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Indonesian gov't earmarks funds for solar, mini-hydro power plants

Publication Date : 08-04-2014


Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has allocated funds from this year’s state budget to develop power plants that will utilise renewable energy sources so households in isolated and border areas could finally have access to electricity.

The allocated funds, 660 billion rupiah (US$58 million), included 510 billion rupiah channeled for solar power plant projects and 150 billion rupiah for the development of mini-hydro power plants, according to the ministry’s director general for renewable energy, Rida Mulyana.

About 133 solar power plant units will have a capacity to produce electricity for 18,000 households, while the development of mini-hydro plants will cover 3,400 households in 21 locations, he said.

Rida said the government would also install street lighting and wiring for households on the border and isolated areas.

Despite abundant resources of renewable energy, dependency upon oil and coal to fuel power plants is widespread.

The government has been calling for more power pant developments using renewable energy in an attempt to reduce oil consumption.

Indonesia, a former member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), has seen declining domestic oil production and increasing imports of oil and petroleum products imports, which adversely affect the country's current-account balance.

The director for diverse new energy, Alihuddin Sitompul, said the 133 locations for solar power plants would consist of 31 in outer islands, 27 in border areas and 75 in isolated areas.

“The total electricity generated will be around 6 MW [megawatts],” Alihuddin said.

Last year, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry developed 5.27 MW solar power plants, which distributed electricity to 17,246 households, with funds from the 2013 state budget. The ministry also developed 11 mini-hydro plants with a total peak capacity of 1.3 MW for 2,345 households.

The ministry on Monday also inaugurated three of the 2013 renewable energy power plant projects — Samalewa-Pangkajene Islands solar plant in South Sulawesi with 1 MW in peak capacity; West Tianyar solar plant in Karangasem, Bali with 15 kilowatt (kW) in peak capacity; and a mini-hydro power plant in South Central Timor in East Nusa Tenggara with 35 kW in peak capacity.

Along with the inauguration, the ministry also kicked off the ground breaking of the development of a biomass power plant in Bangli, Bali. The power plant, which is a cooperation involving the Bangli local administration, PT Charta Putra Indonesia and state-owned electricity company PT PLN, will have 400 kW capacity in its first stage of development.

The biomass power plant, which uses bamboo waste, needs Rp 10 billion in development and is expected to commence operation in December this year.


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