Addressing Issues with Rooftop Solar Installations and Grid Absorption in Sri Lanka
Posted on May 19th, 2024

Sasanka De Silva, Pannipitiya.

The Editor,

Lanka Web,

Sri Lanka.

Dear Sir,

We have a 3 kW rooftop solar installation that supplies electricity directly to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) grid.

Recently, we’ve noticed some troubling issues.

First, not all the energy generated by our unit is being absorbed by the grid.

When we approached the vendor who installed the system, they attributed the problem to settings imposed by the CEB, over which they claim to have no control.

However, the CEB denies this, instead placing the blame on the vendor.

As a homeowner without technical expertise in this area, it’s challenging to determine who is at fault.

Additionally, our electricity bills indicate that we consume more power from the grid during the day than at night.

This is perplexing since our home is a residence, not a manufacturing plant.

If the solar energy we generate is not being fully utilized and instead goes to waste, it represents a significant loss.

Here’s where a policy shift could be transformative.

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) could mandate the CEB to allow residences with rooftop solar to utilize backup battery systems.

This would allow homes to prioritize self-generated solar power, with the grid acting as a supplement during peak demand or in case of system limitations.

Such a policy would not only ensure more efficient use of renewable energy but also provide a buffer during the frequent power interruptions we experience due to sudden breakdowns or scheduled maintenance.

Such a system would not only optimize solar energy usage but also provide much-needed resilience during power cuts.

Residents wouldn’t be at the mercy of unexpected outages, improving overall energy security.

Implementing this solution would significantly enhance energy resilience and efficiency for residential consumers, fostering greater reliance on renewable energy and reducing wastage.

It is a necessary step towards a more sustainable and reliable energy future for Sri Lanka.

My experience is a microcosm of a larger issue.

By fostering a more efficient solar ecosystem that empowers homeowners, Sri Lanka can unlock the true potential of rooftop solar power, leading to a more sustainable and resilient future.

This write-up presents my concerns clearly and proposes a practical solution, advocating for regulatory intervention to optimize the use of rooftop solar installations.

Sasanka De Silva,


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