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Renewable Energy Indonesia: Rising Geothermal Power Capacity

The Indonesian government aims to add 250 MW to the nation’s installed geothermal power plants’ production capacity in 2018. Based on data from Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Indonesia’s geothermal power capacity stood at 1,808.5 MW at the end of 2017, below the government’s target of 1,858.5 MW. Although the production figure is rising, Indonesia only taps 10.3 percent of its geothermal potential.

Despite controlling around 40 percent of the globe’s geothermal reserves, Indonesia is still only the third-biggest producer, ranked behind the United States (3,450 MW) and the Philippines (1,870 MW). But with the second unit of the Sarulla plant (the world’s largest single-contract geothermal power project) having come online (with a 110 MW capacity) last year, Indonesia is close to becoming the world’s second-largest geothermal power producer.

By 2025 the Energy Ministry targets to have raised the nation’s geothermal production capacity to 5,000 MW. This year the figure is targeted to rise to 2,058 MW supported by the Ulubelu Unit 4 (55 MW), Karaha Unit 1 (30 MW), and the Sorik Marapi Modular (20 MW). Provided there are no natural disasters, the Energy ministry is convinced that its production target for 2018 can be achieved.

The Indonesian government has high hopes for renewable energy. Indonesian President Joko Widodo wants hydropower and geothermal power to account for 25 percent of the nation’s power supply. In an attempt to attract private investment in Indonesia’s renewable energy sector, the government issued a ministerial regulation on the initial survey procedure (PSP) and exploration (PSPE) and simplified procedures for obtaining exploration licenses through a one-stop integrated service center at the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). The government also urges state-owned enterprises to increase investment in this sector.

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