Sri Lanka has massive offshore wind potential–World Bank

10 mins

Sri Lanka could produce more than enough offshore wind energy to power the entire island nat...

Mane Energy Team

By Mane Energy Team

Sri Lanka could produce more than enough offshore wind energy to power the entire island nation, says the World Bank. If this potential could be tapped, it could replace costly fuel imports and help Sri Lanka’s economy recover.

The World Bank has published a draft roadmap to evaluate the possibilities of Sri Lanka’s offshore wind development. Looking at areas with no environmental restrictions or exclusion zones, it estimates that Sri Lanka could produce 22GW through fixed-bottom turbines and 17GW floating.

This would be more power than the whole country needs, so some could be used to produce other green fuels like hydrogen and ammonia.

What’s more, Sri Lanka’s offshore wind resources are in areas suited to the development of large-scale projects, said the World Bank. It’s also well-placed to cooperate with the Indian offshore wind market .

However, there are several roadblocks to the development of offshore wind in Sri Lanka. At present, the country’s manufacturing industry would not be able to supply many of the components for an offshore wind farm. This is an opportunity for investment in Sri Lankan industry and education of local talent, added the World Bank.

What’s more, the current regulatory framework doesn’t support the implementation of offshore wind power on an industrial scale, and would need upgrading–as would the current grid infrastructure. However, this would not preclude constructing a first/demonstration project, said the World Bank.

Sri Lanka has been working on a plan to start importing liquefied natural gas (LNG)–the cleanest fossil fuel–over the next few years, but since a worldwide supply crunch has sent LNG prices through the roof, enthusiasm for the idea is likely to have waned.

The Offshore Wind Roadmap for Sri Lanka is still being finalised and is set for publication in early 2023.

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