Samarinda, 7 September 2023 – The energy transition is an unavoidable inevitability. Current world trends show that the earth is getting hotter and to limit the rise in earth’s temperature, structured solutions are needed, including the energy transition, which involves various sectors and multi-stakeholders.
Society and communities are one of the key actors in the energy transition who can initiate the development of renewable energy to answer their energy needs.
The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) in collaboration with the Clean Affordable and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) project and the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) of East Kalimantan Province held the ‘Jelajah Energi Kaltim’ activity to see directly and closer to the development of various initiatives for using renewable energy in East Kalimantan Province.
This series of activity began with a workshop, followed by visits to a number of places. On the first day of the visit, the group saw PV installation at the Pertamina Hulu Mahakam office, TPAS Manggar, and Kariangau Coal plants in Teluk Balikpapan.
The “Jelajah Energi Kaltim” trip continued on the second day starting with a visit to Mulawarman Village to see how the community uses livestock manure to make biogas. The biogas in Mulawarman village is home-sized biogas digester aid from the East Kalimantan Province Energy and Mineral Resources Service.
Mulawarman Village is in Tenggarong Seberang District, Kutai Kertanegara Regency, East Kalimantan. Coal mines surround Mulawarman Village. This condition made the residents of Mulawarman village ask to be relocated.
The East Kalimantan Regional Government is starting to pay attention to Mulawarman village to help the economy of Mulawarman village residents, one of which is by developing livestock groups and providing assistance with biogas installations.
In 2021, the East Kalimantan ESDM Service provided biogas installation assistance to stock farmer group (which had been surveyed) in the village, totaling 20 farmers. This means that people do not have to pay monthly fees for using this biogas.
People who use biogas immediately feel positive impacts, such as savings in costs for cooking fuel. Zaenal Abidin, a resident of Mulawarman Village, who is also a beneficiary of the biogas installation assistance, said that previously, to meet their cooking needs, their family could use up to 4 pieces of 3 kg LPG in one month. Now, he can cut his LPG needs to just 1 piece of 3 kg LPG.
“For everyday cooking (biogas, ed.) is enough. But if there are social events such as recitations, we still have to use LPG gas,” said Zaenal Abidin.
Zaenal also added that the cooking process using biogas fuel takes a little longer than using LPG. This biogas installation assistance is also accompanied by the transfer of knowledge about technology to the stock farmers. So that they can detect technical obstacles that could potentially arise from using this home biogas installation.
The Group continued their journey to Menamang Kanan Village, Muara Kaman District, Kutai Kartanegara Regency. The journey to Menamang Kanan Village takes almost 3 hours with heavy dusty road conditions which result in very limited visibility.
In the past year, residents of Menamang Kanan Village have succeeded in enjoying electricity from a centralized PV installation assisted by the East Kalimantan Energy and Mineral Office with a capacity of 87 kWp. This solar PV supplies basic electricity needs for 600 families in Menamang Kanan Village.
Previously, the residents of Menamang Kanan Village depended on the electricity supply from the diesel generator provided by one of the company’s CSR programs operating around the village. For the operation of this diesel generator, 70 liters of fuel is needed every day to provide electricity for 4 hours.
Zapir, Village Secretary of Menamang Kanan, explained that although electricity from solar PV has increased access to electricity in Menamang Kanan Village, its utilization is still limited to lighting and basic electronic equipment.
“So, it’s just for lighting, and maximumly a fan. It’s still not possible for TVs or refrigerators,” said Zapir.
Zapir hopes that the capacity of this communal solar PV can be increased in the future so that village residents can use electricity for productive activities that have the potential to bring economic value. Not limited to just lighting.