Energy Regulator Calls for Urgent Action to Avoid the Energy Crisis in 2017

The Energy Regulator, the Sri Lanka Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL), has written to the State Electricity Provider, the Ceylon Electricity Council (CEB), to adopt emergency measures to Preventing energy shortages in the first four months of 2017. "a failure of the successive monsoons caused the very low storage of hydroelectric reserves (less than 500 GWh) and the Commission recommended actions under the following aspects, A letter from the PUCSL. He asked the CEB that will maximize the thermal production capacity available to implement these capacities self-generation captive generators use to reduce demand, accelerate the construction of new production facilities and increase the contribution of the Production solar roof. PUCSL noted that private-sector thermal power plants should change their maintenance to ensure an uninterrupted supply to consumers and provide additional reserves, as it has been observed that plants have supply constraints. Thermal energy is the most expensive energy source in Sri Lanka, and world oil prices have been moving slowly since the beginning of this year due to supply reductions. Coal power also experienced a strong appreciation in 2016, which pressured the CEB to propose a 5 percent increase in electricity prices to offset losses, which was also approved by the PUCSL but was slaughtered By politicians in October. Meanwhile, PUCSL noted that private captive generators could probably add 100 MW of power to the grid under auto-generation, although an additional 290 MW of power is needed in the grid if the largest hydro Capacity of 270 MW is offline. He also ordered the CEB to commission a 170MW plant in 2017 according to the long-term generation plan, although the PUCSL last month had indicated that most plants to be commissioned under the long-term plan Would be delayed. As part of the tender for the CEB of 50 mobile production plants, PUCSL says CEB must "accelerate the acquisition process after bid closing on January 4, 2017 and ensure the availability of plants in March 2017 ". PUCSL also asked the CEB and the Authority for Sustainable Energy to accelerate central renewable energy connections to private property through standardized energy purchase contracts (SPPAs). In recent months, PUCSL has rejected the concerns raised by delaying commissioning of the plant, reliability of power generation capacity due to past failures and weather conditions and lack of LECL interest by Investors due to government action. The Norochcholai coal plant, which supplies about 40 percent of the electricity in the country, has suffered numerous loopholes, which caused several power outages this year, further exacerbating the problem. Experts, including the government, have admitted that Sri Lanka is likely to experience an energy crisis in 2018 also, if supply issues are not addressed immediately








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