Jakarta. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources launched a program called "Indonesia Terang," or "Bright Indonesia," on Sunday (28/02) aimed at increasing the electrification rate in the eastern part of the archipelago over the next few years.
With the program, Indonesia aims to boost its electrification rate to 97 percent of the country's total population by 2019, up from 85 percent last year. This will involve the building of new power-generating plants with a total capacity of 35,000 megawatts.
The program is expected to light up underdeveloped villages in Indonesia's eastern provinces, such as Papua, West Papua, Maluku, North Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara, where many people still live without access to electricity.
"We will prioritize those six provinces as 67 percent of the villages [in those areas] still don't have access to electricity," Energy Minister Sudirman Said said at a press conference in Jakarta on Sunday.
Power plants in Indonesia's eastern provinces will rely on new and renewable sources of energy to generate the power, with more than 300,000 megawatts accounted for throughout the archipelago.
"Eastern Indonesia mostly consists of islands. Rather than installing cables from one island to another, we can use local sources such as renewable energy," the minister said.
The program will involve state institutions such as the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), the Ministry of Finance, as well as the Ministry for Villages, Underdeveloped Regions and Transmigration, while local governments will assist by providing the necessary data, such as the number of villages without electricity. They will also provide land for the planned power plants.
About Rp 40 trillion ($3 billion) is needed for the program, with the bulk coming from the state budget, investors and donor countries.
William Sabandar, leader of the energy ministry's new renewable energy acceleration team, said the state budget may cover roughly 14 percent of the total budget, or around Rp 16 trillion by 2019.
"[Therefore] we involve private parties to fund the program, other than the Financial Services Authority [OJK]," William added.