Huge Potential of Hydropower Energy Found in Indonesia, But Why Are We Not Shifting?

hydropower energy

Huge Potential of Hydropower Energy Found in Indonesia, But Why Are We Not Shifting?

For many generations, human civilization has been looking for a way to generate energy for long-term sustainability. Coals, oils and natural gases are found to be highly capable and effective in providing energy for electricity, heat and transport. Nevertheless, these resources are non-renewable and will deplete over time when used excessively. Experts realized that relying on perishable goods could jeopardize the survival of the human race. As a result, the use of renewable energy is encouraged instead. Today, out of all renewable resources, hydropower energy has become the talk of the town.

Facts and Trivia of Hydropower Energy

Hydropower Energy Illustration
Hydropower Energy, also known as hydroelectric energy, is the falling or fast-running water manoeuvre to yield electricity or power machines. With a turbine, the kinetic energy of moving water is converted into mechanical energy. Then the mechanical energy from the turbine is transformed into electricity using generator.
  • Hydropower accounts for roughly 60% of all renewable electricity generation and 16% of the world total electricity.
  • A hydropower system can run around 80-100 years on average, with very little maintenance, also with low operational and maintenance costs.
  • Hydropower plant installations are classified into four types: storage, pumped storage, hydropower, run-of-river and offshore.
  • Modern hydropower installation are assisting the community in the acceleration of the clean energy transition by providing critical power, storage, adjustability, and climate mitigation services.
  • Hydroelectric power has been one of the cleanest sources of electricity, emitting less greenhouse gas than other sources of energy.
  • The system does not only benefit in energy sector yet it also serve the purpose of irrigation, flood control, etc.

Hydropower Energy Potential in Indonesia

Indonesia is a country that relies greatly on fossil fuels. According to P3tek KEBTKE, domestic energy needs continue to rise by 6.9 per cent each year, while fossil energy is barely available as a primary energy source for power plants. With that being said, the government is currently advocating the development of hydropower dams. Studies have shown that the country has a capacity of around 75 GW of hydropower remembering that Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago. Unfortunately, up until today, only 4 per cent of the water potential is put into use for the time being.

The green dots located in the figure above shows the potential hydropower plant installations. Notice how there were hundreds to thousands of places that have the required for the construction.

With the abundance of resources, how is it that Indonesia is hardly shifting to hydroelectric power as the main source of energy? The answer lies in Indonesia’s financial capability and education. Investments in renewable technologies, which are provided by the government, continue to be very little. There are still very few available research materials, infrastructure and research facilities.

Not to mention the high cost of constructing the installations. Although sizeable cuts in the costs of several renewable energy have been made, the hydropower development costs do not reduce, making it difficult to integrate into many parts of the world. Investors need greater certainty in this field. This implies that funds may not always be available. Despite the issues faced, in the upcoming future, Indonesia must come up with a solution to satisfy Indonesia’s electricity needs in the future.

How to Participate in Energy Transition?

Participating in Indonesia’s energy transition from non-renewable to renewable energy might sound big and complicated. Yet, that is not the case. Helping the government can be as easy as:

  1. Joining and being active in an organization that focuses on renewable energy.
  2. Educate the community regarding this issue through social media.
  3. Write to and ask the community’s leader to support policy on renewable energy.
  4. Volunteer in correlating activities.

Transformations will be made when the citizen of the country begins to care for the environment. The urgency of the energy supply is not only a concern of the government but of the entire country. Thus, citizens must be aware of the state of their country and take real actions.

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