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Jakarta Post

Government continues to push for affordable electricity

  • Fedina S. Sundaryani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 2, 2017   /   02:08 pm
Government continues to push for affordable electricity A worker carries out a routine panel inspection at the 150 KV Mampang Dua electrical relay station in Jakarta. (Antara/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said on Tuesday the government would continue to push for affordable electricity, arguing that expensive electricity in remote areas suffering from a lack of infrastructure was unfair to the locals, who often could not afford the rates.

“Can we imagine one day a 17-year-old boy who’s never seen electricity in his village finds the government installs an electric cable in front of their house, but their parents can’t afford to install the electricity. The boy may join IS [the Islamic State group] or some other terrorist group,” Jonan argued at a seminar in Jakarta.

“It is better to leave the villages without electricity forever than give them electricity that they cannot afford.”

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry recently issued Ministerial Decree No. 12/2017 that caps electricity rates at 85 percent of the electricity supply costs (BPP) of any region with a BPP higher than the national average.

This applies to all renewable energy power plants except for geothermal and waste-to-energy plants, where the price is allowed to be 100 percent of the local BPP if it is higher than the national average.

The ministry has also ordered state-owned electricity firm PLN to develop mine-mouth power plants in regions with massive coal reserves such as Kalimantan and Sumatra, alongside well-head power plants in gas-producing regions.

These moves are expected to cut down on transportation and distribution costs. (bbn)