Energy efficiency is considered the ’First Fuel‘ in modern energy planning approaches. According to the International Energy Agency (2017), energy efficiency technologies will contribute substantially towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

The likely contribution to global CO2 reduction from energy efficiency technologies is 34%, compared to 15% contribution from renewables. Recent progress in certain clean energy areas is promising, but many technologies still need a strong push to achieve their full potential and deliver a sustainable energy future.

Despite these achievements, 1.2 billion people around the world lack access to electricity, while another 2.7 billion people lack access to clean cooking. The energy sector ranks as the largest source of GHG emissions today, around two-thirds of global total. It is also the largest source of air pollution, linked to 6.5 million premature deaths per year. Therefore, achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 would require unprecedented policy initiatives and investments in efficient technologies. Each country should define its own transition path towards a sustainable energy future, and Sri Lanka has rightly chosen a programme with focussed attention on nine promising technology interventions to realise it’s energy efficiency goals.

Did you know that we are in for an energy crisis?

Yes, there are three predicaments.

Firstly, it is the demographic dynamics. The world population growth is projected to reach 7.5 billion by 2020. Also, there will be 27 megacities in the world by 2020, where a single megacity will harbor a population of more than 10 million people. These have led to an increase in energy consumption. Secondly, energy resources are abundant, but unevenly distributed. 70% of global oil and gas reserves are located in just a few countries. This, along with fluctuating energy prices has led to the increased demand in energy efficiency.

Thirdly, climate change has increased the demand for clean energy.

According to the International Energy Agency, energy savings in the electricity sector alone could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 7.3 Gigatonnes (Gt) in 2050 relative to business as usual (BAU), representing 17% of total anthropogenic emissions reduction.

An assessment done in 2004 in the Energy Efficiency Improvement and Conservation (EEI&C) potential in the country indicated that 11 LKR billion investment can easily save 3 LKR billion worth energy in Sri Lanka annually. A more recent study which concentrated on the electricity sector indicate that focusing on few thrust areas can annually save 1,895 GWh of electricity (worth 28 LKR billion) by 2020, with an investment of 135 LKR billion over a five year period. This concept is the basis for the Presidential Task Force on Energy Demand Side Management programme.

What do we intend to do?

We intend to reduce electrical energy in nine selected areas, which we call thrust areas, in the following manner. This reduction is gradual and will be in practice till 2020.

Technology Saving by 2020 GWh
Efficient Lighting 549.1
Efficient Fans 298.2
Efficient Motors 248.2
Efficient Refrigerators 227.3
Energy Management System &BMS 212.2
Eliminating Incandescent lamps 139.4
Efficient Air Conditioning 125.4
Green Buildings 44.7
Efficient Pumps 43.4
Other 7.1
Total 1895.0


Is there any policy related to all this?

Yes, energy efficiency is featured prominently as one of the nine elements in the National Energy Policy and Strategies of Sri Lanka, published by the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy (2008). The ongoing effort in policy formulation also places a strong emphasis on energy efficiency, identifying it as a main pillar of the ten on which the national energy policy is founded.

Do other countries too, consider energy management important?

Yes, we are not alone. According to the International Energy Agency, energy efficiency is the least costly option in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The IEA projections show that, by 2020, energy efficiency projects from around the world will contribute by 72% to cut down on the total carbon dioxide budget, whereas renewable energy development will only contribute by 17% for the same cause.