Sumba Island Has Potential for Wind Energy, But Instead PLN uses fossil fuel


The price of electricity from renewable energy that is relatively high compared to fossil energy is considered to burden PLN’s finance because it makes the operating cost of the state-owned electricity company less efficient.

But according to the Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Service Reform (IESR), Fabby Tumiwa, not renewable energy that makes PLN’s financial performance less shiny. There is another problem.

For example, Fabby said PLN built a 10 megawatt (MW) gas engine power plant (PLTMG) on Sumba Island. In fact, the area has enormous wind energy potential.

Wind in the same location can generate electricity more than 10 MW. But PLN instead uses a PLTMG that uses fuel oil (BBM). Compared to PLTMG, the actual power plant bayu (PLTB) more efficient for Sumba.

“The cause of the high PLN financial burden is not renewable energy, there is another problem, in Sumba built PLTMG 10 MW, which is a very good location for PLTB, where PLTB can be built up to 20 MW,” said Fabby when met at the Office of the Energy Society Renewable Indonesia (METI), Jakarta, Friday (3/11).

Not only in Sumba alone, PLN often ‘burn diesel’ to illuminate the corners of Maluku, Papua, East Nusa Tenggara, and so forth. While utilizing local renewable energy potentials more efficiently.

Marine Vessel Power Plant (MVPP) that PLN hired from Turkey to illuminate North Sumatra, Ambon, Lombok is also inefficient because it still uses BBM. The price of electricity reaches Rp 2,200 / kWh.

“In an effort to increase the electrification ratio in Papua, Maluku, NTT, NTB, and so on, the use of gasoline and turbines in Turkey is much higher than the local renewable energy, which can cost Rp 2,200 / kWh,” he said.

Fabby criticized the attitude of PLN that makes the price as an excuse not to use too much renewable energy, but on the other hand instead of using fossil fuels that cost more.