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Indonesia eases development of geothermal in conservation areas

Ulu Masen forest, Aceh, Indonesia (source: flickr/DFID, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 9 Mar 2017

With new regulations put in place, Indonesia finalises legislation that opens up conservation areas for geothermal development.

Today, the Indonesia Ministry of Environment and Forests (KLHK) has given a “green light” to uses of geothermal energy or geothermal for new renewable energy (EBT) in conservation area in “order to support energy security and sovereignty of energy and to help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases ( GRK).”, as reported by Antara News.

“The land needed for geothermal in conservation areas is not as big as in other potential uses and the overall potential fo geothermal is quite substantial.”, said Director of Environmental Services Utilization of Forest Conservation (PJLHK) Is KLHK Mugiono

With the Act (Act) No. 21 of 2014 on Geothermal, Government Regulation (PP) No. 108 of 2015 on Amendments to Regulation 28 of 2011 on the Management Zone of Nature Reserve and Conservation Areas, and the Regulation of the Minister of Environment and Forestry  No. p.46 / Menlhk / Secretariat / Kum.1 / 5/2016 concerning Geothermal Environment Services at the National Park, Forest Parks and Wildlife Nature, regulation for geothermal utilization in the conservation area to be complete.

Previously the use of geothermal energy in conservation areas was not allowed based on the status of geothermal as a mining activity in Law No. 5 of 1990 on Conservation of Biological Resources and Ecosystem, which prohibited development activities..

In a thorough review of the performance PROPER Geothermal Industry 2015-2016 period, only one of 14 projects were rated red. That, too, according to Director General of Pollution Control and Environmental Degradation Karliansyah, not because of operational processes, but because of the maintenance of the wastewater permit.

“If you look at data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) has 4 percent of the geothermal potential is utilized for energy, but environmentally friendly. So we naturally support its development,” he said.

So far, according to him, the development and operation of geothermal plants is not problematic for the environment. Only at the exploratory stage which requires more precautionary principle.

 

With the data from the Ministry of Energy, the potential distribution of interesting geothermal hot spots  in the largest forest areas is shown at 145 points with a potential 12,176 MW, according to Nur.

Source: Antara NewsKontan