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IESL MESC Lecture Series on Energy
IESL MESC Lecture Series on Energy

IESL Mechanical Engineering Sectional Committee (MESC) activities are driven by its 2015/2016 session theme TIE ( Transport - Innovation - Energy). We believe TIE elements directly impact Sri Lanka's economic progress. MESC Lecture Series on Energy is an attempt to bring much needed awareness to our own engineers and the public to create an informed dialog about Sri Lanka's future energy policy.


In the video (13 min) below, our Renewable Energy Champion - Eng. Parakrama L Jayasinghe (FIESL) is being interviewed by Eng. Damith Senadheera (MIESL) about the ongoing lecture series and why we all should come to those and bring as many public members including your loved ones.


Energy Belongs To ALL. Carefully harnessing energy is OUR responsibility. Doing so with the environment in mind is paramount!


Eng. Arjuna Manamperi
Chairman - MESC


“The Electricity Sector – A vision for the future 100% RE by 2030”

Mr. Asoka Abeygunewardene, B.Sc. (Eng.) Chairman and CEO of Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA)


Asoka Nalanda Abeygunawardana is the Chairman and CEO of Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA), which is established by a Presidential Decree and attached to the Presidential Secretariat of Sri Lanka. He has served as an Adviser to the Minister of Power and Energy, an Adviser to the Minister Technology & Research, the Executive Director of the Energy Forum, and a member of the Board of the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA).


The Fossil Fuel era of the human civilisation has come to an end, Are we ready for the new era which is likely to be fuelled by the renewable energy? Policy-wise yes; But how about strategies and action plans? The talk will pay attention to the measures need to be taken for prioritising the technologies and for removing barriers for achieving 100% renewables in Sri Lanka.


“The Potential for Energy Conservation and Increased Energy Efficiency”

Eng. M. M. Ranjith Pathmasiri, M.Sc. (Eng.) Director General of Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority.


Since joining the Energy Conservation Fund of the Ministry of Power and Energy, Sri Lanka in 2003 as Energy Management Director, Eng. Pathmasiri has largely contributed to the development of energy sector of Sri Lanka. Throughout his career he has pioneered many projects with national benefits on Energy Efficiency Improvement & Conservation. Now he plays a major role in sustainable energy development of the country as the Director General of Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority. He holds a Master of Engineering in Energy Technology from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.


In the current debate and as to the best way to meet the emerging energy needs of the country, the role of energy conservation and energy efficiency takes an important place. This is most important in case of the electricity. As it is often mentioned “Nega Watts” is much more economical than adding “Mega Watts” and can be done implemented by even the smallest consumer. It has been proven that the capacity to do so in Sri Lanka is very substantial.


The Sustainable Energy Authority, which succeeded the Energy Conservation Fund, has already demonstrated this potential. The SEA has also compiled a database and evaluated the potential for this practice to be expanded nationwide. The experienced gained via focused studies and pilot scale projects have underlined the feasibility of more wide spread practice of Energy Conservation and energy efficiency measures by all sectors of consumers, Industry, Commercial Sector and Domestic sector with valuable economic benefits to themselves as well as a contribution to the countries efforts to gain future energy security. This presentation would illustrate these with reference to actual findings in the field, enabling consumers to gain firsthand knowledge to access their own potential.

“Energy Needs and Options for the Domestic Sector”

Eng (Dr) Gamini Kulatunga Ph.D., B.Sc. (Eng.) Former Senior Lecturer at the Open University of Sri Lanka.


He is a former Senior Lecturer at the Open University of Sri Lanka. He has rendered his service to academia for a period of 20 years after serving as a Mechanical Engineer in the field, well over 20 years. He is the founder of the Rural Technology Unit at the Open University to take technology to underserved communities in the country. He is currently managing a tea estate, as a personal undertaking, using nature-farming concepts and promoting biomass as a domestic fuel in rural areas in Sri Lanka.


Domestic energy consumption is a significant component of overall energy utilization hence effective use of energy in households is of national interest. There is much that can be done at domestic level which collectively can make a significant impact on national energy scene and thereby on the environment, while gaining financial and other advantages for the households. The presentation is on energy use at home in the form of electricity, heat and shaft power and the subject will be dealt by the presenter on experience-based integration of these in a sustainable manner. The management of energy use at domestic level with reference to all energy forms electrical, thermal and solar will be covered during the session. The efficient selection and use of kitchen equipment will be dealt with as an energy management issue. The presentation is targeted to the general public, especially housewives as well as the relevant professionals.


"Energy and Agriculture – The Synergy"

Dr. Lionel Weerakoon, Ph.D., M.Sc. (Agriculture), M.Sc. (Biology) Former Director_ Mahaillupalama Agriculture Research Station CEO – Sustainable Agriculture Research and Development Centre.


