The Jakarta Post
The budget allocated for the development of renewable energy sources is forecast to increase to five times the current amount next year, underlining the government's commitment to shift toward new energies amid depleting fossil fuel resources.
The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry said on Friday that the budget for the directorate general for new renewable energy and energy conservation may soar to Rp 11 trillion (US$824.9 million) next year, up from Rp 2.2 trillion this year.
'There's [...] an indication that the budget for my division will go up five times next year,' said Maritje Hutapea, the director for energy conservation.
In the 2015 state budget, the government allocated Rp 14.9 trillion for the ministry, with around Rp 1.7 trillion going to the directorate general's renewable and new energy division.
The directorate general has mapped out its renewable energy projects for the next few years, including the development of rooftop solar-power systems, micro-hydro power plants and wind turbines.
'For this year, development of rooftop solar-power systems will be our priority,' Maritje said.
The solar-power systems would be mainly installed at government office buildings in urban areas, she added.
Among the buildings to be fitted with the rooftop solar-power systems are the State Palace in Bogor, the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister building in Jakarta and a number of local administration office buildings in Surabaya (East Java), Sabang (Aceh) and Denpasar (Bali).
The directorate general has also reviewed the possibility of rolling out solar-power systems in a number of airports in East Nusa Tenggara province, including those in Tambolaka, Maumere, Labuan Bajo and on the island of Sumba.
Maritje said that her ministry aimed to finalize calculations of feed-in tariffs for power plant developments by the end of July this year, aiming to attract investors to pour their money into the project.
Feed-in tariffs are a way to make sure that investing in renewable energy projects is economically beneficial, typically offering long-term contracts and guaranteed pricing for the producers of renewable energy.
Maritje added that her ministry would open tenders for the rooftop solar-power project this year, with data collection being done next week.
Besides developing solar-power systems, the ministry is also on its way to developing a number of other alternative energy sources, including micro-hydro, nuclear and wind power.
For micro-hydro power plants, the ministry aims to build 5,821 megawatt (MW) power plants to be operated by both independent power producers and the government as part of its mission to produce an additional 35,000 MW by 2019.
The ministry has also finalized a white paper for the development of a 5,000 MW nuclear power plant in the country.
'However, we're still waiting for the instruction from the President to go or not to go [with the nuclear plan],' Maritje told reporters.
She explained that local administrators in Kalimantan and Bangka had previously expressed their willingness to provide sites for nuclear power plants and that investors 'including Russia ' had shown their interest in taking part in the project.
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