Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. The Net Zero Emission (NZE) scenario made by the Indonesian government is carried out based on the world commitments which are summarized in the Paris Agreement. In addition, the commitment of the national energy sector as incorporated in Government Regulation Number 79 of 2014 concerning National Energy Policy, and Presidential Regulation No. 22 of 2017 concerning National Energy General Plan targets 23% of the energy mix to come from new and renewable energy, including geothermal.

From the research side, the National Research and Innovation Agency of the Republic of Indonesia (BRIN RI) has designed a Modular Geothermal Power Plant (PLTP) technology. The PLTP investment with a high level of Domestic Content Requirements (TKDN) is expected to reach the commercialization stage in 2025.

One of the reasons for choosing modular PLTP is that Indonesia has geothermal potential of up to 50 MW or almost 35% spreading over eastern Indonesia.

“Most geothermal locations are in remote areas where the electricity load is not too high,” said Acting Head of the Energy Conversion Technology Center – the Technology Assessment and Application Research Organization (B2TKE – OR PPT) BRIN, Cahyadi, in an online interview, Friday (14/01).

This modular PLTP design, added Cahyadi, is a development or lessons learned from 2 types of PLTPs in the previous research, namely 3MW condensing PLTP in Kamojang and 500kW binary cycle PLTP in Lahendong.

Investment in PLTP product is also a consideration. The development of Modular PLTP is expected to be competitive based on the experience in developing the Kamojang PLTP and Lahendong PLTP.

Modular PLTP is designed with a more compact site planning concept, fast mobilization and installation, and flexible to be placed on any wellhead. The capacity is in accord with the potential of the well around 3 to 5 MW, quick to generate electricity once the well is ready for production, and the PLTP module can be shifted from wells that are no longer economical to wells that are still productive.

“We have conducted a feasibility study for a 2×3 MW Modular PLTP in Sibayak – North Sumatra. The PLTP investment is estimated to be less than US$2 million per MW, so it is feasible from an economic and technical point of view,” explained Cahyadi.

PLTP is an environmentally friendly technology with low CO2 emission. The carbon footprint is also low because the energy sources are available on site and do not need a fuel source that requires production efforts that produce carbon.

Modular PLTP products consider local contents requirements (TKDN) which involve domestic industries. The main components of PLTP are turbines and generators. Currently, said Cahyadi, Japan ranks first as the manufacturer of condensing PLTP turbines, although the fact that this Sakura Country has far less geothermal potential.

“With large geothermal potential, and a high TKDN, Indonesia should be able to rank second or third as the producer of PLTP turbine generators in the world,” added Cahyadi.

He gave an example, Flores Island, in East Nusa Tenggara, has geothermal potential of over 150 MW. However, currently, the installed capacity of power plants in Flores reaches 190 MW, of which 45 percent comes from Diesel Power Plants and 37 percent comes from Gas Power Plants.

“If it is in accordance with the 2021 PLN Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) to build a PLTP of up to 150 MW, PLTP has the potential to replace PLTD in the area,” he said.

Potential sources of geothermal energy spread along the volcanic line from Sumatra, Java, Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Sulawesi. In Eastern Indonesia regions such as the provinces of NTB, NTT, Maluku, North Maluku and other remote areas, although the geothermal sources are very abundant, the source of electrical energy in these areas is currently still dominated by diesel power plants (PLTDs).

In 2030, the PLTP capacity is projected to be installed at 6.5 GW, and since currently only 2.1 GW has been installed, there will be 4.4 GW of new PLTPs. Indonesia must master PLTP technology and the manufacturing industry must play an active role. Small-scale Modular PLTP technology needs to be manufactured domestically. Domestic industry will have a very valuable manufacturing portfolio. The domestic manufacturing industry will have the opportunity to be involved in large-scale geothermal power plants which are still dominated by imported products.

With the advantages of geothermal electricity prices which tend to be stable, environmentally friendly and low in carbon footprint, and land use that is more efficient than other new and renewable energies, geothermal utilization in Indonesia needs to be increased. These efforts will see a success if we have adequate regulatory, financial and research supports.

“We hope that regulations can support PLTP technology until it reaches the commercialization stage in 2025. As presently, in terms of technology, the industry is ready, we suggest that the government assign the PLTP industry such as State Enterprises to use PLTP technology created by the country’s citizens without violating applicable regulations,” he concluded (tnt, sj).