West Papua Renewable Energy Sources: Solar and Hydropower

Get to Know Renewable Energy

West Papua has excellent potential in the development of renewable energy. The region is rich in natural resources such as solar, wind, water, and geothermal, which can be harnessed to produce clean and sustainable energy.

National Renewable Energy Policy

Development of Renewable Energy

Facing the energy crisis that is right in front of our eyes, using renewable energy is a wise strategy for environmental sustainability in the future.

As you know, until now, Indonesia still uses non-renewable energy, such as fossil fuels, as its primary energy. The problem is that energy needs will continue to increase yearly while oil and coal reserves are dwindling.

Not only that but in the long run, the use of non-renewable energy also impacts environmental damage. Using non-renewable energy, such as fossil fuels, creates excess carbon in the atmosphere, causing global warming.

Therefore, to address that issue, there is a need for a supply of alternative energy other than petroleum and coal. The Indonesian government is now pioneering the use of renewable energy to reduce its reliance on oil and lignite. In 2025 the Indonesian government targets renewable energy to reach 23% and 31% in 2050. [1]

Renewable Energy in West Papua

Get to Know Renewable Energy in West Papua

West Papua has successfully distributed electricity to remote areas by utilizing renewable energy.

Starting in the last few years,  West Papua has begun using two forms of renewable energy as a source of electricity,  especially for remote areas. The following are two renewable energies that have started to be used in West Papua:

Solar Energy

Due to the country’s location near the equator, the amount of solar radiation that reaches Indonesia is relatively large. With an average solar radiation intensity value of around 4.8 kWh/m2 throughout Indonesia, solar energy that can be converted into electricity is quite abundant. 

With that fact, now the Indonesian government’s utilizing solar energy absorption through solar panels as alternative energy to meet the lighting needs in remote areas in Indonesia, especially in West Papua. 

Together with PLN, the government continues to make efforts to use solar energy to explore remote areas in West Papua. Several solar panel installations and the construction of a Solar Power Plant (PLTS) are currently underway in West Papua. The most recent development is the construction of 32 PLTS in West Papua. [2]

Hydropower Energy

In addition to utilizing solar energy as electrical energy, the West Papua government also uses hydropower energy as a power of electricity. In addition to its high solar exposure, you should know that West Papua has the potential for sufficient river water flow for hydropower generation. [3]

However, you need to understand not all rivers have the potential to become a source of hydroelectric power. Water flow conditions that can be used as a source of electricity must have a specific flow capacity and height.

In West Papua, several areas that have the potential to generate hydroelectric power are South Manokwari Regency, Teluk Wondama Regency, and Arfak Mountains Regency.

So far, the West Papua government has planned to build several Micro Hydro Power Plants or PLTMH. For the record, PLTMH is a term for power plant installations that use hydropower energy.

Several PLTMH development plans were submitted by the West Papua government in 2022. There are two PLTMH development plans, which are in the Arfak Mountains District and also in the Maybrat Regency. 

Besides the two renewable energies above, West Papua also has geothermal energy, which is believed can be used as new renewable energy. This geothermal energy is located in the South Manokwari Mountains District. However,  until now, this idea is still in the research stage. 

To summarize, the development of renewable energy in West Papua is still being developed by the government. Overall there are two types of renewable energy that the government uses,  solar energy and hydropower energy.

At this time, renewable energy has improved access to electricity for those not yet covered by the electricity grid in West Papua. In addition, the development of renewable energy in West Papua also helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and negative environmental impacts.