In 2022, Sri Lanka’s financial crisis resulted in the nation defaulting on external debts. The financial crisis limited the state-owned utility’s ability to buy imported oil and coal to fuel the nation’s power plants, resulting in frequent power outages.
In 2022, Sri Lanka’s economy was ranked 74th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. Sri Lanka’s economy is based on the export of tea, other women’s under garments, women’s knit under garments, knit women’s suits, non-knit women’s suits, and used rubber tires.
In 2016, Sri Lanka signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to an unconditional 7% greenhouse gas emissions cut by 2030, compared to business as usual projections.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2022, 100.0% of the people in Sri Lanka had access to electricity. In 2022, state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board used renewable energy (37.3%), refined petroleum (29.9%), coal (24.6%), and natural gas (8.2%) to generate electricity in the country. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Sri Lanka.
Recent renewable energy projects in Sri Lanka include:
- 100 MW Wind Project – In December 2020, the Ceylon Electricity Board commissioned the country’s largest wind project in the northwest region of the island nation.
- 70 MW Solar Tender – In November 2023, Ceylon Electricity Board announced plans for a tender for ground mounted solar projects with a total capacity of 70 MW. All tender proposals must be submitted by 19 December 2023.
- 2 MW Floating Solar Projects – The Sri Lanka Solar Energy Authority is continuing work on two floating solar project, funded by the Korea Institute for Technology Development. The projects will be built on sites on reservoirs in the Sabaragamuwa Province and in the Uva Province. The projects are forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2024.
- Rooftop Solar Program – Sri Lankan government is continuing a rooftop solar program funded by the Asian Development Bank.
Sri Lanka imports refined petroleum, crude oil, and coal for power generation and transportation. In 2021, Sri Lanka imported U.S. $2.2 Billion of refined petroleum and U.S. $432 Million of crude oil.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
Sri Lanka has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, onshore wind, biomass, and offshore wind. Low-cost photovoltaic solar panels are sustaining Sri Lanka’s struggling power grid.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.