Geothermal vs. Smart Grid As the Prospective Renewable Energy Source In Indonesia While Maintaining Its Economic Growth

Forests in Lombok

Forests in Lombok

Related to my first article on the Indonesia climate condition, as one of Asia’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, Indonesia has already started its targeted and monitored programs in mitigation and the use of renewable energy.

Indonesia is the home to 40% of the planet’s unknown geothermal energy potential, as data shown by the Climate Investment Fund. In the progress to include the citizen in the mitigation action, government facilitates the distribution of knowledge and open information for renewable energy businessmen, academicians, and local citizen, either in conference, formal meeting and local campaign.

Currently the government is preparing for the 4th Indonesia EBTKE ConEx 2015 on coming August 19th -25th in Jakarta Convention Center. EBTKE ConEx (Renewable Energy and Conservation Conference and Exhibition) is the national big event that invites all of the stakeholders in renewable energy and conservation. EBTK ConEx is held annually as one of the programs by Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Earth Mineral Resources. This event is also planned to go together in hand with Indonesia International Geothermal Convention and Exhibition (IIGCE) 2015.

In line with the government’s program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020, the investment plans for the use of renewable energy are in two ways:

  • The scale-up of large-scale geothermal power
  • The acceleration of initiatives to promote renewable energy (especially from biomass) and energy efficiency

The Director General, Rida Mulyana as the interviewee, encourages the public to utilize the sources of renewable energy, aside of geothermal, such as hydro, wind and solar. For the progress to this year mitigation programs, the Minister of Energy and Earth Mineral Resources informed that some islands are ready to be the model of renewable energy development center. Following South Sulawesi and West Papua, Bali as the world-known iconic island, is ready to be empowered for the city renewable energy implementation model.

In conjunction by the reason of the Minister in choosing the famous island for a bigger support from the citizen, the writer is personally motivated to help the country in succeeding the renewable energy implementation while developing the marginal local area simultaneously. And aside from geothermal energy resources, here will be exposed the prospective use of Smart Grid for Indonesia sustainable and renewable energy source.

The island model is Lombok. Lombok is one of thousand islands in Indonesia that becomes the tourism destination. It is located exactly in the east of Bali Island. Lombok is the main two big islands as the part of West Nusa Tenggara Island with total land large around 5.435 km² and claimed to rank number 108 largest islands in the world. Mataram is the capital city of Lombok. The island is rich with natural beauty from mountain to beach, thus makes tourism the second most important factor for the province development after agriculture. But in contradictory, Lombok is reported to be the second less electrical distributed province in Indonesia. The governor now effort in the province tourism development supported with environment sustainability.

Smart Grid is an electrical network integrates some actions connected to all of the users, starts from the generator, transmission tools, and consumer, to deliver electrical efficiently, more sustainably, economically, and safely. It is also advanced for renewable energy to reduce carbon emission.

While some European countries are still the best model of renewable energy application, the writer chose Jeju as the model location since the two islands have some similarities from maritime area view. As the activities of approaching environment sustainability for tourism infrastructure, Jeju Island in the southernmost tip of Korea Peninsula with its special self-governing, is already starts testing the technology of Smart Grid. Korea has goals to reduce CO² emission by 30% from anticipated level in 2020 and to test and evaluate Korea’s future green-growth infrastructure and services.

Meanwhile, the application of Smart Grid in Indonesia is still just conducted in one small island Sumba, it is located in south-east of Lombok. The project is mainly to test the application of Smart Grid in mass throughout Indonesia with Micro Grid.

Smart Grid is currently the Indonesia future potential project. Besides to deliver more sustainable electrical throughout Indonesia archipelago, Smart Grid will also be a solution to develop Lombok Eco-Tourism infrastructure and the local people need of complete deployment of electrical.

Blogpost submitted by Tri Rahayu Handayani (Indonesia) – triihandayani(at)gmail.com
Picture by Yohana Wina

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.


This post is published as entry #50 of our #Forests2015 blog competition. It is submitted in the “Youth” category.

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