Indonesian govt. to focus on geothermal energy development: President Jokowi

Indonesian govt. to focus on geothermal energy development: President Jokowi

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf/P003)

To manage geothermal energy, the government will set up state-owned enterprises."
Pontianak (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has reiterated that the government is focused on geothermal development as a renewable source of energy in the country.

"We always use coal for power plants. Based on the huge potential for geothermal energy, we will focus on developing geothermal energy generation as a renewable energy source. Our geothermal energy is estimated at around 29,000 megawatts (MW) and we have not utilized that potential optimally," President Jokowi said on Saturday.

According to the President, the government had conducted a study related to geothermal energy that will be used as environmentally friendly renewable energy.

"To manage geothermal energy, the government will set up state-owned enterprises," the President stated.

He remarked that the potential of geothermal energy should be used as best as possible.

"Indonesia has huge potential in geothermal energy ranging from Sabang to Merauke," he pointed out.

President Widodo said fossil fueled energy would run out so renewable energy, including geothermal production should become the main energy source.

"Indonesia has the potential for developing a new and renewable energy source. We believe that Indonesia can become a sovereign nation in terms of energy," the President affirmed.

Earlier, President Widodo had instructed Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister, Sudirman Said, to closely monitor the progress of renewable energy development projects to ensure their timely completion.

"Firstly, I have asked the ESDM minister and the president director of state electricity company PLN to monitor the process after the investors received their licenses. This is to keep track of whether they are implementing the projects whose licenses have been issued," the head of state noted in his opening remarks at an International Geothermal Convention and Exhibition held at the Jakarta Convention Center on Wednesday.

Do not allow any renewable energy development projects to become idle after the licenses for them are issued, he stated.

The ESDM ministry and PLN must help investors overcome any obstacle, such as problems related to land acquisition, the President emphasized.

He stated that investors could directly report to him if they needed him to intervene to solve serious problems concerning land acquisition.

He noted that Indonesia has a geothermal potential of 29 thousand MW in Sumatra, Java, and Papua.

Minister Said remarked that the government will continue to encourage the development of new and renewable energy during the next five years.

"I invite every stakeholder to study and make every effort in order to achieve these targets," the minister stated.

During the convention and exhibition, several agreements on electricity businesses and renewable energy projects are expected to be signed, he remarked.

"We expect to sign some agreements (of projects) valued at Rp106.3 trillion for the next five years that have a total capacity to produce 2.4 thousand MW of electricity and are expected to be signed during the event," the minister noted.