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Covid-19 situation delaying renewable energy development in Indonesia

Unit 1 of Sorik Marapi geothermal plant, North Sumatra, Indonesia (source: KS Orka Renewables)
Alexander Richter 26 Apr 2020

Indonesia is facing some delays in renewable energy deployment with construction being hampered by the covid-19 situation. But despite some delay on geothermal activities, major projects are described as continuing according to plan.

The construction for several renewable energy projects (PLT EBT) have been hampered along with the increasingly massive spread of the corona virus or Covid-19 in Indonesia, so CNBC in Indonesia.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) initially sought to pursue a Renewable Energy (EBT) investment target of US $ 2.3 billion and 10,843 MW (+ 6.7% year-on-year) by the end of 2020. This was done in an effort to achieve the 23% EBT target by 2025.

The Director of Energy Conservation, DJEBTKE, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Hariyanto, said that several EBT PLT projects that were under construction would be delayed. Originally planned to be finished in 2020, they are now likely to pushed back to 2021.

“The covid-19 outbreak did indeed results in delays, for example, for geothermal targets in 2020, there are already estimates that COD will shift to 2021,” Hariyanto said in an Online Media Discussion via Zoom on the topic of the Covid Pandemic Impact -19 in the Electricity and Renewable Energy Sector in Indonesia this week.

“However, there is hope that despite the covid-19 outbreak having an impact in the short-term, the targets for EBT projects are designed for the medium-term, so until now there has not been a significant shift, but there have been several setbacks on targets, including those that are in construction, etc., “he said.

He will also evaluate investment targets in the EBT project. The reason is, there has been a delay in disbursing funds from banks because of concerns over the current condition of the co-19 pandemic which has an impact on the sustainability of the project.

The pro-longed project pipeline

Hariyanto, said the target of several EBT PLT projects that were under construction would suffer a setback. One of the projects that is threatened by delay is the Sokoria Geothermal Power Plant (PLTP) of 5 MW in Ende Regency, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). This project was originally targeted to be operational in February 2020, but now it is estimated to shift to 2021.

Meanwhile, two other projects namely the Rantau Dadap PLTP of 90 MW, the 45 MW Sorik Merapi PLTP will still be pursued to be able to operate according to the existing schedule.

Previously, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources targeted three PLTPs that would operate commercially, aka Commercial Operation Date (COD). At present, there is no significant delay of geothermal project development.

Source: CNBC in Indonesia