Indonesia Energy Ministry: 50% of Merauke Regency’s Electricity Supply Sourced from NRE Can be Realized
The government plans to increase the capacity of biomass-based environmentally friendly power plants in Merauke Regency, Papua. The increase in electricity capacity based on New Renewable Energy (EBT) will be included in the Business Plan for the Provision of Electricity (RUPTL) for 2021-2030. Renewable energy-based electricity supply is currently supplied by PT Merauke Narada Energi, owned by PT Medco Energi as a Biomass Power Plant Developer (PLTBm) with a capacity of 3.5 mega watts (MW) in Wapeko, Merauke Regency.
The effort to electrify Merauke using an environmentally friendly power plant was appreciated by the Director General of New Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Dadan Kusdiana. According to him, what has been achieved now cannot be separated from the earnest efforts and cooperation of many parties.
This is also a very spectacular achievement in terms of energy utilization in an area that has more limited facilities and infrastructure compared to other areas on the island of Java. The government will continue to work together to expand the use of NRE in the electricity sector in other areas.
“Now we are finalizing the RUPTL for 2021-2030 including adding the portions of NRE in Papua,” said Dadan at the Inspiring Community Action for Environment event, Thursday (12/8) evening.
Dadan also ensured the increase in the capacity of the PLTBm from the current capacity of 3.5 MW to 10 MW, considering that the potential it has is still possible to increase its capacity.
“Regarding what was said earlier, there is still a potential of 50 MW, we have tried to increase it to 10 MW, we have allocated it, we will see later that Merauke can get 50% of its electricity based on EBT,” said Dadan.
According to Dadan, the biomass power plant developed by PT Medco by utilizing local resources is very appropriate for Papua and should also be developed in other areas with similar conditions to Papua. The development of this biomass power plant will not be successful if it does not involve the local community.
“One type of NRE that is indeed the most suitable for community-based development is PLT Biomass. I see it is going well in Merauke and I will spread it everywhere, I will tell you about this success, the success of the Merauke Regent as well as the Public Service Agency of the Environmental Fund Management Agency Life (BPDLH), so we will not only see it in Merauke but also in other places,” continued Dadan.
“I leave a message, that the raw material for biomass power plants is wood, so don’t let the wood decrease, the wood must still be there, indeed someone will be cut down, what is cut down must be replaced. So the trees should not be reduced. This program is a sustainable program , so the forest must be at least the same as the current one,” concluded Dadan.
Meanwhile, Medco Energi Director of Operations Budi Basuki said that the operation of this biomass power plant is proof of good cooperation between private power developers and the government.
“We are proud and happy to say that we have succeeded in building and operating a biomass power plant in Wapeko, Merauke Regency, Papua with a capacity of 3.5 MW. This plant is the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) with renewable energy on the Island of Papua. This shows the success of the public private partnership between PT PLN and Medco with funding support from BPDLH and PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI),” said Budi.
Utilization of renewable energy through biomass from industrial plantation forests is a sustainable green energy and can contribute to a large emission reduction because it is carbon neutral. Biomass power generation has also been proven to reduce the cost of generating and importing fuel oil (BBM) as well as using local resources.
“So this should actually be a part that is maximized, especially for Papua Island, because the potential for energy forests here can actually supply 150 MW of fuel equivalent to fuel, that’s why we have actually proposed that at least 10 MW can be added in Merauke as soon as possible so that it will make Merauke to be the first district to reach 50% of its power generation from renewable energy.” continued Budi.
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