The huge electrification task facing Indonesia was put into stark focus today by the president of the country’s energy company Ciberon Power.
Heru Dewanto told Asia Power Week in Bangkok that the country has 13 million people with no access to power, and 17,000 schools have no electricity.
Indonesia is made up of around 18,000 islands and its people account for 45 per cent of the total population of the ASEAN region.
Dewanto was unapologetic about the fact that bring power to this population would rely heavily on coal, but he stressed that “for us it’s about providing electricity for all – it’s about growing a nation. And it has to be reliable and it has to be affordable.”
The topic of tackling island electrification was also addressed by Kenji Ando, president and chief executive of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, and he said “distributed energy will be the key”.
Yet he said that the future of power infrastructure in Southeast Asia needs a combination of technologies. “The best energy mix in every country should have gas, coal, nuclear and renewables. Renewable growth is commonsense in the world, and nuclear is a very important resource in the future.”