Anti-Coal Power Lobby



It is very unfortunate that the anti-Coal Power lobby has received unwarranted media publicity while the views of the Engineers who are directly involved in running the C.E.B efficiently and providing electricity supply at the lowest cost, without much fanfare, has received very little attention in the media. The public must be informed that the cream of the Electrical Engineering profession in the country comprising several hundred Engineers are working in the C.E.B. The Long Term Generation Plan which is also the Least Cost Generation Plan is prepared by a team of Engineers with all available data, which includes worst case scenarios of inflows to the main Hydro reservoirs during drought periods, maintenance schedules for shut down of both Hydro and Thermal machines, and to cater to unanticipated breakdowns of some of the larger machines etc. The cost factor comprising construction costs and running costs of the various Generating Plants are of vital importance in the preparation of these Plans. To educate the public who have been hitherto been misinformed by these pseudo environmentalists, I will indicate the capacities of the Coal Power Plants installed in some of the countries who are economic giants in the world. As at January 2018 the total installed capacities in these countries are as follows:

CHINA - - 936,057 Megawatts, U.S. CANADA - - over 300,000 Megawatts, INDIA - - 214,910 Megawatts, GERMANY - - 50,400 Megawatts, - JAPAN - - 44578 Megawatts.

Compare the above figures with SRI LANKA -which has - 900 Megawatts, where according to our Pseudo Environmentalists, even the Sri Maha Bodhi, which is more than 200 kilometers away, will wither away. due to atmospheric pollution caused by the Coal Plant. Can one imagine the plight of China, which provided the Coal Plant in Norochcholai, where they have equivalent of over a 1000 such Coal Plants?

According to the standards, set by our pseudo-environmentalists China would be a DEAD CITY with no vegetation at all. On the contrary, China at present is the 2nd most powerful economic giant in the world.

Having stated the above, I do not contest the fact that Coal power generation causes atmospheric pollution. So does all other fossil fuels but to a lesser extent. Even China is shutting down some of their ageing Coal Plants and installing new plants, which causes much less pollution, by using Clean Coal Technology. In China, the approximate Energy Mix is as follows:

Coal 76.5%, Large Hydro 9.9% , Small Hydro 0.6%, Wind 3.7% , Solar 1.0%, Bio Mass 1.1%, Nuclear - 3.1%, - Gas - 4.0% .

According to tallies compiled by Urgewald, a Berlin based environmentalist group,

1600 Coal Plants are planned or under construction in 62 countries. The new Plants would expand the world Coal fired capacity by 386,000 Megawatts

In India it is estimated that even in the best-case scenario, Coal would continue to be the mainstay of energy mix for at least two more decades. According to available information in the Internet, the cost of Electricity Generation in the U.S is as follows:

Natural Gas - around 3.39 US dollars per million British Thermal Units. Coal -

2.08 US dollars per British thermal Unit It is not understood why the Environmentalists have not pointed out the pollution caused by motor vehicles in this country.

The pollutants emitted by vehicles include Carbon Monoxide, Hydrocarbons, Nitrogen Oxide, and Sulphur Dioxide etc. In the US 75% of the Carbon Monoxide pollution is caused by Motor Vehicles. One third of air pollution that produces smog in the US and 27% of Greenhouse Gases which causes respiratory ailments like Asthma, Bronchitis etc. is caused by motor vehicle pollution.

Having stated the above facts, I suspect that the Coal, Plant that was installed at Norochcholai is probably not one of the best Plants manufactured in China, and probably a discarded one. Unfortunately, the performance of all Coal Plants is judged by this standard.


(Fellow of the Institution Electrical Engineers, London)


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