Government of Indonesia has vastly underrated solar potential

Feed Solar

The IESR says the current solar ambition-6.5 GW of generation capacity in 2025-is based on an estimate of Indonesia’s maximum technical solar potential which is up to 95 times smaller than its own calculations.

Technical limit The Beyond 207 Gigawatts: Unleashing Indonesia’s Solar Potential study claims the national solar potential of 205 GW estimated by the Ministry of the Environment and Mineral Resources is woefully out of date, although the IESR points out the technical maximum it has calculated pays no heed to policy, market or other economic limitations, solely to the availability of suitably sloping land.

The report’s authors also stressed their calculation was based on a “Rather conservative assumption” of the energy density of the sites identified, with the figure of 410 kWp/hectare based on a 2013 study drawn up by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the U.S. Recent solar projects in Indonesia have had energy densities of 600-800 kWp/hectare, according to the IESR. The report noted the eastern, western and central provinces of Kalimantan-the Indonesian territory on the island of Borneo- boast the largest technical solar potential, with the provinces of Riau, northern and southern Sumatra, eastern and Central Java and Papua also boasting significant suitable project sites.