Public Invited To Provide Inputs For Energy Policy

by Ifham Nizam

  • A committee comprising of a team of experts has been tasked to develop the policy based on energy supply and demand in the past, present and future to align the island with future energy systems of the world
  • The public can send their proposals till April 30, 2017
  • Indigenous renewable energy resources will be developed to the optimum level to attain sustainability and a higher degree of resilience in the energy sector
  • The national requirements of electricity will be met with proven generation technologies and fuel sources.  Maintenance of strategic fuel reserves in strategic locations in the country will be made mandatory for all key players in electricity and petroleum industries

Power Lines and Ranjith Siyambalapitiya

While some energy experts praise the efforts of the Power and Renewable Energy Ministry for coming out with the good set of policies for the betterment of energy sector with a special focus on protecting environment by strengthening the  renewable energy sector.

However, some believe that these set of the policies are good when in black and white, but the question remains how practical when it comes to implementation. Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyabalapitiya said that his ministry has invited all stakeholders to study the draft National Energy Policy & Strategies and provide their comments, inputs and observations to further improve the policy.

He stressed that the prime focus of the policy is to give the best to the consumers without burdening them with higher prices. “Our major focus is the consumers and giving them an efficient uninterrupted service at the lowest cost,” he added.

A committee comprising of a team of experts has been tasked to develop the policy based on energy supply and demand in the past, present and future to align the island with future energy systems of the world. “The public can send their proposals till April 30, 2017”  Siyabalapitiya added.

He also said that the primary objective of the energy policy is to ensure that energy is available through economically viable supplies that are clean, secure, sustainable, reliable, to provide convenient, affordable energy services to support socially equitable development of Sri Lanka.

This policy will be in effect until it is reviewed to incorporate any major changes to external environment, he noted. Individual policy directives statutorily required to be issued for each sub sector are expected to be prepared and issued based on this policy such as, the ’General Policy Guidelines on the Electricity Industry’ as required under Sri Lanka Electricity ACT no 20 of 2009.

“The policy will be effective for five years and will be reviewed after two years in a mid-term review. This policy is founded on ten pillars, rooted in the broad areas impacting the society, economy and the environment,” he said adding if all goes well.

 

Major points of the energy policy 

1. Assuring Energy Security. 2. Providing Access to Energy Services.  3. Providing Energy Services at the Optimum Cost to the National Economy.   4. Improving Energy Efficiency and Conservation.  5. Enhancing Self Reliance.  6. Caring for the Environment.  7. Enhancing the Share of Renewable Energy.  8. Strengthening the Governance in the Energy Sector.  9. Securing Future Energy Infrastructure.  10.Providing Opportunities for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Assuring Energy security Primary and secondary energy supplies of the country will be secured to ensure continuity, adequacy and reliability. Providing Access to Energy Services Access to reliable, convenient, affordable, equitable and quality energy services will be provided to all citizens to improve their living standards and to engage in gainful economic activities.

Providing Energy Services at the Optimum Cost to the National Economy Energy services will be provided at the optimum long term cost, to lower the burden on the national economy and to achieve competitiveness of locally produced goods and services in international markets.  Efficient use of energy will be promoted in all sectors and across the energy value chain, engaging both the suppliers and users.

Enhancing Self Reliance Indigenous energy resources will be developed to the optimum levels to minimise dependence on imported resources, subject to resolving technical, economic, environmental and social constraints, with the objective of minimising the vulnerability of energy supplies to external situations.

 

Caring for the Environment

A meaningful response to climate change will be made by further reducing the low carbon intensity of Sri Lankan energy sector, adverse environmental and social impacts of energy services to be minimized to care for the global and local environment.

 

Enhancing the Share of Renewable Energy

Indigenous renewable energy resources will be developed to the optimum level to attain sustainability and a higher degree of resilience in the energy sector.  Good Governance in the energy sector to be strengthened to realise accountability, fairness and transparency to achieve investor and consumer confidence.

A stable policy environment will be ensured and the regulatory framework will be further strengthened to assure good governance in the energy sector. Securing Land for Future Energy Infrastructure Strategic locations for establishing energy facilities and corridors which interconnect such facilities will be acquired early and developed speedily as a national priority.

Providing Opportunities for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Considering the vastness of the sector, opportunities available for Research &Development and local value addition in advanced technologies, Sri Lankan business and research community will be actively engaged in the sector to develop local entrepreneurship and research capacity.

 

Implementing Strategies

The broad strategies to implement the national energy policy are detailed below, aligned with the aforementioned ten pillars: Assuring Energy Security Primary and secondary energy resources and supplies used in the country will be secured to maximise the country’s energy supply reliability and strategic independence by employing the strategies:  Diversity in energy resources used in electricity generation will be ensured subject to economic, environmental, technological and operational requirements.

Global diversification of energy sources will be pursued to safeguard supply chain against external geo-political uncertainties.  Ensure the adequacy and reliability of transmission and distribution infrastructure in both electricity and fuel supply networks to meet any future contingencies.

