Apart from articulating long term plans to meet the power crisis, officials of the Ministry of Power and Energy were totally void of ideas to contain or address the immediate crisis in fuel imports, and escalating cost of electricity. This was the sum total of a press conference convened on Monday to inform the press of measures put in place to address this important issue.
Chairman, Energy Conservation Fund, V.A.N.Waranakolasooriya said that alternate methods of energy included `Excellent wind’ power , bio mass and development of Mini- hydro projects. He said that wind power alone if exploited could develop approximately 2500 mega watts of power. Additionally, Bio- Mass could be generated through establishment of Gliricidia plantations.
To generate 1 mega watt of Power an area of approximately 1000 acres would be necessary, he said. Apart from articulating assumptions on projected land availability which he said was a area of approximately 90,000 acres, he did not specify how this area was to be managed or established.
Presently he said value of power was in the region of 98.8 billion annually, with every possibility of this figure increasing, unless immediate measures were taken to control and contain illicit use. Illicit use was a major drain on power, he said.
Having said that he did not venture counter proposals for effective arrest of illicit power tapping.
Secretary Ministry of Transport Dr. D.S.Jayaweera said that railway transport was the cheapest, and should be given importance in the planning process, he also said that vehicles that were not fuel efficient should not be permitted and importers should be cautioned that these vehicles would not be allowed.
Although he said that these should be included for implementation he was careful not to specify when these suggestions should be implemented.
The press conference did not reveal any immediate measures to contain the looming power crisis.
It was also said that the price of crude could rise to $100 per barrel. When that happened the government would not be prepared to deal with the crisis.
The entire question was left in the balance, with only a decision to meet at least once every month.
The minister of power and Energy who chaired the press conference did not comment . "