Saturday, March 25, 2023

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Sri Lanka gets ready to go solar with Indian and ADB credit lines

In a bid to overcome the energy crisis, the Government has decided to equip a total of 11,219 State properties including education, religious and other buildings with rooftop solar panels.

The Credit Line of $ 100 million extended by the Indian Government for Renewable Energy, will be used for this purpose, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera announced via Twitter. As per him, 827 sites have already been surveyed.

The sites include; 374 National Schools, 25 State Universities, 20 National Colleges of Education, eight Teacher Training Colleges, 20 Technical Colleges (VTA/NAITA), 25 District Secretariats, 331 Divisional Secretariats, 79 Information Technology and Distance Learning Hubs (ITDLHs), 220 Tri-Forces and Police buildings, and 824 Piriwens.

In addition, a 5Kv solar system each for 9,176 other religious institutes and other key Government buildings will be provided.

Minister Wijesekera also said a separate program is being implemented via the Provincial Councils and the Ministry of Health to include all the other schools and hospitals keeping in line with the solar panel initiative.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is also supporting Sri Lanka’s bid to increase the use of solar power and other renewable energy sources in providing electricity to the whole country and meet its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The government’s Battle for Solar Energy program envisions 1000 megawatts of solar power generation capacity by 2025—all from the rooftops of homes and businesses.

ADB approved a US $50 million loan for Sri Lanka’s Rooftop Solar Power Generation Project, which would finance the development of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems and support the government’s target to increase the share of nonconventional renewable energy generation in Sri Lanka’s power generation mix.

The project provided the credit line that would enable businesses and households to finance the installation of solar PV generation facilities atop their houses and building.

The Ministry of Finance is managing the credit line, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Power, and Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority. Funds are channeled to the beneficiaries through selected participating financial institutions.

To ensure the smooth implementation of the investment project, ADB provided $1 million for project readiness activities. Financing came from ADB’s Asia Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility.

Project readiness activities included the preparation of technical guidelines and standards to be used in rooftop solar installations and the creation of a pipeline of bankable subprojects through the participation of financial institutions.

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