Offshore wind energy for Sri Lanka

A team of British and German experts in the wind power to explore the possibility of initiating a mega scale offshore wind farm in Sri Lanka.

They met authorities in the power and energy sectors and stressed the importance of implementing this type of project which gives more environmental and economic benefits to the country in the long run than conventional sources of energy.

The four member team comprising Nimal Silva who has vast experience in the wind energy sector in many countries, said such a project would bring more economic and environmental benefits to Sri Lanka than other forms of electricity generation which require fuel or gas.

Addressing a press conference in Colombo, they added that England generates over 40 percent of wind power in the European region and the two countries have many similarities in terms of wind pattern.

They said mega scale offshore wind power ensures price stability and opens many employment avenues.

The team visited many places on the coastal belt and held talks with institutions, including National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency of Sri Lanka (NARA).

The team said it needs the green light from the government to conduct a proper study on the wind pattern of the country which takes more than a year.

“Unless we are invited by the Sri Lankan authorities, we can not do that,” Silva said.

Silva who joined the London Array 1,000MW wind power project, said the drought has made an impact on hydro power generation in Sri Lanka.

He said Sri Lanka has to depend on other countries for fuel while the prices of fuel are always subject to fluctuation due to the volatile situation in such countries.

Silva said the situation caused price instability.

“European countries have laid more focus on wind power generation after an accident at the Fukushima Nuclear power plant in Japan.”

He said Germany has started closing down all nuclear power plants after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Silva said England generates over 3,000MW through wind power and it expects to generate GW 13 by 2020.

They have pointed out that any country can depend on wind energy as it is clean and cost effective.

TAGU Germany Managing Director Jens Diekmann said any country using this technology can be independent in terms of meeting power requirement, if it resorts to utilising wind power.

TAGU specialises in the wind energy sector.

Diekmann said a great opportunity is ahead of Sri Lanka for the generation of electricity through renewable energy sources.

“This energy, is within the country. and Sri Lanka will receive a huge opportunity if such project is implemented,” he said.

Peter Crone who has vast experience in many off shore wind energy generation projects involving hundreds of turbines, says wind energy projects are clean, everlasting and ensures price stability.

He said his team wants to have a clear commitment from the government to carry forward the project. Michael Huntingford and Prof Sarath Kotagama of the Colombo University also spoke.