30 June, 2022


Costly Short-Circuit At Sampur

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Part II of III: Colossal overruns will open-circuit the fiscal deficit

Criticism is an opportunity for correction; Britain just revoked its stop order on the 3200MW, GBP 18 billion, Hinckley Point C nuclear power station. It will be tougher in Lanka due to multiple pressures, some reasonable, some naïve, others venal. The government has no clue what it is doing and is in a muddle. Following last week’s piece on principles of planning I will devote this one to current concerns; next week’s finale will be on sector restructuring.

The authorities confessed in court last week that they would dump the proposed joint venture coal-fired project with India. This may also be the first step to privatising the CEB and opening the power market to the private sector as in the infamous oil power scams of the 1990s. It’s naïve to think it is only loss making state enterprises the government plans to privatise; it’s the most profitable ones that the private sector salivates after. Domestic and foreign LNG lobbies seem to have influence in the Power Ministry and at even higher levels. I am not opposed to private participation in power as Part III will clarify next week, but 1990s style subterfuge is not acceptable.

The Sampur Coal Power Project (SCP), which is ready to take-off, is a joint venture between the CEB and India’s NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation). It is a 50:50 joint venture named Trincomalee Power Company (TPC). It has been incorporated and financing agreed ($75 million from each side, $600 million to be raised in capital markets). Engineering designs have been finalised and environmental approval partially secured. It was ready to go; now it is kaput!

Had SCP gone ahead the private sector would have been cut out for a decade. Domestic and foreign LNG vendors, now circling for huge turnkey contracts, would have been setback. Had vested interests been the only issue I would have opposed cancelation outright, but there is another reason for ambivalence, environmental concerns. (Arrogant and self-righteous environmental high priests, driven by indigestion to colic, and simple minded tunnel-vision evangelists, can be prudently disregarded and attention steadfastly focussed on real environmental worries). There is a better tactic than termination of SCP though arguably it should be our last coal project, unless coal gasification or ultra supercritical combustion with sequestration or pressurised fluidised bed combustion become economically viable.

Short-circuit at Sampoor

The monumental blunder will cost Lanka a cumulative Rs.200 billion (not million!). Tax payers or electricity consumers will eventually pay; in the meantime debt will mount. SCP has been deferred repeatedly (as Norochcholi was in the 1990s oil power scams) but had this 2016 knockout not been administered and a green light given, two 250 MW units would have come on stream in 2020 and 2021. Now Lanka faces power shortages in 2018 if the economy blossoms, 2019 otherwise. So old Satan, oil power, is to be rushed into service; 170 MW of diesel engines and 105 MW of oil fired turbines; both presumably private power contacts. There will be huge fuel cost overruns compared to what SCP electricity would have cost. Electricity price increases are as inevitable as sunset.

The Rs.200 billion is made up as follows – Rs.180 billion for oil power (over and above the cost of coal power) up to 2025, and Rs.20 billion capital for the diesel engines which have to be mothballed when LNG comes on stream. The turbines can be converted from oil to gas if LNG reaches the West coast – but not if LNG is landed in Sampoor. Actually 2025 is an optimistic date since power-plant and harbour location disputes have to be settled, financing found ($480 million for a land-based harbour, $350 million for a 300MW gas-fired power station cum basic transmission), environmental approval secured, engineering designs executed, and harbour and power plant construction completed. It would surprise me if the plant delivers power by 2025 and the additional cost attributable to oil over coal or gas for each year of delay beyond 2025 is Rs.37 billion.

There is no dispute that coal should be eased out. This is why China and India which plan to install hundreds of thousands of MW of coal power in the next 20 years, nevertheless, will reduce the increments to zero and eventually decommission all. They take a balanced long-term view despite being the world’s largest and third largest gross greenhouse gas emitters – the US is second. Per capita China emits 6.6 tons of carbon dioxide per year, the US 16.2, Germany and Japan about 9.5 each and India 1.5 tons. Sri Lanka’s per capita emission is a mere 0.7 tons per year; 60% from the transport sector and 30% from the electricity sector. Even if we double our emissions, which I certainly do not advocate, we would still be way below our international obligations.

