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Sri Lankan President's stance on Green Hydrogen - “Now we can become an exporter of energy. Let’s go for it. That is my idea,”

Sri Lankan President's stance on Green Hydrogen - “Now we can become an exporter of energy. Let’s go for it. That is my idea,”

In a groundbreaking speech delivered at the Sri Lanka Green Hydrogen Symposium 2023, President Ranil Wickremesinghe unveiled an ambitious vision for Sri Lanka's pivotal role in addressing climate change. The President underscored the nation's commitment to sustainable practices and the integration of cutting-edge green energy technologies. Addressing the alarming findings of the UNF emission report for 2023, President Wickremesinghe expressed deep concern over the potential 3-degree Celsius global temperature increase by the end of the century. He emphasized the urgent need for immediate global action, lamenting the unfulfilled emission reduction promises of developed nations.

Highlighting Sri Lanka's commitment to the cause, President Wickremesinghe outlined two key objectives: advocating for the 1.5-degree Celsius target at COP28 and showcasing the nation's dedication to making significant contributions, despite lower pollution levels compared to more industrialized countries. The President turned the spotlight on the energy landscape, positioning the UN Secretary-General's call for tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 as a pivotal opportunity for Sri Lanka to transform into a green energy exporter. He specifically emphasized the vast potential of solar and wind power in the country's expansive dry zones.

Proposing a bold shift reminiscent of ancient civilizations exporting grain, President Wickremesinghe envisioned Sri Lanka as an energy exporter. He declared, "Now we can become an exporter of energy. Let's go for it. That is my idea," underscoring the nation's potential in harnessing renewable resources.Green hydrogen took center stage in the President's vision, with Sri Lanka aspiring not only to achieve energy independence but also to become a regional hub for green hydrogen supply. To realize these ambitious goals, President Wickremesinghe announced plans for a new committee and an energy transition law, demonstrating a commitment to a comprehensive decision-making process for new energy projects.

Acknowledging economic challenges, the President stressed the importance of a thorough review to ensure sustained, long-term benefits. He referred to the cancellation of the Norochcholai project in 2002, highlighting the need for a modern version funded by the Japanese. The President also expressed dissatisfaction with the downgrading of sustainable energy in favor of other sources, calling for a holistic view and a re-evaluation of the long-term power generation plan.

In his concluding remarks, President Wickremesinghe reaffirmed Sri Lanka's unwavering commitment to green energy, positioning the country as a leader in sustainable and environmentally conscious policies. The event witnessed the presentation of "The Sri Lanka National Hydrogen Road Map" to President Wickremesinghe by the Minister of Power & Energy Kanchana Wijesekara. The roadmap, a collaborative effort between PDASL and Greenstat Hydrogen India with the support of USAID, charts a course for Sri Lanka's energy landscape transformation. US Ambassador Julie J. Chung, Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay, and British High Commissioner Andrew Patrick commended the actions taken by Sri Lanka at the symposium, pledging unwavering support for the country's commitment to the Green Hydrogen transformation. The symposium, organized by Greenstat India in collaboration with PDASL and USAID, stands as a testament to Sri Lanka's determination to spearhead the transition toward a sustainable and green future under President Ranil Wickremesinghe's leadership. The event was attended by notable personalities such as Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, Greenstat India Chairman Sturle Pedersen, PDASL Chairman Surath Ovitigama, and official dignitaries of Greenstat India, USAID, stakeholders, and other collaborators.