Is the new Indonesian administration bringing new hope for geothermal energy?

View over Jakarta, Indonesia (source: flickr/ Nick Gray, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 28 Oct 2019

An opinion article looks into how and if the new administration in Indonesia actually could bring new for the country's geothermal energy sector. While carefully optimistic, the article highlights the need for concrete commitment at the highest level of government, something not shown yet.

An interesting opinion piece published today in Jakarta, Indonesia, looks into if the new administration in the country actually brings new hope for growth of the country’s geothermal sector.

The article is quite critical about the public statements on a push for renewable energy, as the government at the very same time is pushing forward with new investments into coal-fired power generation.

The author describes particularly geothermal as a key ingredient on pushing the large 35,000 MW target for power generation capacity. While the 27,000 MW potential often touted is clearly to be seen with caution, but nevertheless geothermal could indeed play an important role.

Listing all the benefits of geothermal is unfortunately not changing the fact that geothermal development in Indonesia has lagged behind the large ambitions and plans.

The key reason, so the article is the lack of commitment. But there is hope with the newly appointed energy minister – Arifin Tasrif – expressed a renewed interest in renewable energy as well as an intention to reduce oil and gas import. Any attempt to move away from fossil fuels requires strong commitment from the highest level of government.

Incentives and further support is seen as crucial. While the recent support announced by the World Bank, drilling activities by state-owned enterprises in derisking efforts and more are recent steps taken, but more is needed, so the article.

It even talks about the need for subsidies in the form of premium pricing and high carbon taxes for fossil-fuel power plants which could be issued through government regulations. But this seems to be highly unrealistic.

Overall, it is described that geothermal energy needs that push from the highest levels, and it is so far not clear yet if with the new administration this will bring the hope for the geothermal sector to the extent expected.

Source: The Jakarta Globe