The problem is not greenhouse gases; we make a minuscule contribution to global warming. The problem is local; it is the misery of people living in the immediate vicinity (up to 3km downwind of Norochcholi). The CEB has unpardonably neglected this environmental obligation. The horrible truth is fine fly-ash (alu like when you completely burn down firewood) which is carried by the wind from the 5 acre ash dump beside the power station. With the right waste management tools the CEB could have circumvented the problem. World class plant (Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan) control ash and eliminate coal dust. Locals from Sampoor who visited villages downwind of the Norochcholi ash dump will never agree to live near a power station even if the CEB promises the sun and the moon about new technology. “Why should we trust them?” they rightly ask. Once bitten twice shy.

(Heavy metals like mercury residues of coal firing, and particulate emissions are a health hazard. They can be trapped and prevented from getting into groundwater and soil as done elsewhere. This pushes up cost; ash, coal dust and heavy metal control adds about 15% to electricity prices).

We have to take an overview; a cumulative cost of Rs200+ billion, no greenhouse gases above Lanka’s international obligations, advanced containment technologies at a price, but a life distressing calamity for the local population, or what? If we cut the crap the options are candid; either scarp the project or pay to resettle local people in good quality alternative homes and lands.

What would that cost? Let’s calculate on a per 1000 family basis (Minister Swaminathan estimated 825 families in June 2015). If it takes Rs 1 million per family to relocate to new homes and lands (plus schools, health and transport services), 1000 families will require a Rs 1 billion commitment. That’s two orders of magnitude below Rs200+ billion. Even if the number of families and cost per family were two or three times higher, the total cost is still comparatively tiny. Some families may prefer to take the money and make their own plans. Ignore the evangelicals; they are engaged in great battles of principle nearer nirvana. The point is what’s better; SCP with tighter environmental controls plus one or two billion rupees for resettlement, or no SCP and Rs200 billion in added power costs? You the public choose; I can only lay out the options. It’s your problem!

The longer termcomparison-of-remote-coal-and-western-province-lng

The Simplified Table provides a comparison – for a Full Engineering Table click here


The tables compare a remote coal station (not necessarily at Sampur) with West coast LNG. But before that I must make a point about greenhouse effects. Research shows that coal and gas fired electricity have equally bad greenhouse effects. Methane is many times worse than carbon dioxide in greenhouse entrapment. Even in the US it has not been possible to reduce methane leakage to below 3%; hence the damage per kWh is no different between a gas-fired power station and a modern high-tech coal plant. The differential environmental dispute is the aforesaid effect on nearby populations.

I take responsibility for the data in the tables though much of it and the calculation procedure follow a CEB Excel program. However I am not dependent on this stakeholder; algebra and the laws of physics are invariant, results are data driven. Column 1 is for a traditional coal plant like SCP, column 2 is for one unit of a four-unit high-efficiency environmentally clean coal plant proposed by the Japanese as Sampur stage-2. The third and fourth columns are for LNG located in the Western Province (only a nincompoop will locate an LNG power plant in Sampur). Column 3 is for a cheaper floating terminal (which entails $50 million annual rental) while column 4 is for a large land based terminal. Sensitivity of electricity price to gas prices is included in the Full Engineering Table. By matching FET results with those in the Simplified Table in this text the effect of small difference in assumptions can be seen to be inconsequential.

The choice between the two types of LNG terminal depends on whether gas will be found in exploitable quantities in the Gulf of Mannar. If ‘yes’ a floating terminal which can be folded up and returned is better. The switch of electricity generation to gas cannot be economically justified because of large harbour investments entailed unless a switch of transport and industry to gas is envisaged. This is crucial but not sufficiently appreciated.

Financially coal is cheaper than gas; roughly speaking coal power will cost Rs10 to Rs11.50 per kWh, LNG power Rs12.50 to Rs15.00. But the great unknown is the unpredictability of fuel prices in the next decades, so it’s a bit of a toss up. Fuel prices may move in tandem, so comparative estimates are more reliable than absolute ones. Taking the median and current prices as a rough guide, coal power is Rs10.50 per kWh, LNG power Rs13.50 per kWh. These financial costs are not much changed if the costs of human resettlement discussed previously are included.

