Creating equitable energy throughout Indonesia means creating electrical stability in Papua and West Papua provinces. Sadly, for many years, energy distributions in this Eastern part of Indonesia have become a big issue. Thousands of residences have to live without electrically-powered. The lack of electricity is caused by several factors. That is why today Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) commits to create and supply equitable power all over this island. Let’s talk about the power supply in Papua and West Papua province further.
This Is Why Many Villages in Papua Don’t Have Electricity
Among many regions in Indonesia, Papua and West Papua provinces have many villages that have not been touched by electricity. The low electrification rate in this island was due to several factors. Many areas are located in terrain steep and many places are difficult to reach. Since some Papuans don’t get electricity, they don’t consider this as their main need.
Years back, many basic needs are more important for locals in Papua, for example, food, health, education, etc. So, having no power is not an urgent matter. Today, the central government is changing this. The distribution network is improving and the power capacity is adding double.
Along with adding power supply in these provinces, President Joko Widodo also commits to intensify power supply in Papua and West Papua with rapid infrastructure development in many fields.
Strategies for 100 percent Electrification
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) stated 346 villages in Papua and West Papua province had no electricity until the end of the first quarter of 2021. The 346 villages consist of 276 villages are located in Papua and 70 villages in West Papua.
Director of Electricity Program Development of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Jisman Hutajulu additionally revealed that the government has prepared several strategies to achieve a 100 percent electrification ratio in Cendrawasih Island.
The electricity access supply will be focused in the 3T area, (Frontier, Remote and Disadvantaged Areas/Daerah Terdepan, Terpencil dan Tertinggal), by encouraging the use of new and renewable energy (EBT). The EBT usage will be conducted by optimizing district or local potential along with electrical power distribution equipment (Alat Penyalur Daya Listrik/APDAL) and electric charging stations (stasiun pengisian daya listrik/SPEL).
More Town Will Be Electrified
Jisman further added it is not possible to build a power grid or a mini-grid to electrify unpowered villages with scattered housings. Out of 346 unpowered villages, the government will build renewable energy power plants along with APDAL and SPEL in 285 villages.
As for the remaining 24 small-towns, a grid extension and 37 mini-grids will be added to their areas. Meanwhile, in villages that are closed to existing distribution networks, there will expansion on the electricity network itself.
The mini-grids construction is carried out through the development of power plants. The power plants utilizing potential local renewable energy are focused on remote or difficult-to-reach areas by expanding the PLN electricity network and the people living communally.
Electrical Power Supplies Procurement
This year, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has allocated a budget for electrical power supplies procurement. There are around 20,000 units of power supply ready for 285 villages. The work of new renewable energy plants and electrical energy charging stations will be done by PT PLN (Persero).
A survey of prospective APDAL recipients in 285 villages has been conducted. Out of the 285 villages, 227 villages have been surveyed while the remaining 58 villages have not been surveyed. Overall, the electrification ratio in Papua only reached 95.01 percent while West Papua reached 96.19 percent. Hence, in 2022 the government targets a 100 percent electrification ratio.
Besides focusing on rapid development infrastructure, the government also centers the even and stable power supply in Papua and West Papua provinces. Hopefully, the target set will soon be achieved.