High Geothermal Potential in Indonesia and Green Trains Running on Biofuel

On 26 – 27 August 2019, IESR (represented by Julius Christian, Clean Fuel Specialist and Abdilla Alfath, Research Intern) participated in field visit to PLTP (geothermal power plant) Kamojang and PT KAI (Indonesia’s railways corporation) organized by YLKI (Indonesian Consumers’ Organization). The participants included HIVOS, AMAN (The Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago), Koalisi Perempuan Indonesia (Indonesia Women Coalition) and Coaction Indonesia. The field visit was a part of discussion for consumers manual on energy developed by YLKI.

On the first day, the group visited PLTP Kamojang, the oldest geothermal power plant in Indonesia. The power plant has been commercially operational since 1983 and is also one of the largest geothermal power plants in Indonesia with a total installed capacity of 235 MW from its 5 units. An interactive Q&A session with managers at the power plant was conducted, particularly regarding geothermal developments in Indonesia. It was highlighted that the potential for geothermal in Indonesia is the highest in the world and currently Indonesia is only second to the US in geothermal installed capacity. However, it was also noted that there were high risks in exploration for geothermal energy, which drives high capex and difficulty to get financing before a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed. The visit also included visit to a Geothermal Information Centre (GIC), built and managed by PERTAMINA. Visitors can can learn all things about geothermal energy from an expert geologist with various exhibits on geothermal energy. The GIC also has various interesting facilities, such as a mini cinema for geothermal documentaries. The group then continued to visit one of the units of PLTP Kamojang, Unit V. Unit V has a capacity of around 35 MW.

On the second day, the group visited the head office of PT KAI in Bandung. There was a meeting and discussion with directors from various departments. Intensive discussion was centered around KAI’s progress in implementing the use of B20 biodiesel (blending program) for KAI trains. It was highlighted that KAI has so far deployed B20 in 100% of its train and is currently undergoing testing for the implementation of B30. There were several issues noted, such as subsidy for biofuel and the future projection of it (non-subsidy program). KAI has great interests in making its trains consumer-friendly and hopes that it can go greener with the use of biofuel.

The event was insightful to understand more the landscape of renewable energy in Indonesia and its use in transportation sector. It was also nice to know that the journey from and to Jakarta left less carbon footprint as the trains used were run on B20.

Written by Abdilla Alfath, Research Intern, and edited by Marlistya Citraningrum


IESR Supports Central Java to be (the very first) Solar Province in Indonesia

Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) proudly supports Central Java government to be the very first Solar Province in Indonesia, starting with a collaborative event with Department of Energy and Mineral Resources of Central Java (Dinas ESDM Pemprov Jawa Tengah) held on Tuesday, 17 September 2019, entitled Jawa Tengah Solar Revolution 2019. IESR has been working closely with provincial government of Central Java to accelerate solar deployment in the province and will continue to support the government in implementing their progressive commitment for renewables.

Through Regional Government Secretary, Dr. Sri Puryono, Governor Ganjar Pranowo conveyed his support for this initiative and is looking forward to boosting the implementation of solar target as highlighted in Regional Energy Planning (Rencana Umum Energi Daerah Provinsi/RUED-P) and Department of Energy and Mineral Resources’ strategic plans. He himself has issued a circular encouraging the use of rooftop solar in government, public, industrial, and commercial buildings in Central Java. Several government offices (OPD) also have committed to install rooftop solar by 2020.

Central Java is of high potential of solar energy, estimated at 4.05 kWh/kWp/day, which is above Indonesia’s average (3.75 kWh/kWp). This potential can be utilized to achieve regional renewable energy target of 11.6% (from energy mix) by 2020. Central Java is also the first province completing their regional energy planning (RUED-P). Head of Department of Energy and Mineral Resources of Central Java, Dr. Ir. Sujarwanto Dwiatmoko, M.Si. stated, “Government of Central Java has a strong commitment to develop clean and renewable energy, including putting priorities on solar energy. Our governor has shown that commitment with official circular, our office has installed 30 kWp rooftop solar, and 17 other offices (OPD) will install rooftop solar in 2020.”

Combining its high potential of solar energy and strong commitment for renewables, IESR sees the opportunity for Central Java to become the very first solar province in Indonesia, specifically for rooftop solar application. IESR will continue the collaborative work through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Central Java’s Department of Energy and Mineral Resources for the acceleration of solar deployment in Central Java. The collaborative work will cover technical assistance, policy research and analysis, market study, and capacity building.

“As a think tank focusing on energy and environment issues, we aim to assist Government of Central Java to accelerate their commitment to solar energy development within the province,” Fabby Tumiwa, IESR’s Executive Director said during the event.

To create a considerable market size, IESR recommends the government to be pioneer and install rooftop solar on their offices. This move then could be followed by government at regency level, on public facilities, schools and universities, also religious buildings. IESR’s early assessment for Powering the Cities (IESR’s newest publication series on solar energy) shows there is 6.9 MWp potential of rooftop solar for government offices in Semarang (for both provincial government offices and city administration offices) and 32 regent’s offices across Central Java. This estimation has yet to include commercial buildings, business complex, and industrial areas; as they occupy large space in Central Java and the province is also home-base for many manufacturing factories.

Early assessment of rooftop solar potential in Central Java

Central Java is also among Top 3 province with highest potential for rooftop solar on residential buildings, based on IESR’s technical calculation for 34 provinces in Indonesia. The technical potential for residential rooftop solar in Central Java is in the range of 32 – 110 GWp (with different scenarios), and it translates to market potential of 3.3 – 11 GWp (assuming only households with installed power capacity of ≥ 1,300 VA have the financial ability to install rooftop solar).

The urgent challenge in implementing Central Java Solar Province would be public awareness, procurement process, and financing scheme. IESR will work with Central Java Government to prepare necessary incentives for government offices, public, and businesses, formulate bulk procurement process to drive price reduction, as well as engaging with regional financial institution to provide attractive financing scheme for rooftop solar users.  Market study for cities and towns in Central Java will also be conducted.

During the event Jawa Tengah Solar Revolution 2019,  Indonesia Solar Association (ISA/AESI) and solar EPCs were in attendance and they shared their experience in solar panels procurement and installation. This business matchmaking session was designed to facilitate further discussions between government and solar provider, as limitation of local solar providers number in Central Java is also an issue. With more multistakeholders forum such as this event, it is expected that levels of understanding on solar energy application, its benefits and impacts, as well as information on procurement and financing can be further disseminated for public, commercial and business players within the province.

Marlistya Citraningrum, Program Manager for Sustainable Energy Access

Twitter thread on the event is available here.
Presentation material is available here.