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Electricity in Sri Lanka in 2022

Global Ranking: #84
37.1% #88 Low-carbon electricity
44.89 % #54 Electrification
91.12 watts #155 Generation / person
491.32 gCO2eq/kWh #138 Carbon Intensity

In 2022, Sri Lanka's electricity consumption primarily stemmed from two categories: fossil fuels and low-carbon sources. Fossil fuels provided most of the electricity, with coal generating around 7 TWh and other fossil fuels adding nearly 11 TWh, summing up to roughly 18 TWh from fossil sources. On the other hand, low-carbon sources contributed approximately 6.5 TWh, primarily from hydropower, which supplied over 5 TWh. Adding these figures up, Sri Lanka's total electricity generation was around 24.5 TWh in 2022. When considering the country's per capita electricity generation, it significantly lags behind the global average of 425 watts per person. Such low levels of electricity generation can severely hamper economic growth, limit industrial development, and restrict improvements in living standards.


To increase its low-carbon electricity generation, Sri Lanka can look to successful models from other countries. Solar and wind power are particularly promising given Sri Lanka's climate and geographical features. For instance, India has achieved significant progress with solar energy, generating 113 TWh, and wind energy with 82 TWh. Similarly, Brazil has successfully capitalized on wind power, producing almost 100 TWh. Learning from these examples, Sri Lanka could enact policies that encourage solar installations and wind farm development. Beyond this, adopting more nuclear energy, as demonstrated effectively by countries like France, the United States, and South Korea, could also be a significant step towards ensuring a stable and sustainable electricity supply.


The history of low-carbon electricity generation in Sri Lanka has primarily revolved around fluctuations in hydropower. For example, the early years of the 1980s saw increases in hydroelectric capacity, but by the late 1980s and early 1990s, some declines were recorded. Significant changes were noted in the early 2000s, with both increases and notable drops in hydropower generation. Major advancements did take place in 2006 and 2013, where significant boosts in hydroelectric output were achieved, but these were followed by sharp reductions in subsequent years. This pattern continued into the latter part of the 2010s with similar cycles of increases and decreases, showcasing the volatility in hydropower due to climatic conditions. Most recently, 2021 saw a substantial increase in hydropower by over 2 TWh, followed by a significant decrease of more than 2 TWh in 2022. This historical context highlights the need for a more diversified approach to clean energy sources to ensure a stable and reliable electricity supply.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1984 the data source is EIA.
For the years 1985 to 2009 the data source is Energy Institute.
For the years 2010 to 2022 the data source is Ember.
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