Sri Lanka aims to be a more resilient nation to shocks in the energy sector by 2030. The target is to increase the country’s power generation capacity from the existing 4,043 MW to 6,900 MW d by 2025 with a significant increase in renewable energy.
About 40% of Sri Lanka’s primary energy needs are met by biomass energy, which is an important energy source for households and businesses. As an indigenous energy source, it contributes to the country’s energy security and provides rural farmers with an additional source of income.
Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has made it difficult for households and businesses to obtain the energy needed for production. Renewable energy technologies are therefore a timely solution to the challenges faced by many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Building on the experiences, best practices and lessons learned from Phase I, Phase II of the Biomass Project – Biomass Energy 2022 is an initiative of the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) in collaboration with the Program United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Sri Lanka.
The project aims to strengthen rural economies, increase forest cover, improve the standard of living of rural women and sustainable industries and SMEs in the country, increasing the growth of providers of clean and modern biomass technologies in line with the energy policy.
The Biomass Energy 2022 project will increase the use of biomass energy in Sri Lanka for power generation, benefiting local households, farmers and the national economy. The project will further extend biomass production to agricultural waste and develop collection systems to process 100,000 tonnes of agricultural waste per year, to be donated to industries using biomass as an energy source.
As part of the project, a series of training programs on renewable energy technologies for SMEs and financial institutions will run in partnership with the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB). The second of the training programs for 50 SMEs was held recently in Kandy, Sri Lanka.
SLSEA Acting Chief Executive Harsha Wickramasinghe said, “In the current economic crisis, the hardest hit segment of our business community is undoubtedly the SME sector. The real problem that affects all these small businesses is in the energy supply, either in transportation needs or in their process energy needs, which are mainly electricity and fuel for heating applications. Providing indigenous solutions, such as biomass and solar energy technologies, will go a long way to rebuilding our SME sector. In this regard, the support provided by SCB and UNDP could be very helpful. »
UNDP Sri Lanka Program Coordinator – Energy and Waste, Sampath Ranasinghe, emphasized that “UNDP is committed to helping SMEs increase the use of renewable energy technologies through sustainable models of energy production. ‘energy. In the current economic crisis, renewable energy technology is the most cost-effective source of energy that will create new business models and new opportunities for SMEs by allowing them to benefit from reduced costs and improvements in sustainability”.
The programme, which targeted entrepreneurs from various industries ranging from the tea, spice, hospitality and food and beverage industries, was developed to increase awareness and build capacity of SMEs on technologies renewable energy on the market.
Anuk De Silva, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand and Marketing, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka, said: “As a global bank, we are constantly interested in promoting sustainability and green initiatives in our markets and across the world. world. In line with the Group’s agenda to reach net zero by 2050, we are honored to have partnered with UNDP to share knowledge and training on biomass and renewable energy, which is a very timely and pertinent.
The next training program for SMEs will take place in October 2022.