Former minister Milinda Moragoda in a statement said Presidential candidates must put forward innovative solutions to the country’s crippling energy crisis.
Moragoda said corruption and vested interests that dominate Sri Lanka’s energy sector are such that it requires disruptive solutions.
“Catastrophic state of the power and energy sector, especially regarding electricity generation and distribution, makes it imperative that every individual seeking to aspire to the office of the Presidency provides a clear vision and policy on this critical issue. As India has done recently, firm target dates should be set to introduce electric mobility to the country,” he said.
“Non-negotiable deadlines should be set for Sri Lanka to move towards solar and energy solutions. Every other nation is moving rapidly in this direction, while we are left far behind. As is the international practice, private investment should be the engine that drives the alternative energy sector. Government should limit its role to acting as facilitator, catalyst, regulator and protector of the consumer,” he added.
“With the Presidential and Parliamentary elections now on the horizon, the private-sector, civil society and the public at large, should push candidates to come forward and commit to innovative solutions to our energy crisis. It is not unusual for vested interests to push their parochial agendas during the election period to capture politicians at a time when they are the most vulnerable.
The billions of dollars that have been lost to our economy as a result of the mismanagement of the energy sector by successive governments, will justify any short-term investment cost that could be attributed to an accelerated plan to rapidly transfer Sri Lanka’s energy sector into renewable,” Moragoda stated.
“As much as President Jayewardene accelerated Mahaweli development and hydropower generation in the 1980s, the next President should have a vision and a clear strategy to transit Sri Lanka into an economy that is powered by solar power, alternative energy, and electric mobility,” his statement added.