By Wasantha Perera
Secretary/ Ministry of Power
What and Why a ‘National Energy Day’?
Energy is the creator of a modern society. Our lives revolve around the continuous energy supply, which is made possible by the advanced infrastructure that exists in our cities. The energy supplied to us through our wall sockets, the flow of fuel to vehicles around, and the massive volume of power supplied through our electricity network to power our industries is crucial to our everyday well-being.
Driving the energy sector of the country to efficiency not only marks the success of our economic management, but also the assurance of our future habitability and well-being. This mission of energy management is no small feat. It requires a collective effort of each and every member within our society. A collective mission to conserve energy opens up enormous possibilities and stimulates creativity among our SMEs.
We celebrate National Energy Day to remember this mission and empower the next generation to be a part of it. Today is the day dedicated to energy education, energy awareness and energy innovations. It is dedicated to the experts teach the nation how to conserve energy and help them understand its importance. Importantly, today is the day that we show our gratitude to the endless possibilities provided to us through the energy system, and recognize how we preserve it.
What is energy? How energy dependent are we?
For a long time, scientists and engineers thought mechanical energy and thermal energy were two different types of energy that cannot be mixed together. Mechanical energy is the energy in moving objects, and the energy required to move and lift things. Thermal energy is the energy required to generate heat. In the late 17th century, scientists found out that thermal energy, in fact, can be converted to mechanical energy and vice versa.
Energy comes in so many different forms. We utilize energy to perform motor skills; to throw, lift heat and emit light. Heat, light, sound and electricity are also forms of energy and energy can be converted from one form to the other. Heat can be converted to mechanical energy and mechanical energy into electrical energy by way of using a generator. Light energy can be converted to electricity using solar cells. As we all know, electrical energy is converted to light through a light bulb. This conversion created a new technology called energy technology. Today everybody converts all primary energy sources to electricity, transport to the point of consumption and convert it back to the energy form, which is required.
The energy requirement of the world is supplied by various resources that contain energy within them. Fossil fuels such as crude oil and coal are the most prominent primary energy sources in the world. Still, the firewood and plant components supply a significant portion of the world’s energy requirement. Nuclear energy created by the nuclear reactions of radioactive substances, such as Uranium and Plutonium found in our soil, is also a primary energy source of the world. Hydro energy in water stored at heights are used in hydro-power plants to generate electricity. The light energy in direct sunlight and the wind created by the differential heating of the atmosphere by the sun’s energy provide us with very valuable energy sources. Energy in ocean currents is also an important modern energy source tapped by undersea generators. All these are crucial energy sources that supply energy throughout the world.
In Sri Lanka our primary energy supply comes from fossil fuels (53%), solar (13%), wind and hydro (34%) and biomass. 28% of this primary energy supply is converted to electricity. Our industries consume 26% of the country’s energy. The domestic and commercial sector consumes 41% and 33% by the transport sector. All the energy used for the transport sector is supplied only from fossil fuels.
A moment’s power failure in our electrical grid system can bring our lives to a grinding halt, which shows the energy dependency of our daily lives. This applies to our industries and commercial activities as well. The lifeblood of the modern economy is its energy supply. Therefore, the reliability, stability and sustainability of our energy supply is as important as its affordability.
The energy outlook of our nation is currently in a transitional stage. It is important that we navigate this transition to reduce our carbon footprint and increase our energy security. This can be achieved through a plan governed by a strategic policy and our collective effort.
National energy Policy and its objectives
Sri Lanka’s ‘National Energy Policy’ is a well formed strategy which ensures convenient and affordable energy services for the equitable development of Sri Lanka through a clean, safe, sustainable, reliable and economically feasible energy supply. This Policy is formulated in alignment with the future goals of Sri Lanka, current global trends in energy and the Goal 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. This policy will impact the vast realm of social, economic and environmental spheres and pave the way to realize the vision of Sri Lanka in achieving carbon neutrality and complete transition of all the energy value chains by 2050.
Energy is said to be at a trilemma. Energy equity, energy sustainability and energy reliability, are at a constant battle with each other. Affordable energy is not always clean or reliable. Clean energy is neither cheap nor guaranteed to be reliable. To make the energy supply system reliable, we are compelled to make massive investments towards delivering energy through systems that are neither cheap not clean. We must maintain a balance between these three competing ends: equity, sustainability and reliability. Thousands of researchers in the energy sector and engineering research centers all over the world strive to innovate technologies to find the right balance between equity, sustainability and reliability of energy. Every energy policy in the world tries to strike their own balancing point. Our energy policy is no different and tries to balance these three ends through various strategies, such as streamlining our firewood supply, going green, reducing the intensity and increasing the efficiency of our transport energy.
It takes a tremendous effort to provide affordable and accessible energy, while maintaining high reliability. The 2015 Sustainable Development Goals clearly recognize this trilemma, and have dedicated the seventh goal to “Ensure access to affordable, reliable and modern energy for all”. Within our global order, positioning Sri Lanka in the global forum as an example of a country with a green energy supply is a top priority that we care very much about.
Our electricity sector plays a vital role as the energy streamliner and catalyzer. In modern Sri Lanka, all energy forms are expected to be converted to electricity and delivered to the point of consumption. This is not as simple as in any other country due to our massive 34% footprint of biomass.
The government’s manifesto ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’ has captured the gamut of this concept in a powerful manner to state that ‘Sri Lanka is ranked high among the countries with a large share of renewable energy, with a strong commitment to retain this vital attribute of the nation’s economic resilience in a world of diminishing energy security’. As proven by this global pandemic and its consequences, today it is evident now more than ever, that our energy security, energy reliability and energy sustainability defines our world.
