Shortcoming in planning affects electricity supply, investments

Shortcoming of implementation of Sri Lanka’s Least cost long term generation expansion plans (LCLTGEP) has resulted in cost overruns, load shedding, and unplanned power procurement in the past few years and these consequences are expected to continue in the next few years if timely implementation of long term generation plan is not ensured, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the electricity sector regulator says in its latest report.

 


The report “Electricity Supply 2020 and Beyond: Challenges and Recommendation” recommends short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions to ensure long-term energy security in a sustainable manner.

 


This report analyses the situation of Country’s electricity supply, forecasted data, power plant schedule with the actual situation and how LCLTGEP’s prepared from the year 2006 to 2016 by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the state utility has affected the electricity supply situation at various junctures.

 


“Uncertainty associated with base demand, the forecast is another noticeable feature, particularly since 2011 plan. However, CEB has identified this, as a problem and is trying to improve the accuracy of base demand forecast by adopting new forecasting tools. Despite, the electricity demand is expected to be more stochastic in nature all over the world in the long run,” the report says.

 


It added, no generation plan that had been considered in this analysis has foreseen the present situation. Thus, the actual outcome has been way different from what was conceived in the past plans.

 


The report describes how the shortcoming of implementation of LCLTGEP has affected the electricity supply of Sri Lanka and investment in the industry.

 


The report discloses that due to planned plants not being built as per the timeline, unforeseen power procurement and change of power mix have resulted in the increase in the average unit cost of electricity. In 2016, actual power purchases from oil based plants have increased by 6 times than planned for 2016.

 


The report is available in the official website of PUCSL (www.pucsl.gov.lk) under highlights.