Readers Forum

Letter: Limit progress
of power supply in Bali

If we trace back the progress of electricity supply in Bali over the last seven years, obviously we find ourselves very pessimistic that state-owned electricity company PT PLN will be able to fulfill the increasing demand for electricity in the resort island.

The demand growth reaches about 8 percent per year, while the supply growth has been significant since 2003. The peak load in 2003 was about 330 megawatts (MW), and PLN’s capacity was still about 474 MW, meaning that Bali had an electricity reserve of 144 MW. Now the peak load has reached 530 MW, and PLN’s capacity is 554 MW, and therefore, the reserve is only 20 MW.

So within seven years peak load has increased by 200 MW, while the additional power supplies were only 80 MW. Therefore, the wait for more electricity has been long. Unfortunately, both PLN and the government seem to find it difficult to add new power plants in Bali.

The composition of power plants in Bali has not changed significantly, and the grid is still dependent on diesel and gas power stations and supplies from submarine cables.

The diesel powered generators include 120 MW from PLTD in Pesanggaran and 230 MW from gas powered generators in Pesanggaran, Gilimanuk and Pemaron. The rest is supplied from Java through underwater cables that have a capacity of 200 MW.

In trying to increase the power capacity, the Bali governor has launched the clean and green program that includes the development of renewable power plants such as photovoltaic (solar energy), wind turbines (wind energy) and hydropower (hydro).

However, based on various references, the use of photovoltaic, or wind turbines, is still too expensive and the capacity may not meet the needs of electricity demand in Bali. The hydropower could only be developed along the Ayung River producing a maximum 35 MW.

So we cannot expect clean power plants to fulfill the electricity demand in Bali.

Bali is an important asset for Indonesia because it remains the main source of foreign exchange. But the central government does not pay enough attention to the increasing demand for power.

 
Gde Wisnaya Wisna
Denpasar

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