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ADB to fund rooftop solar power systems in Sri Lanka

Published 29 September 2017

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a $50m loan to Sri Lanka to fund rooftop solar power generation systems.

ADB will also administer a $1m technical assistance from the Asian Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility to support the implementation of the project.

The total cost of the Rooftop Solar Power Generation Project is $59.8m, of which private sector will provide $9.8m. The project, which will increase the availability of clean and reliable power in Sri Lanka, is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

The project will fund rooftop solar power sub-projects equivalent to an additional 50MW, and also build capacity and awareness of the authorities, private sector partners and customers.

A market infrastructure and bankable sub-projects for the solar power systems will also be developed with the cooperation of private financial institutions and the setting up of technical guidelines and standards for the system.

Though the electrification rate in Sri Lanka increased from 29% in 1990 to 99.3% in 2016, the country is primarily dependent on fossil fuels. While thermal power contributed 67.2% of the total power generation in 2016, hydropower constituted 24.6% and non-conventional renewable sources accounted for 8.2%.

Dependence on carbon-emitting energy sources is hampering the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% as part of its commitment to the Paris agreement.

ADB principal energy specialist Mukhtor Khamudkhanov said: “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. But there is a need to diversify the country’s energy mix toward more renewable and sustainable sources.”