Indonesia Embraces Geothermal Energy

This week, Indonesia’s President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono vowed to make the country the largest user of geothermal energy. He also asked for support from the private sector and other investors.

Indonesia’s population stands at approximately 234 million, while the archipelago has over 200 volcanoes which are estimated to have around 40% potential towards global geothermal energy, the equivalent measuring up to 28,000 megawatts.

While President Yudhoyono is optimistic about switching over to geothermal energy, amidst plans to also double the output analysts point out that the conversion process involves extremely high costs which could be a possible obstacle.

The President speaking at a conference in Bali said that Indonesia is currently the third highest user of geothermal energy, with the US in first place, followed by the Philippines. He stated that by 2025, Indonesia would be the number one user of geothermal energy, fulfilling around 5% of the country’s energy requirements.

The country’s geothermal plans involve adding 4,000MW within a five year period, and boosting it up to a total of 9,000MW by 2025.
Speaking of the investment required to achieve such targets, President Yudhoyono stated that projects amounting to $8.6 million would be able to produce around 2,800MW of power, clearly indicating how much would be needed to reach the target set for 2025.

Urging on the plan, he also reiterated how the use of geothermal energy would cut down on the emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 26%. Stated-owned agencies would provide half the investment, he said, while the balance 50% would come from private investors.