The Sunday Leader

Wind Power Developers Ignored

By Camelia Nathaniel

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is allegedly dragging its feet on the Non-Conventional Renewable Energy Tariff (NCRE) tariff issue in an attempt to deter local developers and hand over the renewable energy sector to foreign investors. Speaking to The Sunday Leader, the advisor to the National Electricity Consumer Movement Bandula Chandrasekera said that the CEB is not presenting a cost effective tariff structure for wind power developers. “Then what happens is that local developers will not be able to carry out these projects as they will not be viable, hence, they will be forced to abandon these projects.

Thereafter, what the CEB plans to do is claim that these local developers are not interested in developing these renewable energy projects and arrange to give the entire lot to a single company.

Under this plan, the CEB is trying to give the entire renewable energy sector to a Chinese firm. Then, just like in the coal power projects, the CEB officials will enjoy great kickbacks and perks through these foreign firms.

This is the dangerous agenda of the CEB, where a few officials and businessmen are trying to manipulate the power sector,” he charged.
Chandrasekera said that it is ironic that, when renewable energy sources are available in Sri Lanka, instead of trying to develop these resources, the CEB is adamant to hold onto the thermal plants, allegedly due to the oil mafia.

He said that there are several CEB officials who are involved in the oil mafia where they are manipulating the power sector in order to protect the thermal power suppliers.  “When a kilowatt unit of renewable power could be purchased for around Rs 14, the CEB purchases thermal power at around Rs 21 without any guilt as they stand to profit. Due to these two factors, the CEB always tried to undermine the renewable energy sector,” Chandrasekera said.

Meanwhile, Manjula Perera, Wind Developer and CEO of Windforce Pvt Ltd, told The Sunday Leader that the wind potential in Sri Lanka is huge but the island has only tapped around 80MW so far.

“We, however, think that we can easily get around another 300 MW to come in within the next five years, but the environment is not conducive to do that. Last Monday, we had a meeting with the Minister of Power and Energy and the ministry secretary, and they are still saying the same old story and committing that the tariff issue will be sorted within the next two weeks. However, we have been hearing this two week story for a very long time,” he said.

2 Comments for “Wind Power Developers Ignored”

  1. M.V.R.Perera

    When a unit from wind power cost about 3 times as much as a unit from coal why should the CEB or the PUCSL be interested in wind power as they will be also contravening their economic statutory duties if they go for wind power

    • Gunda

      Now you can see for yourself how our COAL plant is functioning. Stem leaks, Fires in the Coal crushers, Salinity of boiler water, Corruption in the purchase of Coal, Poor quality coal supplied still not removed. Large Demurrage charges paid for ships which are unable to unload coal due to bad weather or no room to store Coal. Fights between Elect. and Mech. Engineers. Removal of Mech Chief, Too much of political interference right from the begining. Now plans are to hand over to India! Oysters blocking the inlet screen of the sea water intake. Sand in the Tubes of Boiler or Condenser these will eat away the tubes. The metal used in the tubes are suspected to be not of quality.

      Chinese trying to use the fight between both Mech. and Elect. Engineers so as to get at high cost the Maintenance contract! Repeated starts and stops like what CEB did to the Kelenitissa Steam plant. Very costly Diesel used for low load running and starting. Every start eats into the life of the plant.

      Please consider the Pollution caused by the plant with most of the pollution controls malfunctioning already. The externalized costs of these plants are very high. ( ” At the low end, their estimates suggest that coal’s additional costs run about 9.4 cents a kilowatt-hour (¢/kwhr) in the US. Even that compares unfavorably with the typical cost of power in the US, which is about 9.7¢/kwhr. And that’s the low estimate. Their best estimate places the additional costs at 17.8¢/kwhr—on its own, that’s more than the typical cost of existing wind power (14.9¢/kwhr). The worst case is a staggering 26.9¢/kwhr. From :- http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/03/counting-the-cost-the-hidden-price-of-coal-power/) When the plant is not able to run CEB buys from very very costly Private Power. We have to add these costs of Private Power Purchased during the Plant outage also.
      When you add all this and the full interest and repayment costs of the coal plant it will be definitely much costlier than Wind Tariff! Check out the details from people at site to know the truth please. The whole projects is smelling dirty as the coal itself is polluting dirty costing health costs to the country
      The Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis 7.0 shows Wind is Cheaper than Coal :- http://theenergycollective.com/silviomarcacci/276841/analysis-50-reduction-cost-renewable-energy-2008
      (“Utility-Scale Solar, Wind Lead LCOE Charge

      The LCOE analysis shows that even during one of the most turbulent times in recent memory for renewables, the environmental and economic benefits of clean energy continue to spur technological innovations and utility-scale deployments across the globe.

      According to the analysis, utility-scale solar photovoltaics (PV) and leading types of wind energy are leading the surge – the LCOE of both power sources has fallen by more than 50% since 2008. Lazard estimates that utility-scale solar PV is now a competitive source of peak energy compared to fossil fuel power in many parts of the world without subsidies.

      In fact, Lazard finds certain forms of renewable energy generation are now cost-competitive with many fossil fuel generation sources at an unsubsidized LCOE, even before factoring in externalities like pollution or transmission costs”)

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