Electrical Power Crisis Pull up in Sri Lanka

Published by GayaMadhusanka on

The electrical power crisis in Sri Lanka has been a persistent issue, with the demand for electricity outpacing supply and leading to frequent blackouts. Despite efforts to improve the power generation and distribution infrastructure, reduce energy losses, and promote energy conservation, the situation has not significantly improved. However, the government and private sector organizations have been working to “pull up” the power situation in Sri Lanka, with a focus on stabilizing the power grid and providing reliable, affordable electricity for all citizens. With their combined efforts, there is hope that the power crisis in Sri Lanka can be effectively addressed and resolved in the near future.

According to climate changes and geographical conditions, Sri Lanka has renewable energy sources like Hydro Power, Wind, and Solar Power. But mainly uses Hydro Power for power generation. So this article is for an overview of the Sri Lanka power generation and the possibility of applying new Renewable power generation methods.

When considering the geography, Sri Lanka is a very small country with a nearly 22Milion population in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal. As an island, it is located between latitudes 5° and 10°N and longitudes 79° and 82°E. Sri Lanka is almost flat land with mountains rising only in the south-central part and extending 335km. The main island of Sri Lanka has 65612 square meters with 103 rivers and 51 natural waterfalls Which are more than 10 meters in height.

In Sri Lanka monsoon creates steady and strong winds from December to April and calm winds from June to October. The mean temperature of Sri Lanka is from 17°C to maximum temperature up to 33°C but the average temperature is from 28°C to 31°C. 

Power demand in Sri Lanka

Need to feel Power Demand is Very considerable factor for Sri Lanka
Power Demand in Sri Lanka

The electrical power demand in Sri Lanka has been increasing rapidly, driven by economic growth, urbanization, and population expansion. The country’s industrial sector, residential sector, and services sector are the major contributors to the growing demand for electricity. The high demand for electricity, coupled with the limited supply, has resulted in a persistent power crisis in Sri Lanka, with frequent blackouts and power outages. The government and private sector organizations are taking steps to address the power crisis by improving the power generation and distribution infrastructure, reducing energy losses, and promoting energy conservation. However, the challenge remains to keep up with the growing demand for electricity and ensure a stable and reliable supply. Sri Lanka is a Developing Country and starting major projects like Colombo Port City, day by day Sri Lanka’s Power demand goes up.  

Methods of Power Generation

Sri Lanka relies on a mix of conventional and renewable energy sources for power generation. The following are the main methods of power generation in the country:

  • Hydro power: Sri Lanka has several large hydro power plants, including the Victoria Dam, that generate electricity from the energy of falling water.
  • Thermal power: Sri Lanka generates a significant portion of its electricity from thermal power plants, which burn fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas.
  • Wind power: Wind turbines are being installed in windy coastal areas of Sri Lanka to generate electricity from the wind.
  • Solar power: The country has been investing in large-scale solar power projects and distributed solar systems to generate electricity from the sun.
  • Biomass power: Sri Lanka also generates electricity from biomass, using agricultural and forestry waste as a fuel source.
  • Mini-hydro power: Mini-hydro power plants are also being set up in Sri Lanka to generate electricity from small rivers and streams.

These different methods of power generation help to diversify the country’s energy mix and reduce dependence on any single energy source. However, the challenge remains to balance the need for reliable and affordable electricity with the need to protect the environment and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Hydro Power Plants

The major power source in Sri Lanka is Hydropower plants which are divided into Large Hydro Power Plants and Mini hydro plants. 

Victoria Dam
Power PlantWater SourceCapacity (MW)
Upper KotmaleUpper Kotmale150
Uma OyaDyraaba120
New LaxapanaCanyon100
Kukule GangaKukule Ganga80
Old LaxapanaNorton50
InginiyagalaGal Oya11
Deduru OyaDeduru Oya1.5
Hydro Power Plants in Sri Lanka

Other than these main hydropower plants there are a lot of government and private mini-hydro plants in Sri Lanka. 

