The Indonesian government has allocated a higher budget for solar development this year. The government is planning to build 36 new solar power plants especially in isolated and border areas.
The central government and its provincial counterparts have set aside 1 trillion Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) — approximately $103 million — for solar development this year. This will be a significant increase from last year’s IDR 700 billion budget.
If Indonesia is able to add 36 solar power plants this year, that will put its total at 153 solar power plants, up from last year’s 117.
The director of renewable energy and energy conservation at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Alihudin Sitompul, thinks that the development of solar power plants face tougher financial, technical, and other constraints than other types of power sources. He went on to say at a workshop on renewable energy in Jakarta:
So far, our policies regarding the development of solar power plants are already good. However, our partners should be able to decide whether the [solar plant projects] are feasible or not, so that they do not force themselves to do them, he told local media that forcing unfeasible projects to realization often results in delays, improper installation, lower quality plants and higher prices.
That sounds like a statement from a utility or fossil fuel exec, doesn’t it?
Although Indonesia has trailed behind its neighbors, like Thailand and Malaysia, in solar power development, Indonesia has been picked out as one of the most important emerging markets for solar in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia, with its thousands of surrounding islands, is also predicted to gain ground with the provision of distributed electricity via solar power.