Sebanyak 30 persen – The Head of Energy and Mineral Resources Department of East Nusa Tenggara Province, Boni, said that around 20 to 30 percent of the villages in the region had not been electrified up to now.

“There are still many areas who have not been electrified, around 20-30 percent,” he said at Wisma Nusantara, Jakarta, Wednesday (1/24).

He explained, most of the electricity in East Nusa Tenggara is supplied by State Electricity Company, whereas according to him, the area is very rich with the potential of renewable energy. “Most of the electricity supplied by State Electricity Company, and some of them from renewable energy which are available. State Electricity Company has an electric village program while the renewable energy has only been developed in recent years,” he said.

“In East Nusa Tenggara, almost all of the potential exists; wind, sun, water, geothermal. Also the potential of ocean between Flores Island and Adonara Island,” he added.

According to Boni, the main obstacle facedĀ  was financial and technological limitations to optimize the potential of renewable energy. “It needs financial support. Indeed, it’s a God’s gift but managing it requires technology, as well as sufficient costs. It requires synchronization between the Central Government and the Regional Government, which is the Provincial Government,” he said.

So far, the steps that have been taken by the Provincial Government are by collaborating with investors such as non-government non-profit organizations like Hivos and MAC-I (Millennium Challenge Account-Indonesia) in utilizing the potential of renewable energy in Sumba Island through the TERANG project (Investing in Renewable Energy for Rural, Remote Communities).

Recorded up to 2017, there are 550 biogas digesters installed, 25 schools installed by solar PV systems, and 30 energy kiosks. There is also TERANG project which was implemented in Sumba and succeeded in contributing 1.22 percent of the renewable energy mix in Sumba island.

“We should push, indeed. If we only rely on the government, it will be difficult. We are working with State Electricity Company and with other investors to make this project realized,” Boni explained.

“We also foster the investment, in collaboration with Hivos and MCA-I, we hope that there will be a continuation in terms of sustainable development for the renewable energy sector,” he continued.

In 2017 the East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government has built 4 Solar Power Plants centralized in Sumba Island with a total budget of up to IDR 17 billion derived from Special Allocation Funds.

“While there is a centralized renewable energy development through Solar Power Plants which are scattered and also the provision of Micro Hydro Power Plants. There are some other remain potentials, such as geothermal energy in Flores, which now used by two districts. And also a potential that comes from the ocean. If all the potentials can be utilized, East Nusa Tenggara will not lack of electricity,” he said.