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Jakarta Post

ADB pledges to double funds for Indonesia, pushes for green recovery

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, August 21, 2020   /   01:59 pm
ADB pledges to double funds for Indonesia, pushes for green recovery Indonesia's oldest geothermal power plant (PLTP), the Kamojang plant in West Java, which has an installed capacity of 235 megawatts, is pictured in this undated photo. (PLN/PLN)

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged to double loan commitments to one of its biggest client countries this year to facilitate Indonesia’s economic recovery.

The Manila-based lender usually committed US$1 billion to $2 billion each year for Indonesia, mostly in infrastructure projects, particularly those related to energy, said ADB country director Winfried F. Wicklein on Wednesday.

Read also: Indonesia to get $300 million ADB loan for geothermal electricity generation

“But now, with COVID-19, we are stepping up in our support and will more than double it this year,” he said during a webinar held by state-owned geothermal energy company PT Geo Dipa Energi and infrastructure financing guarantee agency PT Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia (PII) .

However, Wicklein also called on the government to invest in renewable energy as part of Indonesia’s economic recovery plans. ADB is particularly supportive of geothermal power, which the lender considers ideal to spur even growth across the archipelago.

ADB, a self-described leading financier of geothermal projects in Indonesia, recently approved $300 million to expand geothermal power plants in Dieng, Central Java, and in Patuha, West Java.

“Geothermal will not only help build back greener but it also comes with a very high job multiplier compared to conventional sources of energy,” said Wicklein.

Read also: Regulatory reform key to post-pandemic green energy investment, IEA says

ADB adds to a list of organizations, including the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) and Jakarta-based Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), that have explicitly called for the Indonesian government to invest in a green economic recovery.

Indonesia, which holds the world’s largest known geothermal reserves, only harnessed 8.9 percent of its total 23.9 gigawatts of geothermal potential last year, according to official data.