Indonesia’s recent announcement it is building a new US$4 billion power plant in Central Java has again focused attention on the nation’s struggle to maintain the supply of electricity to fuel economic growth, the need for the country to explore renewable energy technologies, as well as recruiting the best talent to fill key industrial jobs.
On Tuesday (Sept. 2), Monroe Consulting Group’s Industrial division held a knowledge-sharing session with one of Indonesia’s leading professionals working in the power-generation industry in order to ensure that its consultants remained informed about the current trends and changes in the energy industry in general.
Suprianto Yubi, a consultant who specialises in the energy industry, particularly solar energy, said the main focus of his presentation at Monroe’s headquarters in South Jakarta was to “acknowledge that there is a global shift in generator preference.”
“We used to rely solely on fossil-fuel based electricity generators, but our government is currently working toward reducing the dependency on fossil fuels and attempting to move more toward renewable energies.”
As in most countries around the world, there has been criticism that the government is not doing enough to move away from fossil fuels, although some progress has been made in the geothermal energy sector.
Grady Gultom, a senior consultant in the Industrial Division, raised a question about the efficiency of alternative energies and obstacles toward investing more in solar energy.
Suprianto, the former head of First Solar in Indonesia, said fossil fuels remained the most cost-effective way of generating electricity in the short term but longer term, arrays of connected solar cells, called a photovoltaic (PV) module, would prove to be the superior, most environmentally friendly option.
He said there were significant obstacles to making this a reality.
“To harness 1.5MW of electricity, we need one hectare of land, which is not be the most cost-efficient way of generating electricity at this time,” he said. “However, hopefully in the future as the technology improves more rapidly, we can produce more efficient panels and converters to generate more electricity.”