Adani Green Energy is set to invest more than $1 billion (Rs 83.5 billion) in wind energy projects in Sri Lanka, according to a report by the Press Trust of India. This investment marks the largest foreign direct investment in the country to date and is poised to be one of Sri Lanka’s most significant power projects.

The substantial investment will fund the establishment of two wind farms with a combined capacity of 484MW. These farms will be located in the northern regions of Mannar and Pooneryn, representing $740 million of the total investment. An additional $290 million is earmarked for the development of power transmission infrastructure.

Adani has committed to providing renewable power at a rate of LKR 24.75 per unit (approximately 8.25 cents), significantly lower than the existing tariffs in the country. This project is expected to reduce fossil fuel imports by $270 million annually.

For Sri Lanka, the Adani wind energy projects are projected to support the country’s growing power demand, which is increasing at an annual rate of about 5%. The projects will also aid in achieving Sri Lanka’s sustainability goals of generating 70% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

Despite the potential benefits, the project faces significant opposition from environmental groups and local communities. On May 16, the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS), one of Sri Lanka’s oldest environmental organizations, filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. The petition aims to protect the unique ecosystem of Mannar Island from the potential environmental impact of the wind farms.

Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda, a prominent environmentalist, criticized the project in an interview with The Island. He questioned the economic rationale of allowing a foreign company to harness and sell Sri Lanka’s wind energy. Pethiyagoda emphasized that local companies should have been given the opportunity to invest, which would keep the profits within the country and increase tax revenue.

He also highlighted the ecological significance of Mannar Island, noting its importance as a migratory bird sanctuary, which could be severely impacted by the wind farms. Dr. Pethiyagoda pointed out the potential for tourism in the region, which could be jeopardized by the development.

Senior environmental lawyer Jagath Gunawardena echoed these concerns, stating that environmentalists are fighting a lone battle against the establishment of the wind farms in such a sensitive area. He stressed the strategic and environmental risks and questioned the logic of building a wind farm in an area with only medium wind power potential, as identified by a study conducted by the Sustainable Energy Authority.

The Adani Green Energy project in Sri Lanka represents a significant investment in renewable energy but faces substantial opposition due to environmental concerns and questions about its economic viability. As the legal and public debate continues, the project’s future remains uncertain, highlighting the complex balance between development and environmental conservation.

Similar Posts