The government, pressing ahead with its program to electrify underdeveloped regions across the nation, will next month hold a tender for the procurement of 30,000 home solar-power units, The Jakarta Post reported on Tuesday (6/2/07).
J. Purwono, Director General for Eelectricity and Energy Use at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, said the government had allocated Rp247 billion for the project. "We have opted for solar energy as it will be cheaper than building power plants," Purwono said. "With an estimated price of Rp8 million for each unit, it will definitely be much more economical."
Currently, out of Indonesia's total population of 240 million, about 100 million people living outside Java and Bali islands do not have access to electricity.
Based on 2006 figures, state electricity firm PT PLN can only light up 54% of Indonesia's villages given that its power plants have a total generating capacity of only 25,000 MW.
The solar-power program, to be jointly run by the Energy Ministry and State Ministry for Disadvantaged Regions, aims to provide 30,000 solar units with capacities ranging from 50 watts to 80 watts per unit.