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Indonesia eyes renewable energy for domestic demand, to keep gas exports flowing

The Indonesian government aims to develop renewable energy to help meet rising domestic energy demand, so that the country can continue to export much of its natural gas output, a senior official said.

"Previously most of our natural gas production was allocated for export, as we depend on oil. We plan to develop renewable energy, such as geothermal. We have a 10,000 MW of potential geothermal. There also is hydro, biomass," and so on, energy and mines minister Jero Wacik said in a press conference during the Gasex conference in Bali.

He said if the country fails to develop enough renewable energy, it will have reduce gas exports in order to reallocate the gas for domestic use.

"But if we succeed, we can keep exporting gas. If possible we will increase the volume of exported gas from the upcoming new gas production which are currently are still being explored," he said.

He did not provide detail on specific development plans.

Indonesia produces about 8.7 Bcf/day of gas, with exports of natural gas and LNG accounting for 56% of its gas allocation, deputy energy and mines minister Rudi Rubiandini has said.

Concern over expected rise in future energy demand had some asking the government to prioritize domestic use over exports. The government has considered various options, including limiting gas and LNG export sales to countries that invested in upstream development in Indonesia. It also considered phasing in a moratorium on gas exports, but later decided against this.

(Source: Platts)


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