One further matter warrants mention; consequences of careless decision making on relations with India. When the Indian PM was asked “Please abandon coal and agree to LNG as an alternative” he is reported to have responded to this capricious tinkering with the diplomatic equivalent of “This is not like flipping your breakfast order between scrambled eggs and omelette”. Mr Mody had been briefed by professionals, our leader by novices and quacks. I don’t know if fences have since been mended.


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Latest comments

  • 1

    The substance provided by Prof. David goes without question. This is not the first time interested parties manipulate the energy policy. However, I would like to emphasise two statements of Prof. David.

    Firstly: “Criticism is an opportunity for correction;”

    Generally Sri Lankan politicians, particularly those in power suffer from the disease named megalomania. They would never see any criticism as an opportunity for correction. After undertaking in court that it would not proceed, how can one revoke that the way they did in Britain?

    Secondly: ” Mr Mody had been briefed by professionals, our leader by novices and quacks.”

    In this regard the damage done by the Administrative Apparatus is colossal. Their watch-word “Politicians may come and Politicians may go but We go on forever.”. Worst still, they are the only ones who can pinch money from the state and have the right to get away.

    We may be applauded by the International Community for the recent political transformation. But it would be enriched by a proper transformation of the Administrative setup that is accountable for its actions.

  • 2

    Heavy metals like mercury residues of coal firing, and particulate emissions are a health hazard.

    Set up this plant in the middle of Jaffna.

    • 1

      May I naively ask why must you recommend setting up a plant that pollutes the environment in Jaffna? Why is it so special to deserve that? After all it is a part of Sri Lanka, (Of course some readers may not like my saying that), its people are Sri Lankans.

      There could be rabble rousers like Wiggi over there who enjoys doing so in times of peace and dared not do that when the LTTE was up and about. However even the people of the likes of him deserves justice and fairplay and the environment even for him should be free from harmful pollutants.

  • 6

    Dear Professor, the below is for you and all other Pandits and the media who shout from the roof tops about energy. With this solar revolution, in 2018 America is going to roll out the all electric, all green Self drive, driver-less cars. These cars diver better than the most professionally trained drivers. The experts predict, they could put six times the presents numbers of vehicles with driver-less vehicles – for they drive so meticulously – without adding even an inch of new road to the available road net works. Also the wireless electricity like Wifi too around the corner along with government mandated cashless payments – all mobile – money loaded to the mobile_ and e-payments. Already many local governments in the US gone paperless money. If one pays with cash for government service, he/she should pay a fine for doing so. They predicts, this would increase productivity and release trillions of dollars to the economy for the growth and prosperity. Only those holding paper money under the mattresses without putting it into the system going to loose all.

    Last two decades were IT, now and the future going to be ET – energy technology. Like the computers and mobiles phones solar is exploding and the cost is falling down exponentially so all could afford it.

    So, we are in for an exciting time….

    In light of these new developments, the Sri Lanka government should mandate that all new buildings should install solar and rain water harvesting to have it’s own power and most of the water requirement. Not the Grandfather Solar Cells but the New Solar Cells work even in the dark, rain or shine, 24x7x365 days. They need the sun’s energy rays to produce power for it’s non stop, comes down to the earth all 24 hrs., day and night. Their power out put rate is extremely high and it’s very cost effective when compared to all the other energy sources.

    The Device That Could Soon Power Every American Household—Almost for FREE
    Promises to…

    Create more jobs than any other industry…

    Cut Americans’ power bills by up to 95%

    Spin off a new wave of millionaires who get in
    front of this new trend now

    Dear Reader,

    As crazy as it sounds…

    …we are on the cusp of a boom that could revive America’s golden years…

    Just like the 1950s, 60s and 70s—only a whole lot better.

    A $5-trillion new wave of wealth could once again make the American Dream a reality.

    And not just restore the hope for a better U.S.A….

    But restore the hope for financially free and independent retirement for millions of Americans.

