Sunday, February 5, 2023

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Government to assist Northern Province to go Green in a big way

Sri Lanka government has renewed its efforts to make a new development paradigm shift aimed for a post-pandemic economic recovery that is more sustainable and resilient to shocks and leaves no one behind.

This will be Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development, or GRID, which seeks to holistically address the related crises of climate change, COVID-19, and inequality, presidential secretariat high ranking official disclosed.

President Ranil Wickremasinghe who is committed to regain Sri Lanka has focused its attention on harnessing benefits of green economy for the people in the Northern Province as the contribution of the province to Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product is still the lowest among all nine provinces.

One part of this province, Mannar Island, a dry and barren peninsula of about 125 km2 in the district of Mannar, is classified under Sri Lanka’s arid zone. Considering the unique character of climate and wind, it has great potential for renewable energy such as wind power and solar energy.

President Wickremesinghe who was in Mannar on an observation tour yesterday held discussions with government officials to establish a green hydrogen project, improved water management system, re-foresting projects, and to adding renewable energy potential to the main power grid in the Northern Province to mitigate the effects of global warming.

After observing the Tambapavani Wind Power Plant in Mannar today (20), the President issued these instructions during the discussion held with the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Renewable Energy Authority, to inspect its current progress and plans for the next ten years.

The President emphasized the importance of maximizing renewable energy projects and highlighted the importance of switching to green hydrogen projects, which is of great interest to the people.

He said that green hydrogen could be used for shipping. The Colombo, Hambantota, and Trincomalee ports will immediately be green ports. Introducing green hydrogen energy systems for fishing boats can bring about a unique change and can make a difference in the country’s economy and the northern economy.

The President also discussed the progress of seawater desalination plant, which is under construction in the Northern Province.

He noted that if climate change affects the water table, the water under the City Park can reduce. Therefore, in order to ensure the availability of water in the Northern Province, the construction of such plants, more tanks, mini hydro projects, and reforestation is vital.

He instructed the officials to identify irrigation canals, which can be converted to mini hydro projects immediately to overcome the issues of global warming.

The identification and research of future technologies and methods in the energy sector with the support of the Moratuwa and Peradeniya universities and the restoration and future use of the jetty under the Mannar Regional Development Plan were also discussed.

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