Regular risk assessments will be conducted to identify and mitigate possible internal, external contingencies that could critically affect the performance of the energy sector. Indigenous energy resources will be explored and strategically developed by making necessary upstream investments at appropriate times, giving due consideration to future trends in energy supply and use.

The national requirements of electricity will be met with proven generation technologies and fuel sources.  Maintenance of strategic fuel reserves in strategic locations in the country will be made mandatory for all key players in electricity and petroleum industries.

Expansion of local crude oil refining capacity to optimally satisfy the country’s demand for different petroleum products will be pursued.  Viable cross-border electricity transfer and cooperation with countries in the region will be encouraged.

 

Providing Access to Energy Services

Access to reliable, convenient, affordable, equitable and quality energy services will be provided to all citizens to enhance their living standards and to engage in gainful economic activities.

Access to electricity using either on-grid or off-grid sources will be ensured to all citizens in the country.  Small and medium enterprises which remained unconnected to national grid due to un-affordability, even after gaining access, will be connected using innovative financing schemes including capital cost subsidies.

Households which remained unconnected to national grid due to un-affordability, even after gaining access, will be connected using innovative financing schemes.

New productive uses for electricity in agriculture, rural and primary industries will be encouraged with emphasis on empowerment of women and youth. The supply quality of energy services by the utilities will be improved through adoption of appropriate quality standards.

Service quality standards will be introduced for energy services considering the priority of end use such as health services and for customer categories expecting premium services. Standardise equipment in the supply chain to ensure compatibility, ease of integration, and safety of energy supply.

Smart grid technologies will be introduced and smart metering will be deployed for enhanced customer experience, automate power system management and reduce manual intervention where such interventions are uneconomical.  Mobile and internet based services will be introduced to enhance customer convenience.

Recovery of network infrastructure costs directly from individual customers will be phased out, thereby reducing the lead time of providing energy service.

Agriculture and other industries that are not yet based on electricity but there is significant efficiency and productive advantage if electrified are to be identified and attracted to use electricity by offering incentives.

Providing Energy Services at the Optimum Cost to the National Economy Energy services will be provided at the optimum long term cost, to lower the burden on the national economy and to achieve competitiveness of locally produced goods and services in international markets by employing the strategies:  Power plants identified in the Long Term Generation Expansion Plans will be implemented as scheduled.

Receiving, processing, storage, transport and distribution capacity requirements of the petroleum sector will be identified in long term planning and will be developed in time to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products in the country.

Rational energy pricing strategies, based on the principles of cost reflectivity across the energy value chain will be adopted through a regulatory mechanism, to ensure financial health of sector utilities and to discourage wasteful energy use.

The Government will identify target groups of energy users that deserve special consideration through transparently funded targeted subsidies. Improving Energy Efficiency and Conservation of Energy systems will be efficiently managed and operated while ensuring efficient utilisation and conservation of energy.

Efficient utilisation of energy by all concerned, from utilities (supply-side management) to final customers (demand-side management) will be pursued employing the strategies:  A national energy efficiency improvement and conservation programme will be launched engaging all stakeholders in residential, industrial and commercial sectors.

Energy efficiency improvement and conservation will be promoted through minimum energy performance standardisation and labelling of appliances and introduction of green procurement processes in state and private sector organisations.

A programme on domestic energy efficiency and conservation will be launched, with the objective of empowering women.

Fiscal measures and monetary policies that encourage investments on improving energy efficiency will be introduced.

Taxation and other incentives and disincentives to support the market for efficient technologies will be introduced. Private sector participation in providing expert services on energy efficiency will be promoted and facilitated. The efficiency of water usage by all players will be encouraged among all stakeholders, considering water being a limited valuable indigenous source of energy.

Efficiency of power generation facilities will be enhanced.  A strategic plan for street lighting will be formulated for the country to ensure proper management of street lighting, which will enhance the safety of motorists and pedestrians and also contribute to energy conservation with a better aesthetic sense.

3 Comments for “Public Invited To Provide Inputs For Energy Policy”

  1. ed

    As the government could get from China ,New Zealand ,Australia ,South Africa, USA , India through bilateral agreements on long term base on Solar Power units which could be installed by the CEB to each house and formulate monthly payment scheme until it’s paid in full .

    Following immediately government could pay the consumer back an amount monthly from the savings of all customers who are not using electricity supply from the main grid .(due to the use of Solar electricity)

    BUT all solar units should be under government warranty and should be serviced on regular time period.

  2. Tissa Atapattu

    April 16, 2017

    What is Minister Siyambalapitiyas e-mail address so I can write with my recommendations, so I can get his response and not for my writings end up in WPB. ?

  3. Eng.M.V.R.Perera

    people who write should be prepared to take the mater to courts as the president and the cabinet of ministers are contravening article 27 of our constitution, even the ministers proposals on solar is a contradiction he calls coal fueled electricity unclean but solar panels that are manufactured by unclean power he calls them clean he appears to have his wires crossed

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