Solar Power Plants

Sri Lanka is located in the Samacai. Therefore, Sri Lanka has better solar renewable energy to generate electricity by using solar power. Followings are some of the solar power plants in Sri Lanka, For instance,

Solar FarmCapacity (MW)
Maduru Oya100
Solar One Ceylon12.6
Solar Power Plants in Sri Lanka

Other than these power plants, the Sri Lanka government is anchorage citizens of Sri Lanka to apply home solar system and give some financial support for those who are trying to apply their own solar power system for their home. But consider the payback period (nearly 10 years according to Sri Lanka) of the solar system is not a profitable one as a business.

But due to the zero-emission for the environment if you can go for a solar system to fully fill the home electricity demand you are saving the world with a good carbon footprint.  

What do you do for the additional power generation of your solar system in the day time? There are two methods in Sri Lanka you can apply to your solar system, One is you can get a battery system and save the extra power in the day time and use it at night time, the Other option is the extra power in day time give to the national network and in night time get power from the national network, then after the month you can play balance charge to Ceylon Electricity Board(CEB) or CEB pay you if you have produced electricity above your demand.   

Wind Power Plants

When we consider the wind pattern in Sri Lanka monsoon creates steady and strong winds from December to April and calm winds from June to October. Due to this, there is an issue to place the wind power plant in Sri Lanka but near the beach site, there is continuous wind flow throughout the year.

For instance, followings are the current wind power plants in Sri Lanka,

Wind FarmCapacity (MW)
Ambewela Aitken Spence3
Mampuri -110
Mampuri -210.5
Mampuri -310.5
Mannar Island100
Nala Danavi4.8
Pawan danavi10.2
Wind Power Plants in Sri Lanka

Thermal Power Plants

Thermal Power Plants are mainly based on Coal, Oil, or Nuclear power. Sri Lanka has mainly three types of thermal power plants which are coal-fired power stations, Oil-fired power stations, and MSW – fired power stations. 

Coal-Fired Power Plants

Power PlantCapacity (MW)
Coal-Fired Power Plants in Sri Lanka

Oil – Fired Power Plant

Power PlantCapacity (MW)
Sojitz Kelanitissa172
Ace Embilipitiya100
Colombo Port60
Asia Power Sapugaskanda51
Northern Power36
Ace Horana25
Ace Matara25
Uthuru Janani24
Oil-Fired Power Plants in Sri Lanka

MSW – Fired Power Plants

Power PlantCapacity (MW)
Aitken Spence10
KCHT Lanka Jang110
MSW – Fired Power Plants in Sri Lanka
KCHT Lanka Jang110

Power Distribution in Sri Lanka

After the power generation, the second major thing is power distribution. There are two distributors in Sri Lanka those are CEB – Ceylon Electricity Board and LECO – Lanka Electricity Company. 

Sri Lanka has a National power distribution network and all the power plants connected to that network.  Sri Lank has 132kV Underground lines for that network with OPGW (Optical Ground Wire) communication system. in addition to 220kV, 132kV lines power transmission lines.  For power distribution, there are several substations, 220/132kV, 132/33kV, 220/33kV, 132/11kV Grid Substations with the step-down transformers with several capacities, In addition, the power plants have step-up transformers according to the requirement.

Power Distribution Network in Sri Lanka

How Electrical Power Crisis Pull down the Sri Lankan Tourism

The electrical power crisis in Sri Lanka has been affecting not only the daily lives of citizens, but also the country’s tourism industry. With frequent blackouts and power outages, tourists may experience disrupted services, such as inadequate lighting in hotels and tourist sites, and non-functional air conditioning. This can negatively impact their experience and overall impression of the country, leading them to seek alternative destinations.

In addition, the power crisis can also affect businesses and operations in the tourism industry, from hotels and restaurants to transportation and tour companies. Interruptions in power supply can lead to lost business and revenue, as well as damage to equipment and facilities.

To address the power crisis and its impact on tourism, the government and private sector organizations are working to improve the power generation and distribution infrastructure, reduce energy losses, and promote energy conservation. They are also promoting alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power, to diversify the energy mix and reduce dependence on any single energy source.

By effectively addressing the electrical power crisis, the government and private sector organizations can help to restore stability to the power grid, provide reliable and affordable electricity, and boost the tourism industry in Sri Lanka. The country’s rich culture, history, and natural beauty have the potential to attract a large number of tourists, and a stable power supply can play a crucial role in realizing this potential.

Really appreciate your taking the time to read the article. So feel free to add some comments here and share your knowledge with us.


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