    You see, a new device is emerging that produces “fuel” Hillary Clinton says should be in “every home in America.”

    One that could…

    Create high-paying employment like nothing seen since the Detroit auto boom of the 1950s…

    Cut household electrical bills by up to 95%… to the 1950s level…

    Build a new wave of American-made industry

    And spin off a new wave of millionaires who get in front of this trend now

    I know. It sounds hard to believe. But please, hear me out:

    This development has already started to unfold…

    And it’s moving faster than you could imagine.

    USA Today says it’s “past the point of no return.”

    One global bank says this “…juggernaut is unstoppable.”

    Forbes simply calls it “a massive opportunity.”

    Last year, it created jobs 20-times faster than the U.S. economy did.

    And more jobs than Silicon Valley giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook combined!

    In two years, it could double that. Then again and again.

    These are “breadwinner” jobs. High-paying jobs with great benefits.

    Jobs that were supposed to be a thing of the past…

    The kind that could support whole families on a single salary—just like the 1950s.

    But a handful of these ordinary folk could do a whole lot better than the rest.

    Why? Because while I believe ALL Americans will ultimately enjoy higher pay and a better quality of life…

    Just a handful of farsighted individuals could potentially see the lion’s share of new wealth being created—$5 trillion by some counts.

    Why are these folks so different?

    Since they got in early on a development that’s changing not just one industry, but all of America…

    They could potentially see even the smallest savings account mushroom into a million-dollar nest egg.

    Much like buying into Ford in the early 1900s, before the Model T could be seen in every driveway.

    Before it paved the way for the American Dream…

    And before it turned ordinary shareholders into new millionaires—no matter how much they invested.
    Like a Detroit school teacher who put her savings of $100 in Ford in 1903. When she sold her single share in 1919, she had received a total return of $355,000 on her investment.

    Or a young clerk who invested $1,000 in cash—plus a note for an additional $1,400—and went to work for Ford. He used a small portion of his dividends to pay off his note and buy a few more shares. After 16 years, he sold his stock for $30 million.

    And there are the two brothers who had just started a Detroit machine shop. In 1903, Ford ordered engines, but couldn’t pay for them, so he gave the brothers a 10% stake in the company instead—a position worth $10,000. In 1919, they sold their stock for $25 million—plus $9.5 million in dividends they’d collected over the years.
    And these were just a few examples—dozens of brand-new millionaires were minted by Ford Motors.

    Now, I think you’ll agree that everything you’re about to see points to one simple thing…

    History is about to repeat itself.

    Just like the Model T, this life-changing device could soon be quietly powering every home, neighborhood, and city in America.

    Let me tell you about…

    The Device That Could Soon Power EVERY
    American Household—almost for FREE

    A device that could power your household 24/7 and cut your power bill to almost nothing.

    Bloomberg predicts: “the way humans get electricity is going to change forever.”

    UBS analysts call it “…a new era in power markets.”

    And the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) even says the use of this device is “…growing so fast it is going to overtake everything… It could double every two years.”

    Think about it.

    Everyone uses electricity.

    In homes; for cooking, air conditioning, TVs, and gadgets.

    In businesses, schools, churches, government buildings… you name it.

    So the market for this device that provides a lifetime of potentially free energy is literally everybody.

    By the end of this year, over 1 million American homes will be getting power from this device.

    But that’s just for starters…

    How high could it go?

    Everyone wants free, unlimited power—especially since it’s so clean, reliable, and powerful.

    That’s why I’m confident when I say that this will inevitably become the way almost every American receives power.

    Sound hard to believe?

    It’s already happening…

    Take Hans from B.C., who now pays $3 a month for power—and that includes the costs of charging his car. “This shields you from any rate hikes,” he said. “Once you’ve paid for the system, the electricity is free… So if there’s [sic] any future rate increases—like gasoline keeps going up, so is electricity—so for 25 years you are producing electricity [sic],” he added.

    Or Paul from Texas, who said he is powering his 2,700-square-foot home for less than $20 a month, thanks to this device. That’s impressive because people in his area use air conditioning almost every day.

    Ronnie from Louisiana says he cut his electric bill from $180-$200 a month to $11 a month, thanks to this device.

