Sri Lanka to convert govt schools, hospitals to solar power: minister

ECONOMNEXT – Sri Lanka is looking to convert some government establishments including schools and hospitals to solar power following a recent tariff hike, Power & Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said.

Wijesekara told parliament on Tuesday September 20 that work is already under way in this regard.

Opposition MP Ajith Mannapperuma said Sri Lanka’s parliament pays rupees 800,000 per month for electricity. Mannaperuma, an engineer by profession, asked if parliament could be converted to solar power to cut down on costs.

“Not just parliament, we have commenced the installation of solar panels in many government institutions including a number of hospitals. We are hoping to finish this by the end of the year,” said Wijesekara responding to the MP.

“We are also working on a project to provide electricity to government schools using solar panels.”

Sri Lanka hiked electricity tariffs by 75 percent after a delay of eight years as a currency crisis in the country hampered the supply of fuel to generate electricity resulting in over 10-hours of power cuts in the early part of the year. Daily power cuts have now reduced in duration, but still continue.

Minister Kanchana also said the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is in the process of procuring two 10-megawatt floating solar panels with a 100-million-dollar donation the government received from India.

He hopes to provide power using the floating panels to low-incomes families and religious places. (Colombo/Sep20/2022)

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