He has more than 30 years experience in research and development in tropical agriculture, project management and co-ordination. He served in number of national level committees and task forces ranging from rain fed upland development to forestry and watershed development to aquatic resources, fisheries and alternative agriculture. He has published over 40 research papers and training materials in specific areas such as farming systems, soil and moisture conservation, agro-forestry, forestry, home-garden development, agribusiness and environmental conservation. He has served as the Executive Director Wild Life Trust (WLT) of Sri Lanka and Agro-forestry and Forestry Management Specialist responsible for Watershed Development Programmes at International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He also served as resources person and a consultant for short programmes and workshops sponsored by Commonwealth Secretariat, International Centre for Research in Agro-Forestry (ICRAF Kenya) and Roda Costa, Sweden.


The history of mankind’s development through the various stages of hunter gatherer to agriculture and eventually to the current technological age has demonstrated the grooving need for increasing amounts of energy for his daily needs. While this was provided almost exclusively by biomass, until the advent of fossil fuels a mere two centuries ago, the current contribution for energy by biomass is now down to about 16% in the world. However, in Sri Lanka this has remained at a high level of about 50% in spite of the increased overall demand and growing use of fossil fuels. The supply of biomass is closely linked to agriculture where the so called agricultural waste of many kinds have contributed greatly to meet this demand although not recognized formally.


This picture is changing rapidly in Sri Lanka and the world with the declining fossil fuel resources and their adverse impact on climate change and global warming as well as on environment and health. On the other hand the positive impacts driven by the synergy between Energy and Agriculture in Sri Lanka therefore needs better understanding and utilization for the benefit of the country.


In this regard the use of Nitrogen Fixing species of trees of which Gliricidia is a well recognized member, to harness the multiple benefits to many sectors not limited to energy is important. The many species which fall into this category are also a truly renewable resource and are regarded as Sustainably Grown Short Rotation Coppicing (SRC) trees. This lecture examines in detail the multiple benefits and the synergy between Agriculture and Energy where by the innovative use of these SRC trees can be used for the maximum benefit of both sectors. Examples of both research level finding s and the experiences gained in the substantial progress made in the field are illustrated. The challenge is posed to the authorities to recognize the potential of this approach and to integrate same in the national policies and development programs in the agricultural and energy sectors.


Webinar: Big, Fast and Flexible: Grid Operations for Efficient Variable Renewable Integration

Dr. Michael Milligan National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)


This webinar discuss three different pathways, along with implementation considerations and examples for each, for enhancing the size and speed of grid operations for efficient variable renewable integration. Discussion topics include:


  • "Big and fast:" two design principles for systems with large amount of variable renewable energy
  • Examples and implementation considerations for achieving big, fast systems:
  • Wholesale power markets
  • State-owned and operated systems
  • Regulated vertically integrated utilities


“Energy Security, Sustainable Development and Green Accounting”

Dr. Athula Senarathna Ph.D., M.Phil. (Agricultural Economics), B.Sc. (Agriculture) Senior Economist Institute of Policy Studies


Athula Senaratne is a Research Fellow and Head, Environmental Economics Policy Unit of the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS). He has published on various themes including climate change, sustainable agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture. His contributions have appeared in journals such as Environmental Management, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, Australian Journal of Resource and Agricultural Economics, Economic Botany and Tropical Agricultural Research. He was the team leader of the IPS team that prepared the National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change Impacts in Sri Lanka 2016-2025 which has recently been launched by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment. He holds BSc in Agriculture and MPhil in Agricultural Economics from the University of Peradeniya and PhD from Deakin University, Australia.


The seventh Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) envisions ‘ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all’ by 2030. This needs rational and strategic thinking from the side of policy makers and technocrats. The national dialogue on energy sector appears mostlyto be restricted to the electricity sub sector and an overall policyvison towards energy security is yet to emerge. The situation is complicated by the global threat of climate change and deteriorating local environmental conditions.This lecture makes an attempt to bring in essential aspects of energy security into focus so that more comprehensive view on policy can be developed. Using the empirical evidence from available secondary sources, it assesses the current situation of energy security in Sri Lanka, highlighting the gaps that need to be addressed through well-targeted policies and actions. It indicates that action in the areas conventionally perceived as the core energy sector alone may not be sufficient to ensure the energy security by 2030 or beyond that. Energy has complex interrelations with all economic sectors and environment and therefore, ensuring national energy security requires a coordinated approach among energy and interrelated sectors. The present System of National Accounts (SNA) and associated mechanism of economic policy decision-making based on GDP growth does not support such holistic approaches and thinking. Hence, it also briefly examines the alternative system of energy accounts introduced by UNSD (SEEA-Energy) which is also known as green energy accounts.


Organizers of the MESC Energy Lecture Series
Eng. Parakrama Jayasinghe - Project Champion
Eng. Damith Senadheera - Lecture Coordinator and Technical Writer
Eng. Asitha Jayarathna- Lecture Coordinating team leader
Eng. Mahesh Dharmasena- Lecture Coordinator
Eng. Tharaka Dayabandara- Lecture Coordinator
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