    It’s incredible.

    That’s why over 300,000 new American homes are estimated to be using this device for power right now.

    Financial Times calls this “the fastest-growing energy source in the US.”

    The Christian Science Monitor says it’s “turning American energy on its head… it could recast the entire American power grid.”

    “[It’s] Turning American Energy on Its Head”
    – The Christian Science Monitor

    But it’s not just everyday Americans getting power from this device…

    Some of the biggest Fortune 500 names are rushing to get their own… and save a fortune on power bills…

    Google, for example, is investing $300 million to do it…

    Apple is investing nearly $1 billion!

    Everywhere you look, America’s biggest companies are going all in… including:




    General Motors



    Kaiser Permanente

    Johnson & Johnson


    Can you see why this is absolutely transformational?

    And why investors who buy into the device at the center of this development could reap a massive profit windfall?

    I’ll show you how in a moment… and why a stake of as little as $1,000 could potentially return a 6-figure windfall.

    I’ll also show you a new development this year that could make this device the #1 source of energy worldwide…

    Overtaking oil, coal, natural gas, and nuclear.

    But before I do, consider this…

    How much money do you pay on your power bill each month?




    That’s a whole lot of money snapped up by the utility companies…

    These numbers are expected to rise considerably, too.

    The Department of Energy predicts the cost of electricity will rise by up to 51% in the next 17 years.

    And remember, everyone pays for power.

    America is the world’s largest market for electricity.

    So we have 300 million Americans—paying $1 trillion for energy every single year.

    And that number is already expected to go up.

    That’s a serious drag on the economy. But a massive windfall for the utility monopolies.

    I believe this is all changing now though…

    As this device frees up trillions of dollars for Americans.

    Businesses won’t just see more profits—they’ll have more free cash to invest in new jobs and technologies…

    In short, the American economy is about to get a major boost—one that could turn it around permanently.

    I mean, $1 trillion is nothing to shake a stick at… it’s more than the annual GDP of 178 different countries around the world.

    The bottom line is, we’re about to see a real wave of American prosperity.

    New jobs. New businesses. More money going around.

    Let’s not forget all the great jobs stimulated by demand for this remarkable device.

    Or the fortunes that could go to investors who buy in on the ground floor… before this device enters every American household.

    Taking a position today could be like going back in time, back to the day Henry Ford launched Ford Motors and before the Model T could be seen in almost every American driveway.

    According to our estimates…

    A $100 investment in Ford Motors could be worth $355,000…

    A $1,000 investment could be worth $3.55 million…

    A $10,000 investment could be worth $35.5 million…

    And you could have seen it in as little as 16 years!

    We are talking about staggering generational wealth.

    And it all starts with ONE COMPANY at the heart of this massive shift.

    I’ll share more details in a moment. But first, let me tell you more about the stunning technology that’s bringing this revolution to life…

    The NEW Solar Panel

    Of course, I’m talking about the next-generation solar panel.

    Now, I know what you might be thinking…

    But hear me out for a second…

    This is NOT your grandfather’s solar panel.

    It has nothing to do with absurd tax credits or green energy subsidies.

    Nor is it some clunky, expensive, ugly gadget.

    You see, even a few years ago solar was nothing more than a fantasy… too expensive and impractical.

    But solar’s cost is almost entirely driven by technology. And I’m sure you know that when it comes to technology, the price could fall exponentially. Think about the PC or smartphones.

    And now, thanks to a series of cutting-edge technologies, the costs of solar panels have fallen dramatically.

    Take a look…

    From $76 a watt…

    To $0.30 a watt…

    The cost of solar has plunged 99.6% in the past few decades.

    Heck, even in the past few years, the cost has fallen 80%.

    Think about that.

    Solar was written off by the media and pundits as absurdly expensive not many years ago.

    Now the new generation of solar panels creates the cheapest form of energy available.

    Cheaper than oil…

    Cheaper than gas…

    Cheaper than nuclear…

    I don’t know of anything that could compete with it.

    Never before has a single form of energy had the potential to capture 100% of the global energy market.

