Sri Lanka as a nation is poised for accelerated growth in an era of reconciliation and development. It is heartening to note that the Government has taken prudent and forward-thinking steps towards placing Sri Lanka as a dynamic economic hub with competencies in knowledge capital, commercial excellence, marine and aviation infrastructure and energy.

As the nation engages and enters into a foray of development efforts - from large scale reconstruction to enlargement of socio-economic infrastructure - it is anticipated that the demand for sustainable energy will be on the rise. Probably in reflection of the acceleration of economic activity in 2010, the industry witnessed an increase in the consumption of electricity with domestic, general and hotel consumption increasing by approximately 8.8%, 7.1% and 13.7% whilst the industrial sector witnessed a significant 14% rise. A definite positive trend, however, has been the enhanced share of hydro-power in the total equation by a credible 11.3% due in large to the high rainfall during the year.

We at Vallibel Power Erathna PLC are cognizant that we have a significant role to play in the area of power generation to meet the national demand. In view of the future demand for sustainable energy, we have taken the initiative to establish two new hydropower generation plants in Kiriwaneliya in the Nuwara Eliya District and Denawaka in the Ratnapura District. The Kiriwaneliya plant, commissioned in 2011, provides 16 GWh of power. Meanwhile, the Denawaka plant provides 25 GWh. These plants supplement the 40 GWh generated by our mainstay project Erathna located in Ratnapura.

In recognition of the power of alternative energy in redefining economic wealth creation and global sustenance, we have explored the commercial viability of harnessing wind power at our wind power harvesting plant in Balangoda. At present, from a global perspective, 16% of the world's energy consumption is derived from renewable of which traditional biomass accounts for 10% whilst hydroelectricity accounts for a conservative 3.4%. However, new renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind, solar, geothermal, and biofuels) have shown promise with perceptible growth.

I believe that the world is placed at a critical juncture. Climate change concerns, coupled with high oil prices, peak oil, and increasing government support, are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. Government spending, regulation and policies will catalyse the global industry to generate more power through renewable energy in a bid to save our environment whilst developing our economies. From a Sri Lankan perspective, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) intends to meet the future demand through alternate sources and it has been projected that at least 20% of the total demand will be generated from renewable energy sources.

In this light, our effort to generate power from mini hydros remains critical to the global initiative to transfer powers sources to those that are green energy. By doing so, we support the government to generate power through renewable sources enhancing sustainable development in the country.

As we look to the future with confidence, let me assure you that we intend to identify more energy sources and explore possibilities of expanding the professional skills of Vallibel Power Erathna Plc to generate more power throughout the country in a manner that best fits the national plans to meet future energy demand..

K.D. Dhammika Perera

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