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Renewable energy key to achieving 95% electricity coverage in Sumba

  • Djemi Amnifu
    Djemi Amnifu

    The Jakarta Post

Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara | Wed, October 26, 2016 | 12:54 pm
Renewable energy key to achieving 95% electricity coverage in Sumba Clean energy: A resident from Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara, arranges cassava to be dried in the sun. Currently, electricity demand in Sumba is mainly supplied from renewable energy sources, including solar power. (Courtesy of Hivos/File)

Renewable energy sources need to be developed further to achieve a 2020 target of 95 percent electricity coverage in Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, a Dutch development group has said.

Hivos Green Energy project manager Sandra Winarsa said serious commitment and more effort was needed to increase energy supply capacity in Sumba from now to 2020. This was a particularly pressing issue because renewable energy sources were expected to contribute 65 percent to the total energy supply on the island by 2020.

“Achieving this target requires rapid action as 2020 is less than four years from now,” Hivos Green Energy project manager Sandra Winarsa said in Kupang recently.

With the agreed renewable energy target, she said, it was essential to work on the integration of state electricity firm PLN’s electricity networks in East Sumba and West Sumba that were currently unconnected.

“This will be the backbone of the electricity system for Sumba Island. That would help raise business interests from private developers to invest in the development of various renewable energy resources in Sumba. The success of these efforts will determine the availability of electricity [...] for 77.5 to 83.2 percent of households in Sumba," Sandra said.

Currently, renewable energy supplies 55 percent of electricity demand in Sumba. Hivos’ Sumba Iconic Island program contributed to the increased electricity coverage in Sumba from 24.5 percent in 2010 to 42.67 percent in 2015.

Supported by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, the program aims to give Sumba residents wider access to reliable renewable energy forms. It is expected the program can end their dependency on fossil fuels and support their development and economic activities. (ebf)

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