(25/11/2016) Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has decided to remove the legal barriers for consumers who wish to enter into the electricity generation based on solar power.
Therefore, it has been proposed to exempt the electricity consumers, who generate electricity in small scale through rooftop solar power plants, from obtaining a license to sell electricity to the national grid.
According to the Sri Lanka Electricity Act, as amended, no party is allowed to generate and sell electricity to the national grid without a license granted by the PUCSL. But, with the new decision, any electricity consumer could install a solar system at his or her residence/ premises and generate and sell the electricity based on the agreement which can be signed between the said consumer and corresponding licensee (CEB or LECO). All such parties will be exempted from the requirement of obtaining a generation license.
The decision came at a time, where the promotion of generation of electricity through renewable sources has become a major focus of the Government of Sri Lanka as well as the private sector investors. The government is currently in the process of implementing “Soorya Bala Sangramaya” (Battle for Solar Energy), a solar power generation program, to encourage people to generate electricity for themselves.
Under this programme any household or premises owner with valid electricity account can export the electricity generated through the solar system to the national grid under three schemes named, Net metering, Net Accounting and Net Plus.
PUCSL expects the new measure will promote the uptake of even more solar systems by the community. “By granting the exemption, we are planning to minimize the barriers, and encourage the household, rooftop solar systems,” Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said.
“This will offer better opportunity for Sri Lankan electricity consumers to access the environmental friendly and renewable sources of electricity for a reasonable investment,” he added.
By promoting solar based generation among electricity consumers, it is expected to meet the electricity demand of day time through household based solar plants, replacing the thermal plants operates during such periods. This also facilitates management of water resources more efficiently and effectively.
The current installed capacity is 3,900MW and it is expected the total installed capacity to be 4,955 MW by the year 2020.
As per the CEB’s forecast Sri Lanka’s electricity demand is expected to grow at 5.3 percent on average during 2015 – 2034 period, in addition the peak demand is expected to grow at 4.7 percent on average