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Eight provinces still experiencing power crisis

Jakarta, Ekuatorial – Despite of abundant energy potentials, as much as 10,000 villages of eight provinces in Indonesia were still experiencing power crisis, said an activist recently.

The eight provinces are Riau islands, Central Kalimantan, Gorontalo, West Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara and Papua. The latter is the lowest with 36.41 percent of electrification ratio. Meanwhile, based on Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry data in 2013, electrification ratio has reached 80.51 percent with more than 10,000 villages or 19 percent still has no access to electricity.

“Though if you look closely, many parts of Indonesia areas have energy potentials that can be used,” said Arif Fiyanto, head climate and energy campaigner of Greenpeace Indonesia. Fiyanto criticized on government’s business orientation instead of managing power supply for people.

Sony Keraf, member of National Energy Council, said that the government targeted to reach 85 percent electrification ration by 2015 and 100 percent by 2020 which would be achieved by developing new power plants and renewable energy.

“The main focus for energy supply is still using fossil fuel [power plants] but renewable energy [fueled power plants] would be increasing up to 31 percent by 2050 from today’s six percent,” said Keraf adding that other targets included 115 gigawatts (GW) power plants development by 2025 and 430 GW by 2030.

Meanwhile, Fiyanto slammed on the country’s dependence on dirty energy sources as they were limited and have bad impacts for environment. “Energy security can not be realized with dirty fossil fuels which are depleting and leaving massive environmental destruction,” he said. “Energy security can be achieved by changing the way we produce energy for power plants, use renewable energy available and suitable with local characteristics, such as geothermal, solar, wind, and micro hydro.”

He said that Indonesia needed to act fast to develop renewable energy potentials which was still considered lacking from the government. It was seen, he said, through current regulations were no supportive towards renewable energy development. “Other issue is the price for renewable energy is much higher than fossil fuel due to fuel subsidy,” he said. Januar Hakam

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