The United States has indicated it is open to a free trade agreement, or FTA, with New Zealand, New Zealand's trade minister said on Sunday (18/06). (JG Photo/Ratri M. Siniwi)

New Zealand Committed to Development of Indonesia's Renewable Energy Sector

BY :RATRI M. SINIWI & MUHAMAD AL-AZHARI

SEPTEMBER 23, 2016

Jakarta. Speaking at the World Renewable Energy Congress in Jakarta, New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay has expressed his country's commitment towards the development of geothermal energy in Indonesia.

After the first geothermal energy collaboration back in 1982 in Kamojang, West Java, New Zealand is enthusiastic for more renewable energy projects in the country.

"After 35 years, I am pleased that New Zealand is still playing a role in geothermal energy," McClay said in an interview with the Jakarta Globe on Friday (23/09).

He explained that during his visit two months ago, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced that his country will invest $22 million in Indonesia's geothermal energy sector over a five-year period.

"This investment will go towards boosting capacity building, training, and allowing access to geothermal energy in Maluku, Eastern Indonesia," the minister said.

New Zealand's role also extends to advisory and regulatory positions, and building strengths in the hydro, geothermal and wind energy sectors.

According to McClay, Southeast Asia's demand for renewables is forecasted to grow by 140 percent, which will require investment of nearly $1 trillion.

However, to prepare for this, he said financial resources and partnerships must involve the international community, and New Zealand is prepared to lend its expertise by offering technologies and realizing renewable energy opportunities in developing countries.

Regarding Indonesia, McClay said he is positive in fostering bilateral relations through this sector.

"President [Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo] has set a target of having 23 percent renewable energy by 2025, and Indonesia has a significant abundance and availability of geothermal energy. New Zealand can be a strong supporter for geothermal energy," McClay said.

During his speech, McClay also commended Indonesia for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and congratulated the country on this achievement.

"You massively reduced your gasoline and diesel subsidies at the end of 2014, delivering savings up to $15.6 billion – you rightly deserve to be congratulated for this," he said.

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