Green energy champion

Project description

Title: Green energy champion Sri Lanka II
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office
Country: Sri Lanka
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy
Overall term: 2017 to 2018

Context

On 6 September 2016, the Sri Lankan Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy launched a nationwide expansion programme for solar energy. The Battle for Solar Energy project highlights the government’s resolve in its current programme to expand renewable energy sources and improve the country’s energy efficiency.

Sri Lanka aims to reduce its dependency on petroleum and coal as energy sources in the medium term. At present, around 60 per cent of energy requirements are met by fossil fuels. This not only has a devastating impact on the environment but also leads to increasing foreign currency outflows due to the unrelenting rise in energy consumption. For this reason, the government is examining alternative methods for generating energy.

In general, Sri Lanka has excellent conditions for using solar energy, biomass and wind energy. Improving energy efficiency offers further potential for reducing the dependency on energy imports and the emission of carbon dioxide, which is harmful to the climate.

Active participation and judicious use of energy by the population require a basic understanding of the forms of electricity generation, technical solutions, as well as the possibilities for taking action oneself. Boosting energy efficiency is an effective way of lowering energy costs for private households while contributing to climate change mitigation. The official information policy is not yet adequately geared to the linguistic and media-related needs of the target group. In addition, there are not enough practical examples in place that could serve as nationwide models. As a result, a great deal of potential for reducing energy costs and for designing a sustainable national energy management system remains untapped.

Objective

The availability of information on renewable energies and of user-friendly instructions for increasing energy efficiency has improved and practical examples are in place.

Approach

On behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office, GIZ is supporting Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy in its efforts to significantly improve energy efficiency through nationwide communications work. The project comprises two interconnected components:

Component 1: Media campaign

In line with the objectives of the German Federal Foreign Office’s external energy policy, energy efficiency and household-related use of renewable energies are to be promoted by means of a media campaign in Sri Lanka.

The campaign uses traditional and social media in order to provide private households with simple and practical instructions for the efficient use of energy in their everyday lives. To this end, Facebook serves as the central communications platform. In addition, the campaign presents practical examples of how renewables are used in Germany in order to raise awareness of technical options and illustrate aspects of the German energy transition. The key role played by renewable energies in effective mitigation mechanisms for greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants is also to be demonstrated in an easily comprehensible manner.

Component 2: Promotion of Sri Lanka’s energy excellence

Based on the messages conveyed by the media campaign, in a further step the second nationwide green energy champion competition will call on communities, civil society, the private sector and schools to present project ideas in the area of energy efficiency and renewable energies.

The five most promising proposals will be shortlisted and their representatives invited to a workshop where, in addition to networking, they will have the opportunity to revise the submitted project ideas under professional guidance. An exchange with the winning team from 2016 is also planned.

The winning idea selected by a jury will receive an in-kind award valued at up to 60,000 euros, along with technical training for implementing the project idea.

Results

The current project is continuing the work of the preceding project, which via the media campaign reached over 700,000 people nationwide between 2015 and 2016 using its cross-media approach. The campaign encourages the frugal use of electricity and provides information about technological solutions in the area of renewable energy.

The first competition attracted a total of 85 applications.

In July 2016, the Colombo-based Ananda College was named Sri Lanka’s first green energy champion. This public education institution with 7,000 pupils won the competition with its holistic approach to energy efficiency, edging out over 80 competitors. The award money, equivalent to 30,000 euros, was used to implement the winning idea during the third quarter of 2016. Owing to the public interest in the competition and the high public profile generated through print and digital media, Ananda College now serves as a model for other schools throughout Sri Lanka.

A photovoltaic unit was installed on the Ananda College campus that produces 24,000 kW/h annually and covers the entire boarding school’s electricity requirements. Moreover, a waste separation system has been introduced that increases existing composting capacities, and training courses on saving energy have been conducted for more than 7,000 pupils and teachers.