This article will discuss geothermal power, dealing with the Indonesian government’s ambition and strategy, key projects and key players in the country. It will also shed light on the challenges of deploying this energy source. Geothermal power will be crucial in Indonesia’s quest to attain net zero by 2060.
Ambition & Strategy
Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, during the 8th Indonesian International Geothermal Convention and Exhibition, announced that the country intends to develop an additional target of 3.3 Gigawatt of installed capacity by 2030. In line with the goal, the government is starting a drilling program, providing funds to ensure synergy with state-owned enterprises and optimize the use of resources.
Indonesian Geothermal Association Chairman Prijandaru Effendi said the business sector hopes to install 17 Gigawatt of geothermal power by 2030. However, financial support from the government is needed to attain the target. A sum of $275 million was allocated to facilitate the advancement of geothermal energy within the nation.
- The Dieng geothermal plant is in West Java, developed and operated by PT Geo Dipa Energi. It is Indonesia's first small geothermal power plant, which started operational in 2021 with a 130-megawatt capacity.
- Rantau Dedap geothermal power plant is located in southern Sumatra, developed by PT Supreme Energy and owned by Engie, Marubeni, PT Supreme Energy and Tohoku Electric Power. Operations began in January 2022 with 98.4 Megawatt in active capacity out of 220 megawatt capacity.
- The Sorik Marapi Unit 2 geothermal power plant is in northern Sumatra. Sorik Marapi Geothermal Power was responsible for its development. It commenced operations in August 2021, boasting a capacity of 45 megawatts.
- Lumut Balai Unit 2 geothermal power plant is in southern Sumatra. Mitsubishi Power developed the plant, which is to become operational in 2024 it has a capacity of 55 Megawatt.
- Star Energy Geothermal, headquartered in Jakarta, Jakarta Raya, is the largest geothermal energy producer and operates multiple geothermal power plants.
- PERTAMINA Geothermal Energy, headquartered in Central Jakarta, a state-owned company, is the most dominant player in geothermal energy production.
- PT PLN Gas and Geothermal, headquartered in Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta, is a state-owned entity supplying electricity by harnessing the power of geothermal reservoirs.
- PT Geo Dipa Energi, headquartered in Jakarta, Jakarta, is a state-owned entity engaged in geothermal production and supplying energy through geothermal power plants.
- KS Orka Renewable PTE Limited, head office in South Jakarta, operate multiple geothermal power plants in northern Sumatra and Flores.
- The first and foremost challenge is that the upfront capital cost to build geothermal energy is higher than oil and gas. It would be challenging to boost geothermal power unless the cost comes down and can compete with other energy sources.
- The second challenge pertains to geography, with many geothermal locations in mountainous regions, making access difficult due to inadequate infrastructure. Building accessible roads is essential to tap the potential of the energy source.
- The third challenge revolves around public education, as most people do not know about the benefits and environmental impact compared to fossil fuels. The impact of drilling for tapping geothermal energy is not as harmful as oil and gas. Awareness about the benefits of geothermal energy and its environmental impact is needed to overcome it.
In this article, I have talked about the Indonesian government's ambition and strategy concerning geothermal energy, key projects, and key players involved in harnessing the potential of geothermal energy. I have outlined the key obstacles to achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.