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Energy Crisis in Sri Lanka

Dear fellow Engineers,

Are we responsible for the Energy Crisis in Sri Lanka?

In a context where the electricity demand is estimated to increase by 6% to 7% per annum, it is quite sad that we have not being able to solve the energy crisis of our country. The issues related to energy have been prominently coming to the surface since the  ‘90s, but not much actions have been taken with solid long term plan with a proper technical base and recognizing the many positive developments happening in this sector elsewhere in the world, to address the problems in Sri Lanka. Being irresponsible or sluggish in answering those issues would lead our country into an Energy Crisis. This demands immediate actions to prevent national level blackouts!

Low-income African nations such as Senegal were able to overcome such power blackouts within a period of less than five years, while bringing down electricity prices too. We need to look for other alternatives too. Rest of the world is moving towards sustainable and alternative energy sources while we plan to build more L&G power plants and even more coal power plants. It is still not too late to think again rationally.  

One of the major problems that we could identify is the lack of insight into energy crisis of the country, which is not limited to electricity alone. Eng. Parakrama Jayasunghe has been one of the experts in this area who has continuously written about the power issues recently through IESL newsletter, “Sri Lanka Engineering News” (SLEN). If any of you have missed these articles, you may revisit them through the following links.

Article 01 - https://iesl.lk/SLEN/44/energy.php

Article 02 - https://iesl.lk/SLEN/45/Energy%20Crisis.php

Article 03 - https://iesl.lk/SLEN/46/Energy%20Resources.php

IESL as the apex body for professional engineers should play a major role in finding holistic solutions to the energy crisis in the country. However, unfortunately it has not been included in your agenda. Therefore, we would like you to join the conversation on energy issues in the country with a greater urgency on the electricity sector through the following ways.

  1. Write to our newsletter if you wish to express your opinion in detail with facts and figures.
  2. Send your ideas and views through “Letter to Editor” of SLEN
  3. Join the discussion on the following IESL blog ('Energy Crisis in Sri Lanka')

Energy crisis is a practical problem. We shouldn’t allow politicians  to dictate the terms without proper study on the subject. As engineers, it is our duty to act for the betterment of the community and the country. We sincerely believe that if we can establish a knowledge based opinion, we can get rid of a possible danger of a  power crisis that may be faced by our future generation. 

Are you ready to do your part? Let’s make a good group and organize a forum of some sort to move forward. 


Eng. Lalith Pallegama & Eng. Suran Fernando

Editors – SLEN/ Council Members 2019/2020

Published Date: 2020-02-20

Created By: IESL

R M T O Rajapaksha

Yes indeed, when nonprofessionals like IT experts and sustainability experts take control over the decision, IESL has so far not made any formal statement with regards to the energy crisis. These kinds of national issues should be addressed by IESL and relevant experts. CEB and few experts like Dr.Tilak , Eng. Anura Wijayapala made remarks on the Long Term Generation Plans prepared by CEB. Its high time IESL should take the lead on these issues and direct organizations and engineers to come under one direction.

D K B S Tilakasena

Simple answer is "Yes"; for not being able to scientifically convince the decision makers of a firm way forward.