Flores, a volcanic island in East Nusa Tenggara, generates 19 percent of the island's energy supply from renewable resources today. (JG Photo/Dion Bisara)

Flores, First Island to Meet Indonesia's Renewable Energy Target


DECEMBER 01, 2019

Labuan Bajo. Flores, a volcanic island in East Nusa Tenggara, has set to become the first region in Indonesia to meet the government's 2025 renewable energy goal on the back of the wealth of geothermal resources on the island.  

Today, about 19 percent of the island's energy supply comes from renewable resources like hydro, geothermal and solar power plants. 

"Today, 20 megawatts out of a total of 112 megawatts that already installed, [comes from renewable resources]," Lambok R. Siregar, the head of Flores generation unit at state utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), said last week. 

The proportion will surge to 23 percent — meeting the government's 2025 target — in February next year, as the 5 megawatts of power from Sokoria geothermal power plants commence operation, Lambok said. The power plant will have a capacity of up to 30 megawatts when its full development finished in 2024.

The Sokoria geothermal power plant is located near Kelimutu National Park, 33 kilometers from Ende, the second largest town on the island. Sokoria Geothermal Indonesia, an independent power producer, affiliated to Iceland's geothermal power company.

"Flores can be faster. The renewable energy target can be achieved next year. We see even bigger renewable energy portion by 2025," Lambok said. 

The island will see hybrid power plants to be online in Bajawa and in Aesesa next year, providing 1.3 megawatts and 0.7 megawatts of power capacity, respectively. Wae Lega hydropower with a 1.8-megawatt power capacity will be online in 2021, followed by a geothermal power plant in Mataloko in 2024, providing a capacity of 20 megawatts.

Beyond the 2025 deadline, Flores also expects another 20-megawatt power from 'Ulumbu 6' geothermal powerplant in 2027 and 10-megawatt from Oka Ile Ange geothermal powerplant in 2028. 

Currently, PLN is constructing high voltage electric transmission that connects all the powerplants on the island from tourist resort town Labuan Bajo in the west to Larantuka in the east. The 600-kilometer line will complete by 2021, Dwi Suryo Abdullah, PLN's vice president of public relations said. 

"The electricity growth trend in Flores is quite high, around 12 percent per year due to its natural resource potential. Therefore, the electricity infrastructure is prepared for future needs, to support economic growth and investment activities," Dwi said.

The government eyes to develop the island, particularly Labuan Bajo — the gateway to Komodo National Park, the home of Komodo dragon — as one of the leading tourism destinations in Indonesia.

Trans Flores high voltage electric transmission ensure stable electricity supply from various sources on the island. "That means there will be a guarantee of reliable electricity. It will attract investment activity," Dwi said.