The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka held a three day peers review workshop on Sri Lanka’s electricity generation planning, which is the first in a new bilateral partnership between the National Association of regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), sponsored by the Bureau of Energy Resources of the U.S. Department of State.
The partnership is designed to provide a platform for candid exchanges between Sri Lankan and American regulatory experts in order to enhance PUCSL’s work on specific regulatory issues.
“We are delighted to have you here to share your experience with us regarding the generation planning. Generation planning is one of the important and the key decisions that we have to make as the Public Utilities Commission since we have a single buyer model that exists here. The planning exercise of generation is the key to the cost and reliability of the supply,” Damitha Kumarasinghe, Director General of Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka said, sharing opening remarks at the workshop.
“We appreciate the US government and the Department of State for providing these facilities and organizing this very important workshop which in my opinion is very much helpful for the country and the way forward of power sector.”
Organized by NARUC, the workshop plans to build capacity of the PUCSL staff through the review and discussion of the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP).
“We are working on strengthening bilateral trade, investments with Sri Lanka. So power sector is a vital component of all this as we deal with the government and trying to figure out how to approve that trade. It is not going to happen unless a strong power sector backing it all up,” William Humnicky, Economy and Commercial Officer of Embassy of the US of America said, joining the commencement of the workshop.
“That is why Long Term generation planning is a critical component in developing and strengthening the power sector and expands energy excess to deliver stable electrical power services to citizens. We are excited to share our experiences and hope to continue our support for Sri Lanka’s economic growth.”
Thomas C. Gorak, Commissioner of Public Utilities Commission, State of Hawaii said “The decision we make as regulators have a very profound impact on the people that we serve. Effective regulation is a critical to encourage the development of necessary energy resources, including renewable and the electric infrastructures which will tripe up growth. The important work you do helps to ensure cleaner and more prosperous future for Sri Lanka. Regulations must support the economy, the culture and the political setting of the country and the regions that it serves. Conversations between colleagues like us help to draw from each other and learn from improvements adapted to each country. Our goal is to provide opportunity to for conversations for the exchange of ideas, to learn from each other and share our experiences on regulations. More specifically, we have come to discuss about generation planning and share the perspective of best practices that we have developed.”
The power sector in Sri Lanka is predominantly serviced by two state utilities, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company (LECO), and fueled mainly by hydropower and imported fossil fuels.
The PUCSL has regulated electricity since 2003 and is expecting its authority to include regulation of water and petroleum in the near future.
Through the Electricity Act No. 20 of 2009 the Government of Sri Lanka prioritized energy conservation and energy efficiency in order to curb energy demand. The country’s Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (2015-2034), created by CEB, was updated in August 2015, and highlights the country’s planning for grid least cost; most efficient way to maintain reliable energy supply and promote grid development was approved by PUCSL in September 2016. (Colombo Gazette)