    And that’s the potential of solar. Let me explain…

    100% of the Global Energy Market

    The Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) puts it this way…

    Sun power is “going to overtake everything… it could double every two years”…

    He’s not the only expert who thinks so…

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that solar will soon be the #1 source of energy on the planet, pushing oil, gas, and coal to the side.

    How soon?

    According to Ray Kurzweil, a New York Times best-selling author, and Google’s Director of Engineering, solar power use has doubled every two years for the last 30 years.

    At this rate, solar is less than 16 years away from meeting 100% of the world’s energy needs.

    And Kurzweil believes that’s exactly what’s about to happen.

    The Economist has profiled the solar market’s growth phenomenon, more commonly referred to as “Swanson’s law”…

    A pattern that mirrors the well-known “Moore’s Law” for transistors.

    It suggests that for every time the world’s solar manufacturing capacity has doubled, the price of the cells needed to generate solar power has fallen by 20%…

    At this astronomic rate, solar could overtake the world’s electricity market in only 16 years…

    Think about that…

    Right now, solar accounts for less than 1% of the global energy market.

    An expansion to 100% in the next 16 years is on a scale we’ve never seen before.

    And with global energy demand expected to DOUBLE during the same timeframe, we are looking at potential EXPONENTIAL GROWTH that’s hard to comprehend.

    What could this mean for the American economy? And for investors savvy enough to buy in now?

    Well, coal and oil gave birth to the modern industrial revolution.

    And with it, some of the biggest fortunes in history.

    Rockefeller and J. Paul Getty built their fortunes on oil.

    The Koch brothers, worth $40 billion apiece, also amassed their wealth from oil.

    In America’s recent shale boom, over 2,000 millionaires were minted in a year.

    And yet, solar could DWARF anything that’s come before it…

    And it’s just starting… with the biggest energy players on the planet making gargantuan shifts away from fossil fuels and into solar.

    The Solar Gold Rush Is NOW

    The Pentagon, if you already didn’t know, is the world’s single biggest consumer of oil.

    But that’s all about to change…

    It was recently announced that on 124 military bases in 33 states, solar farms are going up. All military branches—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines—are joining the rush.

    The Navy is now investing in what will be the world’s largest solar farm… one that will supply power for 14 of its bases.

    All told, the Pentagon has 63 solar programs—more than any other federal agency

    The military is dishing out billions of dollars in contracts for this energy overhaul.


    The military brass considers this not only a substantial cost-saving measure…

    …but a necessary defense against the world’s two biggest threats: cyberterrorism and climate change.

    China and India—two of the world’s biggest power markets—are committed to making solar their largest energy source.

    India’s solar revolution is attracting $200 billion in investment for what Forbes calls “a gold rush” for investors.

    And China is growing its solar capacity at a rate faster than anywhere else in the world.

    But they’re not alone…

    Over 120 countries on six continents are equipping RIGHT NOW for massive solar buildups.

    OPEC, Big Oil, and Rockefellers Shift to Solar

    Even OPEC sees the writing on the wall, and is moving into solar.

    Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, has committed $109 billion for solar.

    Egypt, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates are on board.

    Big Oil is on board, too.

    France oil giant Total plans to invest half a billion each year into solar.

    The CEO of Shell Oil calls solar “the dominant backbone of our future energy system.”

    Shell was part of a recent $53-million investment in a new solar company.

    Oil barons must see much bigger fortunes in this than in fossil fuels.

    Like the Rockefeller family heirs, who recently announced that they were completely divesting their $850-million portfolio from fossil fuels and looking to “new energy” investments.

    And Russia’s richest man, oil oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, has announced a massive $450-million stake in Russia’s solar development.

    Billionaires Are on Board, Too

    This fact has not been lost on the world’s smartest investors. In fact, billionaires are now rushing in with full force.

    For example, in late 2015, a dream team of billionaire titans including…

    Bill Gates

    Mark Zuckerberg

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

    Virgin Group founder Richard Branson

    George Soros

    And 22 other deep-pocketed investors

    … all committed to being the private capital that covers gaps in a targeted $20-billion annual spend into solar and similar next-generation technologies by 19 different countries by the year 2020.

