"The government is serious about developing solar cells as cheap renewable energy to give a direct impact to rural economic growth," he said when inaugurating a solar cell unit in Karangasem district, Bali province, on Monday.
Solar cells had a concrete impact on rural economic growth, including the rise of small businesses near the site of solar cell project, he said.
"Even in a number of areas solar cells become a technology tourist site," he said.
In view of that, the government agreed to allocate up to Rp400 billion in funds for the expansion of solar cell projects in many parts of the country this year, he said.
Director General of New and Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Rida Mulyana meanwhile said the funds which reached hundreds of billions of rupiahs would be used to develop off-grid solar cells in 120 different areas across the country.
The solar cells would have a combined capacity of 8 MWp (mega watt photovoltaic), an increase compared with last year, he said.
Last year, the ministry built solar cells in 117 areas with a combined capacity of 4.8 MWp, he said.
"The solar cells are able to supply power to 10,315 households," he said.