Indonesia’s Renewable Energy Policies

In a developing country like Indonesia, energy supply is an important factor for development. However, the energy utilization still highly depends on conventional-fossil-fuel based energy such as oil, coal, and natural gas. Despite the fact that this country is blessed with a wide variety of renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, wave, and biomass for bioenergy, the current contribution from all of renewable energy sectors are only around 5.7% as shown in Figure 6 below

The growth in Indonesia’s energy consumption is an average of 7% per year. This number has not been matched with an adequate supply of energy. Therefore, the public access to energy (modern) is still limited, for example, the electrification ratio in 2011 is 72.95% (27.05% of households are not electrified). However, the renewable energy promotion effort by energy policy and regulations establishment still did not give any satisfactory result.

By using the current production rates, it is estimated that the oil and natural gas reserves in Indonesia will only last for 23 years and 52 years respectively (Pusdatin, 2012). Therefore, by the growing population, the renewable energy development is a must to avoid the energy crisis in the future.

Renewable energy generated from biomass is a promising solution since Indonesia has total biomass production that was around 146.7 million tons per year, equivalent to 470 GJ/y and mostly used by rural areas and small industries to provide energy for cooking, heat, and electricity. (Hasan, Mahlia, & Nur, 2012). From the biomass assessment presented in Table 2, rice straw has the biggest potential. It is understandable because rice is the staple food for Indonesian people.

Table 2. Indonesia’s Major biomass energy potential as energy resources (Hasan et al., 2012)

Biomass Main region Production (million/year) Technical energy potential (GJ/year)
Rubber wood Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java 41 (replanting) 120
Logging residues Sumatra, Kalimantan 4.5 19
Sawn timber residues Sumatra, Kalimantan 1.3 13
Plywood and veneer production residues Kalimantan, Sumatra, Java, Irian Jaya, Maluku 1.5 16
Sugar residues Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Bali/Nusa Tenggara Bagasse: 10 78
Cane tops: 4
Cane leaf: 9.6
Rice residues Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Bali/Nusa, Tenggara Husk: 12 150
Bran: 2.5
Stalk: 2
Straw: 49
Coconut residues Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi Husk: 12 7
Bran: 2.5
Stalk: 2
Straw: 49
Palm oil residues Sumatra, new areas: Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku, Nusa Tenggara, Irian Jaya Empty fruit Bunches: 3.4 67
Fibers: 3.6
Palm shells: 1.2

Biogas has been implemented in Indonesia for mostly to treat waste from livestock animals. However, there is also implementation in some domestic and industrial wastewater treatment plants and also municipal waste treatment. Although the implementation has been started, the performance is not satisfying. There are abundant units of biogas plant developed by the government that cannot last more than five years (Environmental Technology Center, 2014).

Regarding the second generation biogas technology from lignocellulosic biomass coming from crop and forestry residues, although Indonesia is an agricultural country, we still don’t have the appropriate biogas technology to process the available biomass into the biogas.

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