The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry says Indonesia needs around Rp 134.6 trillion (US$15.72 billion) in investment until 2025 to develop renewable energy.
According to the Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Growth (MP3EI), the investment would be used to build renewable energy facilities in five corridors: Rp 25.06 trillion for Sumatra, Rp 86.3 trillion for Java, Rp 15.77 trillion for Sulawesi, Rp 2.64 trillion for Bali-Nusa Tenggara and Rp 4.83 trillion for Papua-Maluku.
The ministry’s acting director general for renewable energy and energy conservation, Kardaya Warnika, said the government’s policy priority was making renewable energy a viable means to generate electricity.
“The Rp 134.6 trillion would be allocated to build power plants and the supporting infrastructure,” he said on Wednesday in a press statement available on the ministry’s official website.
He added that the government was committed to supporting innovations in developing renewable energy in the country.
One of the manifestations of that commitment was that the government planned to replace all the street lamps with solar cell lamps, he added.
The ministry also suggested that all shopping centers in major cities in the nation stop using power from state electricity company PT PLN and install solar panels on the top of their buildings to produce power independently, he said. “Indonesia is located on the equator, so we have plenty of sunshine. China, which is a subtropical country, already utilizes solar energy, so why can’t we?” Kardaya said.
For biofuel, he said, the government would prioritize the development of biofuel from materials that were not used for foods, such as palm oil shell and jatropha.
“If we use materials that are used for food, we have to compete with food industries for the materials, so the prices may go up,” he said.
According to ministry data, 7,134 megawatts were produced from renewable energy sources in 2010, up slightly from 7,129 in 2009.
Of the 7,134 megawatts, 1,189 were produced by geothermal power plants, 5,705 from hydro power plants, 9.34 from solar panels, 1.96 from wind power plants and 228.64 from micro-hydro power plants.
abundant renewable energy resources
Indonesia is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources. Data shows that the potential for hydro power in the country is 75,670 megawatts, geothermal 27,670 megawatts, micro-hydro 500 megawatts, wind 9,290 megawatts, and solar 4.8 kilowatt-hours per square meter per day.
Of the country’s total energy mix, the ministry plans to increase renewable energy’s current 5 percent share to 17 percent by 2025.
PLN announced earlier that it planned to install solar panels for 340,000 new customers in eastern Indonesia this year, with a total investment of around Rp 1.2 trillion.
The 340,000 solar panel customers would include 120,000 customers in West Nusa Tenggara, 120,000 in East Nusa Tenggara and 100,000 from the rest of eastern Indonesia including Central Kalimantan and Papua.
The ministry announced in February that local energy firm Viron Energy planned to build Indonesia’s first large-scale wind farm in Sukabumi, West Java, this year, with a 30-megawatt capacity.