Government to supply electricity to 10,300 underdeveloped villages

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government has set a target of building an electricity network to 10,300 underdeveloped villages in the eastern part of Indonesia by 2019.
"Currently, there are 12,659 villages that have not as yet had access to electricity, 2,519 of which are still dark at night," Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Sudirman Said stated here on Sunday.
Through the Indonesia Lights Program, the minister said he hoped the electrification ratio will increase from 85 percent in 2015 to 97 percent in 2019.
The 12,659 villages cover 16 percent of the total villages with 2,527,469 households and 9,970,286 people.
The total of power requirement for the program reaches 500 MW to 1,000 MW.
The minister remarked that the program will be completed in March 2016. The program will be started with data consolidation and synchronization of planning at the central level.
The government will conduct an electrical planning training (PIT) program in the villages from March to June, 2016.
The government also will hold the training program at provincial and district levels throughout 2016.
"The implementation of the program will be completed by 2019. The pilot project has started this year in several locations," he said.
PIT will start in six easternmost provinces namely Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, and West Nusa Tenggara.
Those provinces cover 65 percent of villages without electricity.
"The program starts from the eastern region and continues to move rapidly to the west," he said.
The program requires a special approach due to geographical conditions of the regions.
Population is still small in those regions and as a result construction of electricity networks will require large funds.
To realize the program, the government will use renewable energy sources such as solar, water, wind, biomass, sea wave with affordable technology.
Energy Center Development in Bali will set the technology.
The government, he noted, will recruit young people to become experts and further they can implement the project by using renewable energy.
"The government will also involve the private sector in collaboration with the central and local governments, as well as state owned enterprises," the minister said.(*)