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Indonesia Seeks Big Jump in Output of Renewable Energy

Renewable sources will provide Indonesia with as much as 25% of its electricity by 2025, up from around 7% today, Djadjang Sukarna, the secretary of the nation's renewable energy directorate, said Monday.

The country plans by 2025 to have increased annual electricity generation from renewable sources to around 99 million tons of oil equivalent from around 10 million tons of oil equivalent today, Dr. Sukarna told Dow Jones Newswires. By then its energy mix will be 74% fossil fuels and 26% renewable--geothermal and biofuels providing 8% each, 3% hydroelectric, 2.4% biomass, 1.1% solar and the rest from other sources, Dr. Sukarna said.

An additional annual supply of 5,500 megawatts over the next decade is needed to achieve targeted economic growth greater than the current 6%. "To sustain economic growth of over 6.5%, energy supply has to grow by at least 8%-9%," Dr. Sukarna said.

Indonesia's geography means getting fossil fuels to its thousands of islands is expensive, making local energy sources like geothermal and hydroelectric more viable. The use of renewable resources also reduces carbon-dioxide emissions and improves energy security, Dr. Sukarna added. Indonesia wants geothermal to provide 9,750 megawatts of electricity a year by 2025 from around 1,200 megawatts now. The country's current hydroelectric capacity is around 5,700 megawatts while electricity from biomass produces 1,600 megawatts and wind and solar less than 17 megawatts, he said.

Indonesia's geothermal resources can potentially generate 29,000 megawatts if fully exploited while hydroelectric sources can generate as much as 75,670 megawatts. Biomass can contribute around 50,000 megawatts.

Indonesia is thought to have 40% of the world's total geothermal potential but the sector remains underdeveloped owing to a lack of investment. Foreign investors cite confusing government regulations and lack of scientific data among the problems.

The government is implementing feed-in tariffs and other measures to attract investment and is awarding 19 geothermal projects with a capacity of 2,300 megawatts, Dr. Sukarna said.

(Source: WSJ)


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