Presidential candidates should bring solutions for energy crisis - Milinda Moragoda

by Staff Writer 03-08-2019 | 8:51 PM
COLOMBO (News 1st): Issuing a statement former minister Milinda Moragoda says Presidential candidates must put forward innovative solutions to our crippling energy crisis. Moragoda says the corruption and vested interests that dominate Sri Lanka’s energy sector are such that it requires disruptive solutions that are out of the box and forward-thinking. In the first instance, as India has done recently, firm target dates should be set for the introduction of electric mobility to the country. The timeline set by the Indian Government, for example, 30% of cars to be electrically powered by 2030. Secondly, non-negotiable deadlines should be set for Sri Lanka to move towards solar and other alternative energy solutions. 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 in order to capture politicians at a time when they are the most vulnerable. The billions of dollars 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 renewables. As much as President Jayewardene accelerated the Mahaweli development and hydropower generation in the 1980s, the next President should have a vision and a clear strategy to transition Sri Lanka into an economy that is powered by solar power, alternative energy, and electric mobility.