    Gates has already invested $1 billion of his OWN money into solar—and has committed to doubling that.

    Warren Buffett has already invested as much as $15 billion in solar and wind power, and is set to double down.

    “There’s another $15 billion ready to go,” says Buffett.

    It’s also said that Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son is planning to invest $20 billion in solar projects in India.

    I could go on and on.

    The richest, sharpest people on the planet are loading up.

    I suggest you do the same.

    This is no longer a question of “if.” And it’s not a question of “when.”

    Solar’s total domination of the energy markets is INEVITABLE, and the time for action is NOW.

    The day after the world’s billionaires committed to solar…

    … the governments of the world—led by India and France—made a similar unprecedented move…

    At the Paris Climate Summit, 120 countries agreed to form an unprecedented “solar alliance”…

    One committed to making solar the world’s #1 source of energy.

    This global pact will need a total of $2.5 trillion in solar investments over the coming years.

    120 Countries Unite to Make
    Solar the World’s #1 Energy

    These two huge developments lit a fire under the solar market… kicking off a massive surge in solar stocks.

    These companies are climbing fast… and you need to buy in RIGHT NOW while they’re still cheap.

    That’s why I’ve combed the sector top to bottom… and found the single best one.

    Here’s the scoop…

    The going rate for solar panels last year dropped to an average of thirty cents per watt…

    Already that’s a fantastic price—one that’s competitive with every other form of energy.

    Which is why over 120 countries worldwide are now scrambling to replace coal and gas.

    But it’s getting a whole lot better.

    You see, a tiny $15 company is quietly sitting at the center of this global energy shift…
    It’s been on the cutting edge of new solar cell designs and technology for years.

    Not only has it accumulated more than a whopping 400 patents….

    … It has created some of the world’s most efficient and powerful and cheapest solar cells.

    The second largest solar company in the world measured by megawatts shipped, this $3.5 billion American listed company employs 8,000 people.

    And with customers in 90 countries, its solar panels are currently generating electricity for hospitals, airports and universities in Canada and the U.S.

    It powers factories in China, India, Japan, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Chile, Turkey, Hungary, Denmark, England and other countries.

    Recent projects include powering a massive Volkswagen plant in South Africa and seven IKEA stores in Australia.

    Now here’s what is really exciting about this specific solar power company…

    Unlike other solar companies that have struggled, this company has been making money for years. In fact, it posted a profit of $172 million last year. And it has $1 billion in the bank.

    Such strong financials positions this company to exponentially grow as modern-day technology continues to push down the price of electricity created from solar panels.

    The best news for investors…

    You can get into this cutting edge alternative energy producer today at under seven times earnings! Yes, at a time when the average S&P 500 company is selling at 20 times earnings, this booming technology company can be bought at only seven times what it is earning!

    So far, this company has been off-the-radar screen of big institutional investors. Insiders still own 24% of the company’s outstanding shares.

    But that’s not going to last for long. Recently, a private money management firm in Norway accumulated 6% of the outstanding shares of this company. My prediction is that they will be the first of many big money firms that end up chasing the company, thus propelling its stock much higher.

    That’s why you need to get in now before it’s too late!
    Bottom line:

    This tiny $15 company is now at the center of a $5-trillion energy shift unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

    But it won’t be trading at $15 for long—not with all of its deals and the fast-moving developments in solar.

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    What you’ve seen today shows solar could take over 100% of global electricity within 16 years… making coal, oil, gas, and nuclear near obsolete.

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    So we’re on the very ground floor of a simply unprecedented development… one that could spin off more millionaires than any oil boom.

    The Device to Make America Great Again: Cash in
    on the New Trillion-Dollar Solar Panel Boom

  • 0

    Prof. David –
    Your first two articles are an instructive framing of the electrical energy issues in Sri Lanka as were your past articles – Still, there are a few key issues on which you leave the reader and analysis short. One is your claim that

    Neither the Environmental Impact Assessment or the Engineering Designs of the SCP were ready to take off!

