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India's Dominance in Sri Lanka's Renewable Energy Sector: A Complex Landscape

7 Mar 2024

Geopolitics and Green Energy Collide

India Emerges as Key Player:

  • A recent agreement for India to construct renewable energy systems on three islands off Sri Lanka's Jaffna coast solidifies India's position as a dominant player in Sri Lanka's renewable energy sector.

  • This $11 million project, funded by India, will provide much-needed clean energy to the islands which are currently off the national grid.

Shifting Tides: From China to India:

  • This project was initially awarded to China, but India successfully lobbied Sri Lanka to scrap that deal due to the islands' proximity to India.

  • Sri Lanka's growing dependence on China has been a concern for India, and this project reflects India's strategic interest in maintaining influence in Sri Lanka, particularly the Northern and Eastern provinces.

India's Growing Footprint:

  • This renewable energy project is the latest in a series of India-backed initiatives in Sri Lanka's north and east.

  • The National Thermal Power Corporation (India) is also involved in a solar energy project in the east, and the Adani Group (India) is undertaking renewable energy projects in the north.

Transparency Concerns:

  • Some of these projects, particularly those involving the Adani Group, have raised concerns about transparency in the bidding process and potential favoritism towards Indian companies.

  • Sri Lanka's lack of transparency regarding these agreements has fueled public suspicion.

The Road Ahead:

  • As Sri Lanka seeks to develop renewable energy in its Northern and Eastern provinces, navigating partnerships with India requires clear communication and addressing concerns about transparency.

  • Finding a win-win situation for both countries is crucial to maximize the benefits of renewable energy development in Sri Lanka.

Overall, India's growing influence in Sri Lanka's renewable energy sector presents both opportunities and challenges. Ensuring transparency and mutual benefit will be key to a successful and sustainable partnership.

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