Indonesia to install 4.7GW of solar by 2030 under decarbonisation plan

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An artist’s impression of the Cirata floating solar project, currently under construction in Java. Image: Masdar.

Indonesia is aiming to deploy an additional 4,680MW of solar by 2030 as part of efforts to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2060.

Energy minister Arifin Tasrif said a new 2021-2030 master plan will see Indonesia source 51.6% of its added power capacity by the end of the decade from renewables, while the remainder will be new fossil fuel plants.

Speaking during a virtual presentation today (Tuesday), Tasrif said the country’s projected annual increase in electricity demand over the next decade has been lowered to 4.9%, down from a previous estimate of 6.4%, due to the pandemic impacting economic growth.

To reach the goals included in the master plan, the government expects independent power producers to play a larger role in the development of renewables projects over the coming years.

Tasrif also said that the government will encourage the development of interconnection between Indonesia’s main islands to improve electricity reliability and increase renewables penetration.

The strong potential for Indonesia’s solar sector was revealed in a report published in July by Wood Mackenzie, which suggested the country may become the fastest-growing PV market in the Asia Pacific region by end of the decade.

Growing from a base of 300MW, the country’s solar capacity could reach 8.5GW by 2030, according to the research firm, which said the PV sector could be supported by a US$600 million loan from the Asian Development Bank to help Indonesia’s state-owned power company PLN expand electricity access and promote renewables in eastern Indonesia.

PLN’s solar development efforts have already seen it form a joint venture with Masdar to construct a 145MWac floating solar project at a reservoir in West Java. The partners recently reached financial close for the Cirata plant, which is now under construction and due to begin commercial operation by the end of 2022.

Singapore-based solar developer Sunseap Group also revealed plans to develop what it says will be the world’s largest floating solar project on Indonesia’s Batam Island. The 2.2GWp installation plant is slated for completion in 2024, when it will provide energy locally as well as potentially to Singapore via a subsea cable.

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