Our ancient ancestors worshipped the sun in godlike fashion. Their belief was that the sun was a living organism and that the sun generated a sustainable energy. The world’s trinity includes the rising sun, the shining sun and the setting sun. Being one of the world’s oldest sun worshipping races, with much festivities, we celebrate as the marriage of the sun and the new year, the sun which enters Sri Lanka on March 23 from Koggala, Walasmulla and on April 13 peaks directly above the country from near the Matale, Nalanda Gedigeya.
According to data released by the NASA, Sri Lanka is one of the countries where a large amount of radiation from the sun falls on and also where there is much energy concentrated from the cosmic rays. In ancient hieroglyphs on papyruses leave/leaf parchments, the letter ‘Shri’ is mentioned as the symbol of the sun. The letter ‘Shri’ is the origin of the letter ‘Swasthika’. Sri Lanka, with the sun as the centre has been carrying on the sun pilgrimage for and from over 4,500 years ago. Sri Lankans, hail from the race of the sun. ‘Ra’ means the sun and ‘vana’ means the generation, and ancient texts mention of us as the ravana or sun generation.
The Shivalikitha also known as the solar almanac, authored by the soorya dynastians was the oldest book in the world.
It was mentioned that the sooryans divided the solar energy rays into 32 divisions.
Further to that, the Sanskrit version (shlokas) in the Sun Century, a book edited by Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maithriya has mentioned that the power was divided into six divisions such as rashmi varna, ashwa varna, arunu varna, ratha varna (solar energy), mandala varna and surya varna, revealed in the 16th chapter’s Surya Pariththan, (a lecture delivered by the sun god to his son) in the Maha Mewuna Pali-Sinhala piruwana poth wahanse. Generation of sustainable energy in Sri Lanka is a vital step taken by the Sri Lankan Government. Generation of electricity with the help of solar power under the theme ‘Solar Energy War’ is a timely action and a leap forward to the country’s development drive which goes hand in hand with the new technology.
The President’s and the Prime Minister’s attention, interest and guidance have become a blessing for the implementation of the sustainable energy generation process in the country.
And in future for the success of this project an international standardization institute with full Parliamentary powers would be established. Undoubtedly, this would become a booster for the invitation of foreign investors to the country as well as to save the much needed foreign aid for the rapid development of Sri Lanka.
The Minister of Power and Renewable Energy and his Deputy have the encouragement and the confidence in developing sustainable energy. In Sri Lanka, they will pave a new avenue to overcome the power crisis expected in 2020.
There will be a tendency to increase the solar power by 60% or more within the next three years. According to a news release issued in 2015 by the MasterCard Research Centre, the Colombo City has been named as the fastest developing city in the world. Thus, the inflow of foreign investors and tourists have been earmarked. So, to face the future power demand priority should be given to the solar energy war program.
The Paris Collective Agreement signed on December 12 with 192 countries by the Sri Lankan President during his visit to France, helped to initiate the solar power generation project in Sri Lanka as a first step towards the direction of minimizing the global warming threat. At present, countries world over have taken steps to halt the building of diesel and coal powered powerplants for electricity generation which emit carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in large quantities.
Solar and wind have proved as the cheapest power generation methods. It reduces calamities like heavy rains, tornadoes, tsunamis, etc. So it is our responsibility to get the maximum use of solar energy as a resource to keep the environment free of pollutants for the wellbeing of the posterity.
By 2050, the carbon dioxide content released to the air would be 42,000 giga tonnes, according to the predictions by scientists. To overcome these repercussions, power projects with the utilization of natural resources such as solar, wind, sea waves, and garbage, should be encouraged.
The development drives now going on in Sri Lanka are a positive sign that our country will be among the developed nations in the near future specially the high-rise buildings now under construction and the Port City project presently in progress will help increase the employment opportunities, and the day Sri Lanka becomes a rich country and the financial hub of the world is not afar.
However, during that period the supply of solar power should take place in an organized manner. The battle for harnessing the sun’s energy can be described as the first step in such. This is because all emerging, massive buildings can be covered with solar glass using solar technology. In an era when the use of traditional glass is declining in the world, Spain’s Onyx Solar Energy is at the forefront of the world’s amorphous silicon (a-Si) technology and the use of glass containing amorphous silicon transparency technology provides a perfect answer. In using this technology in new buildings, there is much electricity generating capacity. Regarding this, one of the most important milestones can be explained as being the Urban Development Minister’s unwavering stance concerning that the sustainable power of all buildings should exceed 40%. Furthermore, using solar cells to cover the envelope of the buildings infused with the new technology of building integrated photovoltaic, the green building concept which has been started in other countries and the proposed green houses projects, must be commenced and implemented in Sri Lanka.
