A new report from the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) shows that PV has not been growing significantly in Indonesia in recent years, despite the size of its energy market and economy. According to its authors, however, there are multiple paths that can be followed to bring volumes into all market segments. Large scale solar is expected to play a major role in the years to come, as the LCOE for big floating projects is approaching levels close to those of more mature markets.
The Indonesian government has announced the construction of a big PV plant in the eastern part of the country, explaining that the region is particularly suitable for solar development due to its dry climate and high solar radiation levels. The region is indeed the most suitable area for solar parks, due to land availability and high electricity generation costs.
Two projects have been deployed by Canopy Power on private islands in Indonesia. The two 52.5 kW/77 kWh mini-grids were the only alternative to diesel generators due to the lack of a connection with the grid on the island of Batam. The projects – which rely on REC Solar modules, SMA inverters and a storage system from Tesvolt – provide around half of the energy required on their respective islands.
According to solar body the PPLSA, around 300 PV system owners have already gone off-grid as the tariff granted for surplus power under net metering was not attractive enough. Several barriers are preventing net metering taking hold, including an obligation to either use locally made equipment or pay more to re-certify imported modules and inverters.
With a new decree, the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has enabled the owners of residential, commercial and industrial rooftop PV systems to sell excess power to the grid. The government hopes the new provisions will result in around 1 GW of deployed PV capacity over the next three years. Doubts, however, have been raised about the attractiveness of the scheme.
The government wants to help the provinces of eastern Indonesia – in particular Papua, which has the lowest electrification rate in the country. Policymakers are in talks with the Asian Development Bank and seeking advice for implementation.
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