The Government is in the process of formation of a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) power transmission line between India and Sri Lanka to ensure a secure and sustainable energy supply to meet the energy needs at reasonable prices.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Third Meeting of SAARC Energy Ministers held in Colombo yesterday, Minister of Power and Energy W.D.J. Seneviratne said that the necessary ground work has already been completed to commence a feasibility study in this connection.
The ministerial meeting hosted by Sri Lanka was held with the participation of all SAARC member States, the SAARC Secretariat and the SAARC Energy Center.
Meanwhile, Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne was elected as the new Chairperson of the SAARC Energy Ministers Meeting.
The Minister further stated that the India-Sri Lanka HVDC link will open doors to SAARC countries to engage in cross border energy trade.
We are also in the process of evolving a common template on technical and commercial aspects of the electricity grid interconnections amongst SAARC member states, he said.
This move would provide a number of technical and economic benefits as a result of reduction in investment costs, improving reliability, pooling resources, diversifying the generation mix and economic exchange of energy among SAARC member states, he noted.
In addition, we are exploring to establish the SAARC Energy Ring and studying the options, benefits and constraints of energy trade in the region. We consider this as a very important and timely requirement as a country and a region which is heavily dependent on imports for meeting our energy requirements, he said.
The 15th SAARC Summit held in Colombo in August last year took several important steps in the Energy sector.
He noted that increased access to energy is critical for fulfilling the legitimate expectations of growth and development in South Asia.
The escalation of oil prices threatens both energy security in the region as well as the economic growth witnessed in the region.
The Summit recognized the need to expeditiously develop and conserve the conventional sources of energy and also build up renewable alternative energy resources including indigenous hydro power, solar, wind and bio, he explained.
They also highlighted that there is tremendous potential for developing regional and sub-regional energy resources in an integrated manner and the efforts being made to strengthen regional cooperation in capacity development, technology transfer and trade in energy.
Directions have been made by them to implements the energy dialogue through an appropriate work plan while the importance of the development of the regional hydro potential, grid connectivity and gas pipelines have been stressed at the Summit.
It is also equally important to educate our people in energy conservation and energy efficiency, he stressed. This will have a greater impact on general households, power generation requirements, industries, transport, building and agriculture.