Renewable Energy in Papua and West Papua and Its Impact on Development

Get to Know Renewable energy

Renewable energy is a type of energy that is continuously usable and is found in nature. Renewable energy comes from natural resources and will not run out because it is formed from a continuous natural process. Examples of renewable energy are sunlight, waves, wind, and water.[1] Then how does renewable energy impact West Papua’s development?

Understanding Renewable Energy 

The Importance of Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is a new hope for the environment so that the damage to nature does not worsen. The energy that comes from God’s grace can be used for the universe’s survival.

Renewable energy comes from natural sources, such as wind, rays, geothermal, and biomass, of which around 18% of world energy consumption comes from and tends to increase every year since 2006.[2]

Renewable energy is certainly more environmentally friendly because it can reduce air pollution and environmental damage due to exploration. Costs incurred to produce energy tend to be cheaper because the energy source is available for free.  

Renewable Energy to Speed up Electrification in Papua

Development of Renewable energy

The application of renewable energy has been carried out in Papua.

To reach 1,000 renewable energy sources for Papua, the State Electricity Company has four possibilities that it could choose from. This alternative is necessary due to the challenging geographic conditions, the extremely low occupancy density, and the low occupancy.

The 1,000 Renewable Energy For Papua program, according to Ahmad Rofik, director of business operations for Maluku and Papua, is the best way to speed up the electrification of Papua and West Papua through the adoption of the wireless electricity model. [3]

The four possibilities are Pico hydropower plants, energy tubes, biomass power plants, and solar power plants. According to Rofik, the pico-hydro generator is better suitable for sites with different elevations because it can generate 5,000 watts of power using the potential energy of water.

The project aims to install electric tubes in 314 settlements and micro- and pico-hydro power plants in 65. Then, 158 communities will use 3–10 kW biomass power plants.

Then 151 solar power plants will illuminate 184 settlements, ocean current power plants will power 34 villages, and wind generators will power 116 communities. PLN’s power grid will be connected to the remaining 252 communities. Electric tubes serve as energy storage devices for homes, according to Rofik.

Papua now has a 94.28% electrification rate, while West Papua has a 99.99% electrification rate, according to Rofik. Out of the 7,358 communities, 6,147 have electricity. He hopes that this alternative will meet the need for affordable electricity. 

As a result of the beneficial impact of inexpensive electricity on the economy, Papua will no longer require subsidies by 2024.

Microhydro Power Plant Built in the Arfak Mountains of West Papua 

Renewable energy Development Plan

The Anggi Micro Hydro Power Plant in Arfak was built to actualize the De-Dieselization Program and create new, more sustainable, eco-friendly, and renewable energy generators. [4]

It is a village that the PT PLN electrical network has not reached. River water in this area is also suitable for use as a source of electricity. The West Papua region has a very high potential for producing at least 3.000 MW of electricity using hydro or hydropower. This could be advantageous for both the de-dieselization effort and the dependability of the electricity supply.

Anggi village is not yet reached by PT PLN’s electricity network. River water in this area is also suitable for use as an electricity source. Region in West Papua has a very high potential to produce at least 3k Megawatt of electricity by using hydropower. This is very good for the de-dieselization program’s success and the dependence on electricity supply.

According to Hendra Iswahyudi, director of planning and development for innovative, renewable energy and energy-saving infrastructure, hydroelectric power plants will replace diesel. Start gradually removing diesel that uses non-renewable fuels since this step will support the government’s program for de-dieselization. Besides providing lighting, this micro-hydro power plant can support the community’s productive activities in the future, which will help the local economy. 

Papua, which has abundant resources, certainly has many resources for renewable energy. In the future, we hope that Papua will progress further along with this rapid development.