Indonesia has high dependence on fuel. This weakens the level of national energy stability. Indonesia also faces several energy problems such as the underdeveloped alternative energy, particularly renewable energy. Renewable energy such as geothermal, bio-fuel, solar energy, wind power, micro-hydro, uranium and thorium have not been utilized optimally despite their huge potential.
Hydro power has the potential totalling 75,670 Mwe, but so far onlyÂ 4,200 MW has been used. Geothermal amounts to 28,170 MWe and some 1,189 MW has been utilized, micro-hydro: 500 MWe and the utilized amount is 86.1 MW. Solar energy's potential is 4.8 KWh/m2/day and the utilized amount is 12.1 MW while wind power amounting to 9,290 MWe is only utilized 1.1 MW. â€œMeanwhile, Uranium that has the potential totalling 341,120 tons and Thorium 1,500 tons have not been utilized at all.
The utilization of renewable energy is not optimal, because the price of new renewable energy is relatively more expensive so that it can not compete with conventional price that is still subsidized by the government,â€ said Prof. Rinaldi Dalimi, the member of National Energy Board representing Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr. Darwin Zahedy Saleh, S.E., M.B.A., Wednesday (17/2) in his scientific speech at Auditorium of Faculty of Engineering, UGM, in the 64th Anniversary celebration of the Faculty.
The government subsidy for fuel and electricity also causes a dilemma. In one side, the subsidy helps the low class people, but in other side, the increasing subsidy will burden the national budget even more. This is because Indonesia has already become an oil importer. As an illustration, the subsidy for electricity and oil in 2005 was 104 trillion, but it increased to 221 trillion in 2008.
Further, Rinaldi said that until now the use of energy in all sectors is still inefficient. That was shown by the amount of 2.02 of energy elasticity and 382 TOE of energy intensity to produce USD1 million, a high gross domestic income compared to several countries such as Japan. Research showed that energy potential saving in all sectors is relatively big, varying between 15-30%.
On top of that, people access to commercial energy is still limited due to the limited energy infrastructure. That is indicated by the low ratio of electrification and energy consumption per capita. â€œFrom 55,400 thousands families throughout Indonesia, only 36,078 thousands (61.5%) have access to electricity. This means that the rest, 19 thousands or 34.9%, does not have the access,â€ he explained.