Although the first inquiry into the solar cell took place in 1839, it was during the latter part of the 19th Century that generating power and energy using solar cells was started. The production of these cells using silicon deposits and mines became popular the world over during the 1970s. Although it was fortunate that power plants were established in Sri Lanka using coal power and fossil fuels such as diesel to contribute to generating and supplying power, it was an unfortunate fate that we didn’t understand its adverse impacts on the environment and instead put in place a proper, comprehensive plan to generate renewable energy. The latter is because large scale financial frauds have been committed in the import of coal and diesel. Therefore, today, it is clearly evident that obtaining power and energy through renewable energy is infinitely healthy. Especially when producing power and energy through solar and wind, an investment is required only in the first instance and because there is no recurrent expenditure in relation to purchasing the raw materials, financial frauds and the taking of commissions does not take place. Solar power and energy and wind power and energy are among the cheapest energy sources discovered on earth. When compared with the world, in terms of renewable energy generation, Sri Lanka is presently at a low level. The world’s largest solar and wind energy parks exceed 1,000 megawatts (MWs). The largest solar power plant, which is located in China, produces 1,500 MWs per 64 square kilometers. Also, neighbouring India, and elsewhere the United States of America (USA) and Europe have established large wind and solar power plants. However, we are not too late. One can reiterate that it is the responsibility of all of us living today to create an environment in which the future generation can live. Although all of us are found involved within the scope of physics, which is the measurement of science, it is a sad fact that we Lankans have still not been able to perform the miracles that our ancient ancestors achieved. The energy that the modern world which is technologically developing requires is that of electrical energy. Therefore, a country’s development is accelerated in the proper management and use of electrical energy and not the mere increase in the production of such.
In producing renewable energy, during the last five years (2012-2017), ten million jobs have been generated. The figure is rapidly increasing in the world. By 2030, the number will be 24 million. Through the ‘Surya Bala Sangramaya’ within Sri Lanka, there will definitely be the large scale generation of employment opportunities and technology related to renewable energy. Renewable energy generation can be shown as a perfect example of expediting the trend of the rising demand for electricity resulting from an increasing population. In the near future, large scale projects involving renewable energies such as bioenergy, geothermal energy, ocean energy, solar and wind energy must be constructed. With the view of obtaining the massive financial grants needed for the purpose through the call for investments for all such projects within the next year, and with the view of entering into conventions and treaties linking international energy institutions and financial institutions and local industries which produce mass scale energy, it has been decided that an international renewable energy congress and summit is to be held in Sri Lanka. Even today, developed countries have made it their main task to generate renewable energy. For every company in the State of California in the USA, which produces renewable energy, a 66% concessional amount is given at the end of the first year. The relief is provided on the basis of the cost of the project.
According to a press release issued on 2017 May 24 by the International Renewable Energy Agency, there had been a 9.8 million increase in jobs the world over which by 2030 would exceed 24 million, all of which would be a growth solely in the renewable energy sector. In 2016, in large hydropower plants 8.3 million jobs were generated, yet the employment generation growth in the production of solar power was 3.1 million, which in turn compared with 2015 constituted a growth in employment generation amounting to 12%. The main places in this instance were occupied by China, the USA and India. The solar power project has increased by 17 times over the past three years and as of 2015, it has increased by 24.5%. No other force can prevent there being a 62% growth in employment in South Asia in the next year owing to the Surya Bala Sangramaya (Utility Scale Solar Power) project. With this situation, it is inevitable that there would be a massive economic growth.
The year 2015 can be described as the year when the attention and enthusiasm of the world community involved in generating and producing renewable energy was focused on such. It is of special note that the main topics of the Paris Convention presented in 2015 December and the G7 and G20 Summits held in 2016 were global warming and climate change.
According to the documented history, it has been proven that since the advent of the Portuguese national Vasco Da Gama, the Portuguese invasion that occurred after 1496 and the subsequent 1505 year colonial rule the country was subjected to, our motherland’s entire technical knowledge was stolen by the colonialists. An uncanny mutual relationship has been discovered from the fact that Sri Lanka’s former capital city Colombo was named after Christopher ‘Columbus’ who was a peer of Da Gama, and that the name Colombo is found in Lisbon, Portugal, as ‘Sentrem Colombo’. Ancient historical texts hint that solar power plants had been constructed in Mahaee elithenna (Horton Plains Light house), Nuwara Eliya, Seethaeliya, Hawaeliya, Maha Kudumbigala and Selaeliya. Sri Lankans bear testament to being the first race to construct hot water wells utilizing the geothermal temperature energy of the earth as exemplified by what is left behind of the constructions at Gokannaye (Trincomalee).