ADB supports rooftop solar in Sri Lanka with $50 million

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Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance has announced that the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided US$50 million in funds for the implementation of the Soorya Bala Sangramaya (Battle for Solar Energy) program.

The loan scheme is intended to help homeowners and enterprises install rooftop PV systems under net metering and net accounting mechanisms. “It is expected to add 50 MW to the national grid under this project,” the ministry said in a statement. This initiative comes in light of the government’s desire to add 200 MW of solar by 2020 and 1,000 MW by 2025.

The scheme, originally conceived only for power consumer with high electricity bills, was extended to low-income households in March 2017.

“The households and the entrepreneurs will be provided maximum credit facilities up to 7. 5 million rupees (approximately $45,000) on the lending rate of 8 percent per annum,” the ministry said. Last March, the maximum amount for the loans was 350,000 rupees. Moreover, the maximum concessionary interest rate was 6%.

As stated in the Sri Lanka Energy Sector Development Plan 2015-2025, the island country’s solar power has the potential to meet 32% of its annual power demand of around 10,500 GW, but so far just 0.01% of that potential has been realized. Overall, its goal is to reduce its carbon footprint by 5% through to 2025.