Director of renewable energy and energy conservation at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Alihudin Sitompul, has stated that the Indonesian government was planning on increasing the number of solar plants in the country to 153 this year. With the 36 new solar plants that are in the pipeline for 2013, this goal can be achieved. This was reported by local newspaper Jakarta Globe.
Sitompul apparently added that the federal government and its provincial counterparts have set aside Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) 1 trillion (US$103 million) for solar development this year. This will be a significant increase from last year's IDR 700 billion budget.
Indonesia is not an easy market for solar power, as was already highlighted at the Renewables Indonesia last year. The country is blessed with natural resources and more than 90% of the energy comes from conventional sources.
"So far, our policies regarding the development of solar power plants are already good. However, our partners should be able to decide whether the [solar plant projects] are feasible or not, so that they do not force themselves to do them," Sitompul is quoted as saying. Moreover, he told local media that forcing unfeasible projects to realization often results in delays, improper installation, lower quality plants and higher prices.
Even though the solar power development momentum has not been that of neighbors Thailand and Malaysia, Indonesia has been picked out as one of the most important emerging markets for solar in Southeast Asia.
NPD Solarbuzz stated in its Emerging PV Markets: Asia Pacific and Central Asia Report that the ground-mount segment will account for 64% of all photovoltaic demand in the region, and Indonesia will lead this development together with Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Indonesia, with its thousands of surrounding islands, is also predicted to gain ground with the provision of distributed electricity via solar power.
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