Technology and infrastructure, remain as geothermal development challenges

Jakarta—The Indonesian Geothermal Association (API) said efforts to utilise geothermal energy tend to be hampered by technological limitations, even though Indonesia has the largest potential in this field.

API Chairman Julfi Hadi underlined that although Indonesia has more than four decades of experience in geothermal development, commercialisation challenges still need to be addressed.

“The high margin of geothermal projects makes geothermal energy tariffs more expensive than fossil energy, such as coal,” he said, as quoted from the YouTube IDX Channel on Tuesday, March 19.

Another significant obstacle is the geothermal supply chain’s dependence on foreign supplies. “Indonesia currently does not have geothermal turbines,” Hadi added.

Thus, according to him, the main challenges in developing Indonesia’s geothermal potential are technology updates and supporting infrastructure development.

API plans to accelerate the commercial operation date (COD) process by starting exploration risk reduction earlier. This effort is expected to reduce barriers in geothermal project development, which has faced high risks. In addition, geothermal potential is a vital alternative in reducing emissions and a key driver in the energy transition.

Evita Legowo, a Senior Fellow of the Purnomo Yusgiantoro Center (PYC), stated that efforts to utilise the potential of geothermal and bioenergy as the primary sources of electricity in Indonesia must align with the need for strict regulations. She said it is essential to affirm regulations related to the use of bioenergy to avoid negative impacts such as over-exploitation of natural resources. (Hartatik)

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