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Solar Power For Villages

A project to install solar lighting systems in community centres and pre-school premises in the Diocese of Kurunegala, Anuradhapura and Jaffna (Vanni) got under way recently, with ten such systems being provided in each of the three Dioceses.

Accordingly five systems were installed in each of the three dioceses under the phase one of the project. In the Kilinochchi district, five villages such as Tharmapuram, Koolamurippu, Kumalamunai, Panangamam and Vattakachchi were selected. In the Anuradhapura district Kudagama (fishing village), Wadigawewa, Kaudulugama, Meegaswewa and Manampitiya received the renewable energy systems and Pothanegama, Aulegama, Lenawagedara, Dambaagoda and Kabilitthawela villages in the Kurunegala district were selected for the installations.

The locations for this sustainable energy programme were selected based on the community involvements and activities affiliated with the structure or the building of the location. Accordingly, community centres, community halls, study centres and a pre-school were selected under the guidance of the relevant Diocesan Directors in Jaffna (Vanni), Anuradhapura and Kurunegala.

The beneficiaries who received the systems will sign an agreement with Caritas Diocesan Centres to manage the maintenance and security of the solar systems provided.

The systems are supported with batteries which store the tapped solar energy and make it available when power is needed, especially in the evenings when community activities are undertaken and school children are encouraged to attend extra classes.

The main aim of the Caritas intervention funded by MISEREOR -Germany is to promote the use of renewable energy as an alternative to conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels which result in the emission of greenhouse gases

The Caritas’ initiative was launched in line with the government’s objective of achieving a sizeable generation of country’s energy through renewable energy sources.

At present, Sri Lanka produces only 27% (hydro 26%, wind 1%) of the country energy requirement through sustainable energy sources.