Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan claims that the country will only need an additional 15,000 megawatts (MW) in electricity generation by 2019 despite the government’s ambitious project to increase the current network to 35,000 MW by the same year.
Jonan said that the projection was calculated based on the country’s economic growth over the past couple of years, which hovered around 5 percent. This year, the government is targeting economic growth of 5.2 percent.
“[The 35,000 MW program] was designed with annual economic growth of 8 percent in mind,” Jonan said on Wednesday at the opening of the Indonesia Energy Roadmap seminar in Central Jakarta on Wednesday.
“Maybe we need a total capacity of around 70,000 MW and our current capacity is around 55,000 MW. So, 15,000 MW must reach COD [commercial operation date] by 2019. This does not mean that we will stop the 35,000 MW program, but it might mean that it isn’t completed by 2019.”
(Read also: 35,000 MW target on schedule: Luhut)
The 35,000 MW project is basically a continuation of the 10,000 MW policy launched by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2005 in order to maintain reserve margins—the difference between capacity and demand—with the International Energy Agency’s recommended level of 20 to 35 percent.
As the nation is at risk of a power crisis should the level decline to below 20 percent, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who took office in October 2014, continued the initiative to boost the electricity capacity to accommodate higher economic growth.