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Asia Minute: Indonesia Plans to Tap More Geothermal Energy

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The state of Hawai‘i has the most ambitious renewable energy goals in the country—with a goal of using 100-percent renewable energy by the year 2045. Part of that mix is geothermal power—which is also a growing part of the energy picture in Indonesia.  HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Indonesia’s government wants to move faster when it comes to adopting geothermal energy.  That’s according to a series of presentations at this week’s Indonesia International Geothermal Convention and Exhibition.  The country’s vice president and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources both talked about stepping up the pace of industry development…and easing certain financial regulations to increase investment.

Geothermal energy comes from the earth’s core—and is part of the energy mix in areas where it can be tapped close to the earth’s crust—often in volcanic areas.  Iceland gets about 25% of its electricity from geothermal….while according to state energy figures, Hawai‘i Island gets about 20% of its power that way.

Indonesia currently gets about 5% of its energy from geothermal…but the United States Energy Information Administration says the country could be one of the world’s leaders in terms of capacity.  In a report late last year, the agency said Indonesia is “located at the convergence of several tectonic plates in Southeast Asia, giving it significant geothermal potential, although most of its potential reserves remain unexplored.”  A big issue is attracting international investment capital---and that’s an area Indonesia’s current administration is targeting for further reforms.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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