The Asian Development Bank has approved a $50 million loan to help fund rooftop solar power generation systems in Sri Lanka. A further $1 million will go towards technical assistance to help build capacity and support the project’s implementation.
In 1990, Sri Lanka had an electrification rate of just 29 per cent. In 2016, that number had skyrocketed to 99.3 per cent. However, the country remains very dependent on fossil fuels, with thermal power contributing 67.2 per cent of the total power generation.
This makes Sri Lanka vulnerable to fluctuating fuel prices and blocks the government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of its commitment to the Paris climate agreement, according to a statement from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“Sri Lanka’s energy sector has made tremendous progress over the last two and a half decades in bringing electricity to almost everyone in the country,” said Mukhtor Khamudkhanov from ADB. “But there is a need to diversify the country’s energy mix toward more renewable and sustainable sources.”
To this end, ADB has agreed to finance rooftop solar power sub-projects equivalent to additional capacity of 50 megawatts in an effort to boost access to clean and reliable power in Sri Lanka. The project will also build capacity and awareness of relevant authorities, private sector partners and customers.
The total cost of the project is $59.8 million: $50 million from ADB and $9.8 million from the private sector. The project is expected to be completed at the end of 2021.
Image credit: Michael Mazengarb via Flickr