Indonesian President Says Rivers Must be Tapped for Power Generation

Mamberamo River

During his speech at the official opening of the 2023 World Hydropower Congress in Bali, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo said that Indonesia has more than 4,400 rivers with 128 of them large rivers, such as the Mamberamo River in Papua, which has a potential of 24 thousand megawatts.

However, he noted that Indonesia is also facing several challenges, one of which is related to the location of the hydropower sources, which are far from the centres of electricity demand.

Given this problem, the Indonesian government has created a blueprint for accelerating the laying of transmission lines that can carry electricity to locations at the center of economic growth and industrial growth centers so that its value becomes higher, he said.

Widodo also expressed the hope that the World Hydropower Congress would serve as a collaborative forum that produces policy recommendations and boosts investment to support the use of hydro energy for building a sustainable and green economy.

Widodo said Indonesia is fully committed to accelerating the energy transition through the addition of new and renewable energy on a large scale because the nation is rich in green energy potential.

The role of hydropower is becoming increasingly important in efforts to accelerate Indonesia’s energy transition to reach its net zero commitment by 2060.

Indonesia has a hydropower potential of 95 gigawatts (GW), currently, the nation’s installed capacity has reached 6.7 GW, and by 2030, the development of hydropower plants is targeted to increase this capacity further to more than 10 GW.

The construction of several hydropower plant projects is underway in Indonesia including the Jatigede PLTA with a capacity of 110 megawatts (MW) and the Asahan PLTA (174 MW), which are targeted to reach their commercial operation date (COD) in 2024, and the Merangin hydroelectric power plant (350 MW) that will start commercial operations in 2025, together with the Batang Toru hydroelectric power plant (520 MW) whose COD will be in 2026.