The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a US$50 million loan to help fund around 50MW of rooftop solar projects in Sri Lanka.
ADB will also administer US$1 million worth of technical assistance from the Asian Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility to help build capacity and support rooftop implementation in the South Asian country. ADB support has already been announced but until now the amount of financial assistance had not been disclosed.
“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, ADB principal energy specialist. “But there is a need to diversify the country’s energy mix toward more renewable and sustainable sources.”
Sri Lanka remains highly dependent on fossil fuels with thermal power accounting for 67.2% of its generation in 2016, with 24.6% from hydro and 8.2% from other renewables. Sri Lanka’s government expects to generate 200MW of solar by 2020 and 1GW by 2025 under its ‘Sooryabala Sangramaya’ programme.
ADB also aims to build awareness from relevant authorities, private sector partners, and customers as well as working with private financial institutions. The private sector is expected to offer another US$9.8 million in equity for the projects, which are due to be completed by 2022.
The bank will also create technical guidelines and standards for rooftop PV in Sri Lanka.
ADB's most recent clean energy-related announcement involved two loans, adding up to US$1.1 billion, that will help strengthen and round out Indonesia’s energy sector.
paddy field solar
In related news, a proposal by the power minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya to use paddy fields for solar power generation projects of 1MW, has been approved by the Sri Lanka Cabinet of Ministers. Such projects will require the consent of Commissioner General of Agrarian Development and other authorities.