Renewable Energy for a Better Future
By Sulthan Muhammad Yusa / 8W5
Energy shortage is a major issue everywhere in the world, but in Indonesia, it is not only a major issue, but also an urgent problem that needs to be resolved soon, otherwise Indonesia will be in very big trouble in the near future. It is true that the government has the program “10,000 MW projects” for building a new power plant, but there are too many obstacles for it to be successful in the short term.
The diagram shows the increase of Indonesia electrification ratio from 1980 to 2012. Electrification ratio is a measurement of the availability rate of electricity in a certain area, this means in 2012 there are approximately 22% of locations in Indonesia with no electricity, but considering the low ratio back in the 1980s, the Government has done a very excellent job. There are still so many places in Indonesia that have an unstable electricity supply, or even worse, no electricity supply at all. It is a big challenge for the authorities to supply electricity across all the islands in Indonesia, therefore natural resources, such as oil and gas, are still the primary sources for most power plants in Indonesia, especially because most power plants in small islands are off the grid. Indonesia Power Plants in 2012
The pie chart illustrates the percentage of each Indonesia power plants based on the power source in 2012. The highest power generation in Indonesia (43.99%) was produced by coal, followed by 35.77% gas, and 7.89% oil, and less than 11% from renewable energy (PLN et al, 2012). These statistics illustrate how much Indonesia depends on fossil fuel to produce electricity. The use of fossil fuels to produce energy is unavoidable, but the government should consider using more sustainable resources to produce energy. If we keep using our fossil fuels, at some point in the future Indonesia will run out of resources. It is true that now the cheapest way to produce energy is to use coal, oil, and gas, but it is not the best way to produce it, otherwise we will compromise our future generations. In my opinion, the government should start shifting the energy mix strategy into a more sustainable one. However, while such a policy is urgently needed, the fact remains that most renewable energy technology is still under development or immature. The infrastructure development for renewable energy is still too expensive to reach a level where all risk, such as financing risk, operating and maintenance risk is manageable. Therefore, all other available resources, including fossil fuels, must be utilized more fully (Calderon, 2003). Utama, Ishihara and Tezuka (2012) have predicted that by 2020, almost half of the fuel for power production in South East Asia will still be coal, followed by 40% natural gas, and less than 2% oil. The rest of the power generation will be produced either by renewable energy or nuclear power. The more sustainable resources to produce energy are renewable energy, such as geothermal, hydro power, biomass / biogas, solar photovoltaic, and wind. Indonesia has a huge potential in renewable energy resources that are waiting to be utilized. It is true that renewable energy projects are somewhat more expensive, but there are so many investors inside and outside the country that can help Indonesia in building the infrastructure. Geothermal
Geothermal is one of the most promising renewable energy sources in the world, and Indonesia has a very huge potential geothermal source in Sumatera, West Java and Sulawesi. With approximately 28,100 MW geothermal potential, Indonesia has a very massive percentage of the world’s geothermal energy reserves (about 40%). From that figure, Indonesia has exploited around 4% (1197 MW), consequently to rank third in the world for energy consumption from geothermal (PennWell Co, 2010). Geothermal power plant installed in Indonesia has increased swiftly from 145 MW in 1990 to an...
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