Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arcandra Tahar, said as many as 2,500 villages in Indonesia have no access to electricity. Most of them are located in Papua. “Around 2500 villages have no access to electricity and most of them are located in Papua. One of the solutions we can implement is by equalizing the price of fuel,” said Arcandra Tahar during a National Discussion on Energy Policy which was held at Senate Hall UGM on Tuesday (25/4).
According to Arcandra, the recent condition shows many villages still have no access to electricity. Moreover, the electrified villages can be said they are not fully electrified because some of the hamlets in the villages have yet to get access to electricity. In addition, the regions which are known as the energy granary such as Kalimantan and its outer and remote areas have also yet to get access to electricity. “The region is energy granary but it has not been fully electrified,” he added.
The electricity issue in those regions is mainly caused by the difficult access to the location and the establishment of electricity power stations that has yet to finish. Therefore, he invites investors to participate in the electricity power station projects in remote areas. “If there is participating investor, we can directly build the power station,” said Arcandra.
Unfortunately, according to Arcandra, the establishment of power station and mining is often obstructed by the regional regulation which makes investment process difficult, for example, each exploration process of oil and gas in Indonesia needs up to 15 years to start the production. “While the other countries only need 5 years to start the production,” he added.
According to Arcandra, the regional governments have to make investment and permission easier in order the national energy policy can be implemented smoothly. In his opinion, the management of natural resources is essential to be performed by Indonesian people using our own technology with the fund from our nation. However, the reality shows the opposite condition. “There is a huge gap and it is the fact we have to face,” said Arcandra.
Meanwhile, Vice Rector of Cooperation and Alumnae UGM, Dr. Paripurna P. Sugarda S.H., L.L.M., said UGM is in the middle of mapping Indonesia’s natural resources and energy potential, as well as encouraging the improvement of governmental management to strengthen the cooperation between Central and Regional Governments in encouraging the implementation of national energy policy.
“We hope conflict between sectors can be minimized for the sake of the nation’s interest. The infrastructure is also essential to be improved in supporting the better energy management to encourage the economic growth which depends on energy availability,” said Dr. Paripurna.
In the welcoming speech of Governor of Yogyakarta, Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X, who is represented by his Assistant on Economic and Development Division, Ir. Gatot Saptadi, said Indonesia cannot only depend on its natural resources as the development foundation but also its human resources as the natural resources organizer. Moreover, Sri Sultan said the role of the university in real sector has yet to be performed maximally. “However, research on energy is essential to be focused on society to reduce the dependency on electricity and fuel subsidies,” said Sri Sultan.