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The User of Solar rooftop Increasing, Central Java Government Optimistic to Achieve the Renewable Energy Mix Target of 21.35% in 2025

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Semarang, 16 February 2021 – The Provincial Government of Central Java remains firmly committed to realizing Central Java as a province that relies on clean and renewable energy in its regional development. It was emphasized by the Acting Regional Secretary of Central Java Province, Prasetyo Aribowo representing the Governor of Central Java in the Central Java Solar Day 2021 organized by the Central Java Province ESDM Service in collaboration with the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR).

“The use of solar energy is very relevant to our need for clean energy. We have also signed an agreement with Bappenas for carbon reduction. As a policy roadmap, it will become mainstream in development planning in Central Java so we don’t rely on fossils anymore, “Prasetyo explained.

Furthermore, Dadan Kusdiana, Director General of EBTKE (Direktorat Jenderal Energi Baru Terbarukan dan Konservasi Energi of MEMR), attended the same event,  also explained that currently, his party is preparing a national energy grand strategy related to energy planning until 2035.  He stated that to achieve a renewable energy mix of 23% by 2025, developing solar power is the fastest way to catch up with the 11.5 percent lag.

The Directorate General of EBTKE is currently also in the process of revising Permen MEMR No. 49/2018 to attract more people to install the solar rooftop.

“At least there are three things that we will do, first adjusting the metering tariff rules 1: 6.5, making the reset process (zeroing) which has been done once every 3 (three) months to once a year and arranging the registration process to address difficulties in obtaining an Exim meter, for example with an online scheme, so those who register will be able to see the availability of the meter and the readiness of the solar rooftop, “explained Dadan.

“In the RUPTL (Rencana Umum Penyediaan Tenaga Listri-PLN’s electricity supply business plan) that is being drafted, we will include everything in Java for lakes, reservoirs, dams. 

“In numbers, there are 1900 MW which we will enter to encourage the use of solar power in the lake as a floating solar PV,” he added.

Embracing Dadan’s explanation, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR explained that IESR has conducted a study on the potential for solar energy development in Central Java, which is also high for ground-mounted PLTS and floating PV. In Central Java, 42 reservoirs have the potential to be developed as a floating PLTS location according to the PUPR Regulation No. 6/2020, for example, Gajah Mungkur Reservoir (148 MWp) and Kedung Ombo Reservoir (268 MWp).

 “The technical potential of floating PV can reach more than 700 MW of floating PLTS if the 10 biggest dams in Central Java are developed,” said Fabby.

He also explained that installing solar rooftops in public facilities, such as government offices, public facilities, and health care centers could reach the order of tens of megawatts while demonstrating the leadership of the Central Java provincial government and seriousness in developing renewable energy.

“The IESR survey also shows the great public interest in installing solar rooftops, however, the information about technology and suppliers is still limited. To encourage the adoption of rooftop PV, it is necessary to provide funding facilities in the form of low-interest, low-interest credit, fixed installments. It can be encouraged by the regional government through Bank Jateng or other state-owned banks, particularly to provide funding assistance for the installation of solar roof-tops for commercial businesses such as MSMEs, “said Fabby.

IESR recommends the government to keep distributing information, such as technical and policy,  as well as installation service providers, to attract more people investing in solar panels.

Furthermore, encouraging the availability of operational and maintenance services at the solar rooftops facilities will ensure the sustainability of the system. Moreover, the government needs to set an attractive financing scheme for public facilities and government buildings, for instance, by leasing, ESCO, third-party financing, and attractive financing schemes for households, commercial and industrial buildings. Indeed, it will be realized with the support of policies, regulations, and incentives from local governments. 

The Head of the ESDM Office of Central Java Province, Sujarwanto Dwiatmoko, is increasingly optimistic that Central Java’s goal of the regional renewable energy mix target of 21.35% in 2025 will be achieved.

“Despite the difficult conditions, the Central Java government managed to pass the target of the renewable energy mix in 2020. From the target of 11.60%, we were able to realize 11.89%. Solar panels are growing quite well, ”he explained.

Sujarwanto also gave an example of one of the efforts that the government has made in 2020 to encourage the penetration of solar panels in supporting the community’s economy is by building an off-grid solar water pump without using batteries in Kaliwungu Village, Purworejo Regency. With a capacity of 12 kWp, the pump raises water from the river and flows 20 ha of agricultural land (rice fields).

“It turns out that even though it operates only during the day, from 8 am to 5 pm, this pump can irrigate 20 ha of rice fields in just 5 (five) days for free. Meanwhile, using diesel will take 10 (ten) days, and you have to buy more diesel oil, ”he explained excitedly.

Besides, in 2020, with funds from the state budget, the Central Java government will build solar rooftops at 14 points in 11 districts/cities with a total capacity of 505 kWp.

“We will increase this number in 2021. The government plans to build around 31 units in about 8 (eight) districts/cities in Central Java. Generally, focusing on UMKM and Islamic boarding schools, “he said.

He hopes that with the solar rooftops, the electrical energy load of MSMEs and Islamic boarding schools will decrease significantly so that the existing savings can be used to develop businesses. The provincial government is also active in disseminating regulations, benefits, and development of solar panels to various groups, including the commercial and industrial sectors.

“Currently, ESDM opens consultations for those interested in using solar panels. As a result, solar panels are quite enthusiastic in Central Java. It can be seen from the increasing number of housing developers who consult at ESDM for new energy-efficient housing packages with rooftop solar installations, ”he said.

Based on PLN UID Central Java – DIY data, the growth of solar roofs is increasing, from 52 customers in 2019 to 138 customers in 2020. R-2 customers, consumers for middle-income households with a power of 3,500 VA to 5,500 VA, are dominated with as many as 41 customers. For the S2 tariff group, for the social group 1300 VA and above, all of them come from Islamic schools, totaling 23 customers.

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