Indonesia is stepping up its efforts to reach clean energy targets with the construction of a 145 megawatt (MW) floating solar power plant. This will be the largest in Southeast Asia as of now.
The project, with constructions underway in West Java, secured financing from state utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) and Masdar of United Arab Emirates on Tuesday.
Solar may be Indonesia’s best shot of reaching its short-term clean energy target, an energy expert told the Jakarta Globe. The government aims to have 23 percent of energy coming from new and renewable sources by 2025, but by the end of last year, it was only halfway to the target. Indonesia is still heavily dependent on Fossil Fuels as the following graphic shows.
“In the short-term until 2025, the energy source with the most potential to accommodate the country’s target is probably solar, because it is relatively the fastest to develop compared to other renewable sources,” said executive director of energy research company ReforMiner Institute, Komaidi Notonegoro.
Director General of New Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Chrisnawan Anditya, said that one of government’s priorities is indeed solar power plants. Besides being fast to create and having a high development potential in the tropical archipelago, they are competitive in price.
In fact, solar panel prices have dropped 60 percent in the last 6 years. With financing schemes from solar developers, Indonesians can even order home panels to be installed for free.
While solar power is now the cheapest it ever was — and the fastest growing renewable energy source worldwide — as of May last year, it amounted to less than 6 percent of Indonesia’s total power generation. The country still depends largely on coal and fossil fuel-fired plants, accounting to some 85 percent of national electricity sources.