Fri, 13 May 2011

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The government needs an investment of around US$ 683 million to optimize solar energy as an energy resource. The investment is needed to produce solar electricity with a capacity of 180 megawatts (MW) in 2013.

Energy and Mineral Resource Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh, explained that solar energy was very important for energy diversification as national fuel production has diminished. “We can increase the proportion by accelerating the production of solar and wind energy,” he said in Jakarta yesterday.

Indonesia has significant solar energy potential, but the optimal capacity is around 13 MW. From that amount, PLN manages around 2 MW. In 2011, with a target to channel electricity to 100 islands, PLN will increase its solar energy capacity to 10-20 MW.

One of the obstacles in developing solar energy is the lack of domestic solar cell component producers.

PT Jasa Listrik Nasionalindo, a local company specializing in developing solar cells, admitted this was a probem. “We still import our solar cells from Yingli, China. There is no solar cell component industry in the country,” said the electricity service CEO Zeffanya Agustinus. However, Zeffanya said he was optimist that the solar technology supporting industry would advance.