    Two months back, I argued (FT, July 20, 2016 and CDN, July 18) ) that a critical aspect of the Environmental Impact Analysis – air pollution – was done in a comical fashion – the Indian Consultants took the wrong wind direction and their results showed that the pollutants went against the wind!


    No one has disputed the fundamental problems that I have pointed out in two months. (No one also seems to care – unless I go talk to them. Well that did not help either. )

    I did go talk to the local consultants who were supposed to produced a check on simulatons of atmospheric pollution patterns. Their simulations contradicted that from the Indians – but all the consultants have done is to shovel it into the appendix of the EIA. In talking to the local consultants, I learn of fundamental problems in how their analysis was done
    (a. no seasonality of climate was considered,
    b. only one year of data was used,
    c. the data used was from climate models and not what is observed,
    d. their results were not compared with those from the Indians).
    The Indian consultants make worse mistakes. It is all quite shambolic. Serious question such as
    acid rain, cloud suppression, potential impacts of Sulphur Dioxide on places such as Ritigala, Knuckles and Kandy did not get a chance of examination.

    I could see similar problems in the disaster management scenarios in the EIA and reasons to suspect a flimsy analysis of effluent discharge to the sea as well.

    All that is there in the EIA report is just its foreboding size. Examine it and all it is just EIA Consultants and the Indian Consultants from Mantec slapping together old material together, and quick analysis, useless computer programs and output which is garbage. Perhaps the idea was to make the haystack larger so that no one read it. Certainly not the villagers in Sampur and vicinity.

    The fact is that this report was passed through the CEB, the Ministry of Power and Energy and provided partial approval shows that no one reads these EIA’s to see whether these are nonsensical.

    There are lots of incentives for this sort of EIA to pass.
    a. The fact that the project approval agency is its own Ministry.
    b. The fact that the EIA approval committees are also EIA consultants for other projects (there is a ‘you scratch my back and I in turn yours’ syndrome at work).
    c. The fact that all payments come from the the Project Proponents to these consultants and even project approving agencies.

    The Environmental Impact Assessments and its approvals are not worthy (even of a minor project) and so therefore will be the Engineering Designs. How can Engineering in the real natural world be done not considering the environment from which it draws water, is built to be be disaster proofed with disasters, leaving aside humans, animals and their lives who have to deal with the damage done and toxins emitted.

  • 2

    “Per capita China emits 6.6 tons of carbon dioxide per year, the US 16.2, Germany and Japan about 9.5 each and India 1.5 tons. Sri Lanka’s per capita emission is a mere 0.7 tons per year;”

    So it seems that Sri Lanka is under-polluting and needs to catch up!

    The people of the region do not want the plant anywhere near Sampur; they have campaigned agaist it for many months. Now they have something to celebrate. Is that not a serious consideration?
    Energy shortage is more due to our unproductive consumption than shortfall in generation. The energy picture has to be seen together with consumption, much of which is unproductive and avoidable.

  • 1

    Prof David knows his stuff, and in keeping with the subject he gives us regular shocks to maintain our interest.

    Loved the Modi riposte.

    Looking forward to the final instalment.

  • 0

    Nuclear energy is also competitive in relation to fossil fuels. The only drawbacks are the high startup cost & spent rods. In any case, we should experiment with nuclear energy, at least on a small scale,for the purpose of promoting indigenous scientific efforts.

  • 0

    Turning to the cop21 agreement (INDC) where it has referred CEB Long term Generation plan and it doesn’t say that the gov is shelving the Sampur coal pp.

    Besides, The UN requested all the countries their commitments under the subjects of;

    1. Country’s capability to reduce emissions.

    2. The environmental effectiveness of the targets; it’s consistency with global climate goals

    3. The country’s emmissions; it’s contribution to the climate change.

    4. The scale of change implied by the target; the emission reduced and the cost of doing so.

    The global warming is a real threat for the world and if a country fails in the economic context in trying to achieve the improbable targets, that will be a very bad message to the rest of the world and the world’s efforts would go in vain to reduce the global warming issue without the economic hickups. Even, UN doesn’t like the countries with poor economy taking these things seriously and experience definite FAILURES I guess.

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