IESR: Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant a milestone in accelerating solar energy development in Indonesia

Jakarta – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) said the operation of the Cirata floating solar power plant is “an important milestone for the accelerated development of large-scale solar power plants in Indonesia”. The Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant (PLTS) at Cirata Reservoir, West Java, with a capacity of 145 Mega Watts (MW), was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo on Thursday, 9 November.

The largest floating solar power plant in Southeast Asia is a joint project between the governments of Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through a joint venture between PT Pembangkitan Jawa-Bali (PLN) and Masdar, a UAE-based renewable energy company. The project has an investment of USD 180 million.

IESR encourages the government and PLN to utilise the 28.4 GW technical potential of floating solar PV from 783 water body locations in Indonesia. IESR’s study found that large-scale floating solar power plants can be developed.

“There are at least 27 water body locations that have Hydropower Plants (PLTA), with a total potential of 4.8 GW and equivalent to an investment of USD 3.84 billion (Rp 55.15 trillion). Utilising the potential of this floating solar power plant will accelerate the achievement of the renewable energy mix target and achieve the net zero emission (NZE) target sooner than 2060,” said IESR Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa, adding that as solar power investment costs continue to decline, Indonesia must optimise its technical potential of 3.7 TWp to 20 TWp to support the achievement of the electricity sector’s 2030 peak emission target at the lowest cost.

IESR calls for the government and PLN to boost floating solar power plants through a favourable regulatory framework, offering attractive returns for investors. PLN’s subsidiary scheme, while advantageous for PLN, poses challenges for investors, hindering project bankability and promoting unfair competition. Tumiwa suggests strengthening PLN’s capital through state participation and offering concession loans via PT SMI. The recent Ministerial Regulation No. 7 of 2023 facilitates the expanded development of floating solar plants, requiring approval from the Dam Safety Commission for projects utilising over 20% of water bodies. (Hartatik)

Banner photo: Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant, 145 MW – largest in Southeast Asia (Source: Investment Coordination Agency)

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