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Jakarta Post

RI turns to renewable resources for future energy use

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, January 29, 2014   /  10:04 am

The House of Representatives formally endorsed on Tuesday the government'€™s new energy policy, which will gradually reduce the use of fossil energy and turn to renewable resources for future energy use.

'€œThis is a milestone for our country as we will soon have a clear national policy on the ideal energy mix for the future,'€ Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik, who is also acting chairman of the National Energy Board, said on Tuesday after a plenary session at the House.

The new energy policy sets a number of targets for the supply and use of energy in the country until 2050.

The use of fossil fuel, which at present accounts for 49 percent of the total energy mix, will be reduced to less than 25 percent in 2025, and less than 20 percent in 2050, while the use of natural gas will be increased from 20 percent to at least 22 percent in 2025 and 24 percent in 2050.

The development of renewable energy sources, such as solar, water, wind and biomass, will become the government'€™s priorities in the future as, according to the new regulation, the use of renewable energy will be increased from 6 percent at present to at least 23 percent in 2025 and at least 31 percent in 2050.

Jero said that the programs centering on how the government would meet the targets would be stipulated in a ministerial regulation that would be issued as part of the implementation of the new energy policy.

During the plenary session, members of the energy council and government officials got into a heated debate with legislators, causing the chairman to adjourn the session for around 45 minutes to cool things off.

Two House members '€” Olly Dondokambey of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and Nudirman Munir of the Golkar Party '€” questioned the use of the word '€œprofit'€ in an article [in the draft] about the energy-pricing mechanism.

The forum eventually agreed to change the word '€œprofit'€ to '€œinvestment sustainability'€ after a closed discussion.

On the use of electricity, the new regulation also stipulates that the total capacity of electricity generation will be increased from 44 gigawatts (GW) at present to 115 GW in 2025, with per capita electricity consumption of around 2,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh). In 2050, electricity generation capacity is expected to reach 430 GW and per capita electric consumption of around 7,000 kWh.

'€œThe new regulation also details energy pricing and an energy-subsidy mechanism, but the rigid details will be included in the General Planning for National Energy (RUEN), which will be drafted soon,'€ Jero said on the sidelines of the session.

House Commission VII member Satya Widya Yudha said that concerned ministries had to discuss the pricing and subsidy mechanisms.

'€œSetting a target is pretty easy, but the evil is in the implementation. The relevant ministries, for example, must arrange a viable pricing mechanism for renewable energy to attract many parties,'€ he said.

'€œThe commission also expects that nuclear energy will be included as a viable option, not as a last resort,'€ he said, adding that discussions on the nuclear energy would also result in a heated debate when drafting the RUEN.

Satya said that the country would only need two years to build a nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1,500 megawatts (MW), while it would take seven years to build a geothermal power plant with capacity for only 55 MW. (koi)

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