A recent Energy Governance Case Study published by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy National University of Singapore has highlighted the vast potential of renewable energy initiatives succeeding in Sri Lanka, going so far as to say that if proper mechanisms for its development is in place then Sri Lanka could be identified “… as a trailblazer for renewable energy development for the rest of the developing world” (P 24).
The report titled, “Harvesting the Elements: The Achievements of Sri Lanka’s Energy Services Delivery Projects” is a case study and research conducted by Ira Martina Drupady and Benjamin K. Sovacool. Energy Services Delivery (ESD) is a project funded by the World Bank and is primarily aimed at encouraging investments in Sri Lanka’s electricity and energy sector by promoting private sector and community based participation for renewable energy development in the country. In this study, LOLC was one of 56 stakeholders from 28 institutions around the country who are listed as engaging in renewable energy initiatives in Sri Lanka.
LOLC is the first commercial building in Colombo to have installed a mega installation of 48KW solar system containing solar cells made up of eight arrays of panels and eight inverters containing an individual capacity of 6KW. This grid connected solar power plant is located at LOLC’s Head Office in Colombo and it fulfills 15% of daily energy requirements of the Company. A renewable energy initiative that is both efficient and sustainable, this installation has significantly reduced the Company’s dependency on power from the national grid. LOLC’s first entry to promoting solar generated energy commenced back in 2003 when it financed 4,000 solar panels in rural homes that were not connected to the main grid.
In addition, in Maturata and Pussellawa plantations, the company has invested in 02 hydro power plants which are also registered for carbon trading. Similarly, the Hingurana sugar plantation commenced in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka uses bagasse as bio fuel to generate 2MW of energy with plans to increase it to 6MW in the future. In addition, the Company’s investments in a Bio Mass Company in Kalutara is currently producing 6MW of energy using Gliricidia as bio fuel with plans to increase it to 10MW in the future.
Commenting, Mr. Ishara Nanayakkara, Deputy Chairman of the LOLC Group said, “Through our Maturata, Pussellawa, Gal Oya plantations together with United Dendro Energy Pvt Ltd, we have committed ourselves towards environmental sustainability by way of integrating renewable energy initiatives into our business model. Our country is blessed with abundant natural resources which are needed to implement such initiatives– sunlight, wind, rain and tides; and together with our strong agroforestry background and our accessibility to biomass and biofuel, the country is better positioned to reap the lifelong benefits of establishing renewable energy initiatives at national level” He concluded.