Sri Lanka is to direct towards the shifting of electric vehicles and solar power gradually President Gotabaya Rajapaksa accounts for nearly 60% of the fuel consumption in Sri Lanka.
Welcoming the move, several local energy experts said that this was a good move but the government is not in an economical stable position now to revitalize this sector under Covid-19 third wave crisis.
At a time where the country has already banned the import of vehicles and restricted imports to save much needed foreign exchange, it is not possible to resume the imitative launch in 2015.
The previous regime unveiled its Budget 2018 under former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has launched‘Blue-Green Economic initiative diversifying the economy with the adoption of new and sustainable technologies.
For the first time, the government laid emphasis on a new vehicle policy. The former minister at that time said all vehicles in the country should be powered by non-fossil fuel sources by 2040.
It was proposed to convert all Government vehicles to hybrid or electric vehicles by 2025 but this was now history and no one knows the plight of this vehicle policy at present.
However President Rajapaksa now says that transport costs can also be stabilized by completely stopping the importation of new vehicles powered with fuel as well as promoting the use of electric vehicles and providing electric engines for three-wheelers.
He said that transitioning towards the use of eco-friendly energy sources is imperative due to an increase in lung related diseases in the public and a rise in air pollution in urban areas caused by high fuel consumption.
By converting the Kelanitissa Power Station into an LNG Power Plant, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) will also be able to reduce the high cost for fuel, the President said.
The Government also aims to improve the renewable energy capacity to prevent 30 percent of fuel usage by the CEB for power generation.
Therefore, providing solar thermal power kits to every household, school, hospital and Government building will pave the way for the public to generate income by selling those units to the CEB while the pressure on the high cost borne by the people will also reduce, he stated.
Energy experts urged the President to implement these measures without increasing electricity bills and water bills burdening the Covid hit people specially the middle class.