum technically feasible), second priority to local energy sources (such as the gas in the Mannar basin) and the rest be filled with other fossil fuels such as coal and other fuel sources such as biomass and nuclear”, said Batagoda.

He insisted that this was the energy policy of the government after all and that this was merely a reinforcement of that.

In 2016, President Sirisena cancelled the Sampur power plant and asked that the Indian government turn the proposal into a LNG power plant instead. The President had pointed out that there was great local opposition to coal power plants in the country.

Since then however there has been a war of ideas between the CEB and PUCSL over including new coal power plants or not in the energy mix. The former refusing to budge from the old ways whilst the latter has pointed out that the country would be taken to another energy crisis if we wait another 20 years for a coal power plant to materialize. Sampur was cancelled after 10 years of negotiations.


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