Surya Angin Air

Two students from Inpres Laikarenga elementary school are installing lanterns in the battery charging area. Every student pays IDR 1,500 per-charging, Monday (29/1). (CNNIndonesia/Feri Agus) – The Government of Indonesia has a portion target of renewable energy as a source of electrical energy as much as 23 percent by 2025. However, by the end of 2017, the share of new renewable energy only reached 12.15 percent, with the contribution of hydropower dominating more than half of these achievements. This means that there are only seven years left to meet the remaining targets.

To provide experience and electricity needs to the citizens, partnerships between Indonesian and foreign institutions are building examples of the formation of renewable energy electric power plants in Sumba Island, East Nusa Tenggara.

The formation of the ecosystem is part of the TERANG project carried out by an organization from the Netherlands, Hivos, assisted with grant funding from the Millennium Challenge Account-Indonesia program (MCA-I) and other partners.

The Hivos Sumba Iconic Island Program Coordinator, Dedy J Haning said, there had a considerable potential for renewable energy by utilizing solar, wind and water. Dedy said that wind power plants or water and hydropower in Sumba have electricity potential up to 10 megawatts.

“We have two large-scale spots above 10 megawatts,” said Dedy in Waingapu, East Sumba, Wednesday (1/31).

A wind power plant with a potential of 10 megawatts is in the Hambapraing area, East Sumba, while a hydroelectric power plant has a potential of 8.5 megawatts, which is available in 16 spots throughout Sumba.

“If these two powers are implemented in Sumba, they have overcome electricity needs in the State Electricity Company network (in Sumba Island),” he said.

According to Dedy, currently the State Electricity Company network in East and West Sumba has not been connected, due to different substations. The government targets that in 2019 the network in Sumba Island will become one. It will also facilitate the electricity distribution.

Dedy continued, solar power plant still being developed with micro-scale in Sumba, especially for the needs of society, education and agriculture. For the renewable energy pilot program in Sumba, said Dedy, Hivos formed the Renewable Energy Service Center Organization (RESCO) as the implementor.

“At present, the project is indeed a small scale, if I’m not mistaken the definition of a medium scale in Indonesia is should be above 5 megawatts. We (the solar power plants) are under it,” he said.

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RESCO officers are cleaning solar panels installed at Inpres Laikarenga elementary school, Kodi Utara village, Southwest Sumba, Monday (29/1). (CNN Indonesia/Feri Agus)

Southwest Sumba Up to East Sumba had the opportunity to see RESCO’s Hivos program in a number of areas, both in Southwest Sumba and East Sumba. The program is consists of the installation of solar panels and the distribution of lights or lanterns.

Some of the ones visited were Nicolaus Dao Energy Kiosk and Margaretha Katida Energy Kiosk, in Delo Village, South Wewea District, Inpres Laikarenga Elementary School, North Kodi, Southwest Sumba.

Then the rice milling partner owned by Umbu Lakinuga, in Baliloku, Wanakaka, West Sumba, Jhon Lukas Ludji’s biogas house in Waingapu and Umbu Hinggu Panjanji’s hydroelectric power plant, in Kamanggi, East Sumba.

For rice and corn mills, 22 solar panels have been installed. For Energy Kiosks, 30 units have been established which are spread throughout Sumba. While for elementary schools, there were 30 solar panels installed all over Sumba.

The head of Inpres Laikarenga Elementary School, Karolina Konga Naha said she had collaborated with RESCO, installing solar panels since March 2017. Until now, the school has distributed 240 lights to students.

Karolina said the students were charged for IDR 1,500 per one lantern. They come with lanterns for every two to three days. Karolina admitted that she was greatly helped by the RESCO program, especially for school operations.

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The school principal of Inpres Laikarenga elementary school, Karolina Konga Naha, admitted that she was greatly helped by the RESCO program, Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, Monday (29/1). (CNN Indonesia/Feri Agus)

Before a solar panel from RESCO provided, Karolina said, school operations were often hampered, especially administrative matters that used computers or laptops.

Meanwhile, Umbu Lakinuga, the owner of the solar-powered rice mill, stated that he had only become a partner in August 2017. From the rice milling machine, Lakinuga claimed that he got additional income from his neighbors who wanted to grind the grain.

Even he said, after a month of operating the machine, he managed to buy piglets. “Rice milling machines use solar power. I was started in August 2017, and in September I have been able to buy pigs,” he said.

Dedy said that the TERANG Project has the main objective of introduce the concept of using energy-efficient electricity so that the government can implement it in other regions.

“So it is not exclusive in Sumba only, it is divided into other provinces through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources,” he said.

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Rice milling machine owned by Umbu Lakinuga in Baliloku Village, Wanakaka, West Sumba, Monday (29/1). (CNNIndonesia/Feri Agus)

Social Impacts

 Dedy continued, it was rather difficult to do on grid or connect the network with State Electricity Company. According to him, even so far the State Electricity Company wants to buy the electricity generated from wind and water power plants built by them at a low price.

Dedy said, one example of the failed negotiations occurred in a power plant with the 10 megawatts capacity.

“If State Electricity Company buys under 85 percent, basically they wanted to buy with cheap price. Usually negotiations are there, permits are easy, the government is on board, but when it comes to the negotiations with State Electricity Company, it will be tough,” he said.

According to Dedy, State Electricity Company’s willingness to buy at a low price makes investors object because there is a considerable gap from the price offered. Hivos, he said, on of the tasks is to seeking grants to cover the price gap.

“It’s best to get a grant from another country, they don’t expect to return in the form of money, but they expect social impact,” said Dedy.

“Because Hivos is a NGO, the focus is social impact, which we can measure it. There is a specific role for that in the project. Usually once we get grants, the project can be running,” he added.