At present, the power generation sector is dominated by liquid petroleum fuels. As at 2017, Sri Lanka expended 29.5% of its export earnings on fuel imports. The country’s financial resources therefore are heavily drained out of the country due to high import costs. Thus, veering away from imported energy resources and focusing more on renewable energy resources is deemed an urgent necessity.
If the country continues to depend on imported energy, hard earned foreign exchange would continue to drain out, whereas, if the country focuses on developing new renewable energy resources, such wealth would be retained within, i.e., spun within.
Developing NRE has many other direct economic benefits. All NRE types directly contribute to creating jobs. The construction of the power plant of any NRE entails the employment of Engineers, technicians and semi-skilled and skilled labourers. Further, the socioeconomic settings of the communities and infrastructure in villages concerned are directly and indirectly upgraded, because the construction of a plant renders villages with paved roads, culverts and other infrastructure, while the provision of electricity uplifts the living standards of communities.
Today, the development of small hydropower alone has reached great heights in Sri Lanka, paving the way for the replication of the success in other parts of the world. The leading hydropower businesses are very active in the African continent in consulting, project development and implementation. The country has developed a vast human resources base with the full set of skills required to develop small hydropower anywhere in the world.
The country possesses its own high-quality hydro turbine manufacturing plant, with energy conversion efficiencies reaching the levels hitherto achieved only by European manufacturers. Turbines manufactured in Sri Lanka are not only used in local power plants, but also exported to other countries. Further, there are initiatives to manufacture wind turbines as well, while wind blade manufacturing is taking place at least in two enterprises.
NRE development has wide-reaching positive benefits to the environment. It directly contributes to offsetting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, thereby directly contributing to curb climate change.