Saturday, May 18, 2024

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Project to install floating solar panels in mahaweli reservoirs gets underway

The Government has embarked on an ambitious gigantic project to install floating solar panels in the Mahaweli reservoirs including Victoria and Randenigala to generate power 

Addressing a Ceremony organized in connection with the launching of this project Minister of Irrigation Chamal Rajapaksa said the power generated through this project would be added to the national grid and that the ratio of evaporation in the reservoir reduced to the barest minimum. 

A programme to restore 5,000 out of 40,000 reservoirs has been implemented and restoring 1,500 of them have already been completed. 

This would boost the rural economy and provide drinking water. Several other projects to help rural entrepreneurs, to establish factories at rural level are among several other projects planned by the ministry he added.  

The programme to cultivate locally several food crops that had been imported in large quantities has been a success,” he further said.   

 Several renewable energy experts noted that in view of global concern on climate change and the country’s precarious situation of energy shortage, this proposal is acceptable. 

However they pointed out that the negative aspects of floating solar panels in reservoirs, in a small island should be considered when implementing this project  

This project will block the sunlight which is required for the growth of green plants and that all animals, including human beings depend directly or indirectly upon the plants for their food supply. 

The ultimate source of energy for all marine life in the sea and in every body of freshwater is sunlight. Furthermore, most fish and many types of animals need enough illumination to see, at least part of the time – to catch their food, to avoid being caught themselves. 

But light does not penetrate into the water indefinitely; it is absorbed by the water itself and further reduced by sediment and stains affecting the marine life they claimed.

There should be a proper environmenmental and and marine life assessment report after conducting the feasibility study of the project should be made public before the implementation of a project of this magnitude which will affect the water bodies in the area,they added.    

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