Indonesia issued Law no. 27 of 2003 on Geothermal which is expected to provide legal certainty in geothermal development in Indonesia. To accelerate investment in the geothermal sector, it is necessary to prepare information on Mining Working Areas (WKP) of geothermal that can be developed. In addition to the 33 established WKP, as many as 28 geothermal WKP recommendation maps have been made with a total potential of around 13,000 MWe. This potential is expected to meet geothermal development targets to generate 6000 MWe of electrical energy by 2020
Ring Of Fire is one of the Programs of WWF to encourage the development of sustainable geothermal energy utilization in Southeast Asia with Indonesia and Philippines as an early example. WWF is expected to spur significant movement in the utilization of renewable energy sources, especially the sustainable production and use of geothermal in Indonesia and the Philippines by 2015.
WWF's success in campaigning and developing the RING OF FIRE program in the Philippines has grown tremendously compared to Indonesia. The commitment of the Philippines government to switch to renewable energy usage has increased to 29% by 2013 from the national energy mix of the Philippines and 14% of which or about 1848 MW comes from Geothermal, while in Indonesia renewable energy is still less than 5%.
Indonesia with a population of over 250 million is the largest potential renewable energy user in Southeast Asia. Several renewable energy sources are also potentially developed to meet the energy needs of the world's largest archipelagic country.
The position of Indonesia in the Asia Pacific Ring that surrounds the Pacific Ocean, provides an abundance of rocks that can accommodate the heat of the earth that can be used as renewable energy to generate electricity.
To utilize this energy, it is necessary to drill deep wells into the Earth that can reach a depth of 4 kilometers. The steam from the heat emerging from within the Earth, after being given the previous liquid, is used to drive the turbine to generate electricity.
Geothermal energy has been used for power generation in Italy since 1913 and in New Zealand in 1958. Today geothermal has been utilized to generate electricity in 24 countries, including Indonesia. In addition, geothermal fluid has also been utilized for non-electricity sectors in 72 countries, including for heating, water heating, drying of agricultural products, and wood drying.
Indonesia is the world's largest geothermal energy resource, about 40 percent of the world's reserves, with more than 200 locations potentially producing 28,807 MW of electricity. But currently only about 5 percent is used, because most of the energy source is located in protected forests and protected conservation areas.
The first search for geothermal sources in Indonesia was conducted in the Kamojang Crater area in 1918. In 1926 to 1929, five exploratory wells were drilled, one of which is still producing dry steam. Exploration has been halted since the outbreak of World War II and the Indonesian independence war.
In 1972, the Directorate of Volcanology and Pertamina with support from the French and New Zealand Governments conducted a preliminary survey in Indonesia that mapped 217 geothermal prospects along volcanic lines, from the western part of Sumatra to Maluku. Advanced surveys managed to find new prospects, up to 256 prospects.
Currently Indonesia is the third largest geothermal producer in the world, spread over seven geothermal areas throughout Java, North Sumatra and North Sulawesi producing 1,439 MW of electricity.
Geothermal power plants are almost non-polluting or greenhouse gas emissions, and are not noisy and reliable. The electricity that can be generated is about 90 percent, higher than a fossil fuel power plant that generates about 65 to 75 percent electricity.
The geothermal energy can be produced continuously, as it continues to be generated through the decay of radioactive minerals in the earth. This energy can also be generated throughout the season permanently, as it does not require energy storage.
The downside is only in terms of investment. The capital to build a geothermal power plant is enormous. Drilling sites are not biased at all, should be around tectonic plates that have high temperatures generated by geothermal sources.
Seeing the potential, benefits and effects on the environment, geothermal energy is the ideal energy to be developed in Indonesia, especially to meet the growing need for electrical energy in Indonesia.
"The huge potential must be utilized optimally to support the priority program for the construction of 35 thousand mega watt power plant which has been proclaimed by the government," said Agus at Coffee Morning, at Nusantara III Lounge Room, Wednesday (23/11/2016).
The construction of a 35 thousand mega watt power plant is the Nawacita program of President Joko Widodo. Utilization of geothermal also supports the Paris Agreement at The 21 'Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris. The contents of the agreement of countries to withstand the rate of rise in the earth's temperature by reducing carbon emissions, then the world's energy trend is now shifting toward a low carbon energy future of renewable energy.
The country's need for energy is increasing every year. Currently, Indonesia still relies on energy from petroleum and coal to meet its needs. The House of Representatives sees it is time for Indonesia to maximize the development of non fossil energy potential to balance current energy needs