Decades later the country has a 98% electrification rate, mostly through grid extension. However, the local capacity built during the development of off-grid solutions now benefits other regions of S/SE Asia and also Africa. Sri Lanka micro/mini hydro experts support various other contexts, e.g. India, Myanmar, Rwanda. Its development in grid-interconnected micro hydro has inspired the same in Nepal (more here).
Likewise within Sri Lanka, utilities and regulatory bodies are keen to provide and maintain off-grid solutions that benefit last-mile communities that are not reachable by the main grid.
In this regard, HPNET member Padma Dewa Samaranayaka of the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) recently visited 2 project sites and was pleased to see that the fruits of SLSEA’s energy access initiatives are continuing to pay off, bolstered by the diligent efforts of the local communities who operate and manage the systems.
The first project the team visited was the Kalakundawa micro hydro system, in Kaluthara District. The SLSEA team found that the 12 kW micro-grid continues to run well after 7 years of operation. Situated 9 km from the main grid, the Kalakundawa MHP provides electricity to 20 households in the village. The system has required only minor repairs, which have been supported by SLSEA.