Indonesia restarts solar auction

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Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry will restart its tender process for solar development projects on the country’s outermost islands after bidders failed to submit the correct information in recent auctions, according to The Jakarta Post.

"The repeat tenders are due to administrative matters. Bidders failed to submit proper data in the previous tenders," the newspaper quoted Alihuddin Sitompul, director for diverse new energy at the ministry’s renewable energy directorate general.

The new auction, which covers projects for 25 outer islands in the country, is scheduled to be completed by the middle of July, with winning bidders expected to complete the projects by December.

The solar projects are part of government efforts to increase the electrification ratio in the country, including on the almost abandoned outer islands, The Jakarta Post reported. Poor infrastructure on the outer islands has made project development in the regions difficult, the newspaper added.

The government allocated some IDR 660 billion (US$55.3 million) in total funding for the development of renewable resources this year, including IDR 510 billion ($42.7 billion) for solar projects and IDR 150 billion ($12.6 billion) for mini-hydro power plants.

The solar plants will cover 133 locations, including 31 locations in the outer islands, 27 in border areas and 75 in isolated areas, while mini-hydro plants will be built at 21 locations.

Indonesia, a former member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has seen declining domestic oil production, which in turn has forced the country to import more oil amid rising demand and volatile prices that are driving the country’s trade deficit, The Jakarta Post points out. This has led the government to call for increased development of renewable energy sources.