Sri Lanka wins more funds for renewables program including hydro

The World Bank has approved US$40 million in additional financing to the government of Sri Lanka for a program of renewable energy for rural economic development that includes small hydropower.

The program is a continuation of one funded in 2002 by a US$75 million credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association. The primary goal of the program is to bring electricity to remote communities and individual households through village-led electricity �societies� and provision of renewables.

�A valuable gain was the strengthening of the generation supply of the national grid through the support given by private sector-owned mini-hydro, wind, and other renewable energy projects that feed into the grid,� the World Bank said. �The generation capacity added to the national grid through renewable energy technologies by the private sector has exceeded 55 MW, about 2.4 percent of the installed capacity, within a period of four years.�

The bank said initial project components would remain the same during the new funding period and include refinancing support for grid-connected renewable energy, investment in solar power technology, and further commercialization of village hydro and other community-based independent grid systems.

It said it plans to increase grid-connected capacity by another 50 MW and to extend off-grid services to 60,000 additional homes and 500 small businesses.

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