The Grid Connected Small Power Developers have expressed their displeasure over non implementation of the budget proposals effective from January this year.
The government, in its last budget, proposed to pay a 6 US Cent per unit of power generated by the small power developers in order to encourage their generation capacity. `This proposal has not been implemented so far and there is no proper mechanism in place to ensure its implementation`, a small power developer lamented.
The tariff paid to the small power is developers reviewed annually. In the year 2003, power purchase price per unit paid during the wet season was Rs. 5.85, where as during the dry season it was Rs. 6.05. However, tariff for 2004 was reduced due to unforeseen reasons. But, as a temporally relief measure, disregarding lower tariff for 2004, same amount of tariff as in 2003 was paid.
`We are now faced with another problem due to variation of tariff rates`, he said. This problem is caused by the delay in announcing the tariff rates for the current year. The power developers have calculated the VAT component on the assumption of same rates will be applicable for this year too. But, revised tariff rates had been announced in early February where Rs. 5.30 is been paid during the wet season as against Rs. 5.85 paid in 2004. We calculated the VAT component on Rs. 5.85 and as a result have overpaid. We need the corporation of the relevant authorities to rectify this issue, but things are moving very slow,` he said.
The country`s renewable energy sector contribution is vital and necessary to meet the growing annual demand of electricity which is over 8 per cent. With the availability of few more power generation projects which implementation of some of them are doubtful, small power developers need assistance and support to further their power generation.
`We were happy the budget proposals recognized our efforts, but are disappointed that no mechanism is available to implement`, a small power developer said.
A crisis situation could not be avoided, unless the least cost power generation expansion plans are underway. The Ceylon Electricity Board?s huge debt burden to the nation could not sustained for a long time. There are technical problems in maximum penetration of small scale embedded generators which needed an immediate solution.
`All measures should be taken to promote our own resources for energy security, while implementing low cost high capacity power plants like coal power and the remaining major hydro power projects,` he added.