Exploring the Implementation of Renewable Energy in Industries and Communities of East Kalimantan

Balikpapan, September 6, 2023 – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) is organizing the Energy Exploration in East Kalimantan Province in collaboration with the Clean Affordable and Secure Energy in Southeast Asia (CASE) program and the East Kalimantan Province Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Service. The main objective of this initiative is to assess the readiness of institutions and regional actors to support Indonesia’s energy transition, identify the potential and community-based innovations that emerge, and study them for replication in other areas. The East Kalimantan Energy Exploration series started with a workshop on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, followed by two consecutive field visits.

On the first day of the field visit, the trip began by visiting the rooftop solar power plant (solar PV) of PT Pertamina Hulu Mahakam (PHM). They have been using a 100 kWp on-grid rooftop solar PV (connected to the PLN network) since 2014 to fulfill their office’s operational electricity requirements.

“430 solar panels and five inverters are installed in this rooftop solar PV system. In a day, energy production from rooftop solar PV can reach 34.4 KWh, whereas the building unit’s electricity needs to reach 21 KWh. Our rooftop solar PV operates from 6.00-18.00 WITA. From emission efficiency, we have been able to reduce CO2 emissions by 861.1 tons of CO2e since the solar PV was installed,” said Responsible for Safety & Environment on Site Balikpapan Based Office, Ruslan Rahim.

Solar PV
Solar PV PT Pertamina Hulu Mahakam

The team recently visited Balikpapan’s Manggar Final Waste Processing Site (TPAS). They learned about the process of decomposing organic waste to produce methane gas, which can be used as a source of cooking gas for daily needs. To decompose the organic waste, it is stacked and compacted in certain areas and left for a while. Eventually, the rotting waste will release liquid and methane gas. This methane gas can be used as an alternative energy source.

“The community around the Balikpapan’s Manggar Final Waste Processing Site can utilize methane gas from this waste, and there are 300 houses with a reach of 7 km from the Manggar TPAS that have received this environmentally friendly energy source. The distribution of methane gas to residents’ homes relies on several pipes connected to gas flow dividers and separators, which reduce the water content in the methane gas,” explained the Head of the Balikpapan’s Manggar Final Waste Processing Site, Muhammad Haryanto.

Rombongan Jelajah Energi Kalimantan Timur mengunjungi TPAS Manggar

The Energy Exploration in East Kalimantan field visit’s first day concluded with a visit to PT PLN Nusantara Power UP Kaltim Teluk to witness the cofiring program at the facility of Balikpapan coal-fired power plants (CFPP). Dhidhik K. Laksono, the Assistant Operations Manager for PT PLN Nusantara Power Generation Unit (Unit Pembangkitan/UP) Kaltim Balikpapan, mentioned that the CFPP facility uses a co-firing mixture of 3% wood chips or chopped wood as part of its total fuel requirement. However, the implementation of co-firing with chopped wood is still facing hurdles in sourcing raw materials.

“To overcome wood chip supply constraints, we have made several efforts to address them, including proposing to procure a new contract with PT PLN Energi Primer Indonesia, opening opportunities for testing other types of biomass, and encouraging the fulfillment of biomass supply commitments from partners who have collaborated,” explained Dhidhik.