What is our responsibility on economic use of energy
The real question is how we can achieve energy efficiency and sustainability as a nation.
Our individual responsibility and role in this area is similar to our function within a democracy. The Sri Lankan energy supply can only be affordable, reliable and sustainable if everybody can together strive to achieve it.
We can identify our energy use among four economic sectors: residential, commercial, transportation, and industrial. We rely on energy for lighting, heating or cooling of buildings, moving vehicles and freight, and manufacturing products. It is projected that Sri Lanka’s energy demand will increase by 5-6% annually. Minimizing energy waste and using energy as economically as possible is the responsibility of every citizen. While my colleagues and various energy professionals dedicate ourselves to improving these systems, it is also equally the responsibility of every individual energy consumer to contribute to this collective mission by ensuring careful and economical use of energy in their day to day life.
The National Day is a perfect moment to reflect on our values and appreciate how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go.
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change.
The leader adjusts the sails”
John Maxwell Let’s adjust the sails and lead this voyage.
Altair on track
`Altair’, the iconic building in Colombo – Sri Lanka is designed by Celebrity Architect Moshe Safdie based in Boston, USA. Moshe Safdie has designed many famous iconic structures including the famous Marina Bay Sands with Sky Garden in Singapore. `Altair’ is in the league of iconic buildings of the world, such as Burj Khalifa, Petronas Tower, Marina Bay Sands, Shanghai Tower, The Parc 1 Tower in Seoul – South Korea, ICC Building & Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong to name a few.
The project `Altair’ was launched by South City Group in Colombo in the year 2013. Due to construction related complications, force majeure reasons and an unfortunate ownership related dispute, the project has been delayed. However, South City Group has expressed with much pleasure that the Group is back in the helm of the real estate project with 100% control. Most importantly, the project is progressing well and will be ready for handing over in the next few months.
The spokesperson of South City stated that that they are getting utmost support and cooperation from the Government of Sri Lanka for completing the project. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has appointed Mr. Sirinimal Perera, the Special Authorised Officer to steer the project towards its successful completion. South City group is also receiving steadfast backing from the esteemed customers and the project is on track to deliver what it promised since inception. The rich experience of South City Management with a huge knowledge bank will be able to soon create another landmark in Sri Lanka which will be one of the top landmarks in the world.
Altair’ is an architectural marvel and consists of two vertical tower blocks, one straight tower and another stepped tower which is in slope and leaning to the straight tower. The project is in the prime area of Colombo facing Beira Lake as well as the Indian Ocean. The finishes of the project are on high calibre, with Italian marble, wooden flooring, central air-conditioning, hot water supply and super luxurious sanitary fixtures. Additionally, there is a Resident Club on the fifth level with a garden around it and on 63rd level with the swimming pool and other recreational facilities.
The apartments have been booked by the Crème de la crème of Sri Lanka’s social fabric, HNI and a noteworthy number of overseas residents from the Sri Lankan diaspora. Notably, ‘Altair’ a is the biggest FDI investment in Colombo for real estate to date. Altair is a symbol of a successful foreign investment and a show-piece for the Sri Lankan Government to attract further investment in Sri Lanka.
A cheering campaign to support Team Sri Lanka at TOKYO 2020
ICL Brands’ Eva lived up to its’ promise of ‘Leading with Confidence’ by partnering with the National Olympic Committee of Sri Lanka (NOCSL) as the Official Cheering Partner for Team Sri Lanka at TOKYO 2020, Olympics. The brand initiated a massive communication campaign, centered around the ‘Official Cheering Song’ to drive Sri Lankans to rally around Team Sri Lanka and support the 9 athletes that bear the pride of the nation at TOKYO 2020.
The launch of the ‘Official Cheering Song’ took place at the Capital Maharaja Group head office with the participation of Sri Lanka’s very own Olympic Silver Medalist, Susanthika Jaysinghe, NOCSL Women’s Committee Chairperson, Niloo Jayatilake, NOCSL’s Executive Committee Board Member, Fazil Hussain and Chethika Rajapaksha, Marketing Manager for ICL Brands. Amidst the other guests who graced the occasion were Sunil Kanojia, Group CEO – CMG, Shanthi Bhagirathan, Group Director – ICL Brands, Rakesh Khosla,CEO – ICL Brands and others.
The event was live streamed via multiple social media platforms simultaneously, reaching out to a wide audience and kicking off the cheering campaign officially. Eva’s campaign to cheer for Team Sri Lanka will continue throughout the period of TOKYO 2020 Olympics on multiple media platforms.
Susanthika Jayasinghe who graced the occasion as chief guest praised the initiative ”’I am extremely happy to see the brands of highest caliber such as Eva coming forward to support Sri Lankan athletes at Olympics. As an athlete who has represented and won for Sri Lanka on the Olympic stage, I know how much this means to our athletes in Tokyo right now”.
Sri Lanka Development Bonds auction held during July 20-27, 2021
Date of settlement July 30, 2021
An issuance window for SLDBs will be opened with the announcement of the auction results until close of business of day prior to settlement (i.e., preferably by 3.00 pm on 29.07.2021) at the Weighted Average Fixed Rates determined for respective maturities at the auction, up to the limit specified for possible upsizing, at first come first served basis. Applications for subscription through the issuance window are to be forwarded to ‘email@example.com’ within the stipulated time period.
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