Coffee energy news
In a morning, almost 4 years ago, when I was relaxing to enjoy a cup of coffee before going to my university, while reading a newspapers online, I got a good news. It was a 8.5 MW microhydro power plant would be operated soon in March 2010, in Simalungun regency, North Sumatra. As a researcher who graduated and working in the field of Renewable Energy, this micro hydro project is very exciting for me. Why? Apparently, this project is not a project that built by the government funds, but built by a private company. Of course, pro-active attitude of the local government of Simalungun highly appreciated for all the achievements to attract the private investors to deal with the electricity sector, especially in renewable energy sources utilization.
This micro hydro power plant is named Silau II, because it uses the flow of Silau river. It is estimated that Silau II can produce maximum power to 11 MW. For power distribution, Silau II is connected to the power transmission network owned by PLN (Indonesia state owned electricity company) and distributed to the residents of Simalungun. According to information from the local government, there are 4 points of the hydropower potential in Simalungun from two rivers, ie; Silau and Karai rivers, which totally could produce about 43 MW. Compare to the power demand of Simalungun itself, it is only 27 MW.
This project is expected to give the special spirit to develop the Indonesian electricity from renewable sources. Electricity situation in Indonesia is very critical. Besides the electrification ratio is only around 65%, compounded by events off the lights still happening in all parts of PLN electricity service area. To pursue this, the Indonesian government is pursuing a settlement of 10,000 MW of electricity in phase II development in mid-2010. Furthermore, the construction of 10,000 MW of electricity in phase II, is being prepared and expected to be completed in 2012. Although all the power plant development are dominated by the conventional thermal power plant, fueled by gas and coal, there are several power plants using geothermal sources. For information, Indonesia is one of the largest countries in the world’s geothermal potential, with a potential of 27 GW, while hydro power reached 76.17 GW.