Technical Difficulties: Power Cuts Energy Crisis
Sri Lanka was hit by a cascading power failure for the last 5 years because of a lack of power generation plants. Due to the generator failures in Norochcholai since 2019, Sri Lanka has experienced blackouts island-wide. Due to the blackouts, the affected population continues to inundate the responsible officials with complaints. The breakdowns have caused a loss of megawatts to the national grid as the Norochcholai coal power plant fulfills 78% of Sri Lanka’s power supply (Staff Writer, 2019). In Sri Lanka, electricity is produced from three primary source materials: thermal power (coal and fuel oil), hydropower, and other non-conventional renewable energy sources (solar power and wind power). Based on the source (Energy Watch, n.d.), electricity is produced from coal, hydro, and oil. Major power is generated from
non-renewable sources and Sri Lanka must import them as well. According to (Sri Lankan Power Crisis and Future Energy Management, n.d.), For the last two decades, the Sri Lankan power generating infrastructure has struggled to fulfill the country’s peak power electrical demand. This problem has been considerably exacerbated by the country’s consumption trend. The report also emphasizes that the country’s imbalance between power demand and power output during peak hours might be readily bridged via localized energy storage systems.
However, due to previous factors and the current economic crisis, this power-generating dilemma has grown in scope by 2022. With declining reserves, Sri Lanka has been experiencing a serious foreign exchange shortfall. As a result, the currency has lost value, making imports more expensive. The country’s sole 50,000-barrel-per-day oil refinery was forced to shut down on January 3 due to a severe foreign currency shortage and a credit rating reduction by Fitch. Because of all these factors, power outages have become a common occurrence in our life.
Economic Crisis Driven Towards Energy Crisis
Certain things are easy to take for granted in our modern environment. And one of the simplest things to take for granted is electricity, the unseen energy that runs almost everything in our homes. Because electricity has become such a vital part of daily life, it’s easy to forget about it
– until it’s no longer accessible. A power outage, or unexpected loss of electricity, may have a severe impact on everything. This sudden power outage has also impacted online education, and students at schools and other higher education institutions are suffering as a result. From our respondents’ experiences, they expressed their feelings by stating that, power cuts lead them to frustration even though they solved connectivity issues. According to respondent 3,
“First I have a connectivity issue and then I got an SLT router. After that, my problem was solved to some extent. But these power cuts in my area have become so regular. So now I’m in trouble again with these miserable power cuts”
Students cannot access the internet via routers if there is no electricity. It requires power to send out better signals. Furthermore, they require power to charge their cellphones, laptops, and desktop PCs. Without their equipment, they are unable to participate in their lectures or finish their homework. This is further confirmed by respondent 4 by stating,
“In our area, we are experiencing regular power cuts. Some power cuts remain full day and sometimes it takes 5 hours. Therefore, I couldn’t complete my assignments, and once I missed the total quiz exam. That was a misery”
According to replies, the power outages have caused a slew of problems. Some of them have completely missed tests and have been unable to submit assignments on time. As a result, given these possibilities, the power outages may have affected other students as well, and this cannot be controlled at this time. The bad news is that no one is offering answers to this national crisis.