Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Solar Country Notes
The archipelago of Indonesia comprises over 17 000 islands (according to the latest count using satellite mapping) of which approximately 6 000 are inhabited. Difficulties in extending the national grid across the islands to the widely dispersed population meant that in 1995 only about 58% of the country's 62 000 villages were electrified. Historically, areas that could not be supplied with conventional electricity from the national grid have relied upon hydro-electricity and stand-alone diesel generators to power mini-grids, or used kerosine for lighting.
Indonesia's situation close to the equator and its daily average insolation level - estimated at 5 kWh/m2 - make it highly suitable for the installation of solar energy devices, especially for the huge rural population and in remote areas.
Both solar thermal and solar PV applications have been installed throughout the country, estimated in 2004 to total about 5 MW. Most of the solar thermal installations are used for domestic water heating, agriculture or crop drying and cooking. Solar PV systems are used at community centres for lighting, pumping and at health centres for the refrigeration of medicines.
Under the National Plan for PV, the indigenous manufacture of photovoltaic modules will be developed, the utilisation of PV systems in both rural and urban areas will be increased and the mechanism for grid-connected PV will be established.
Although the use of renewable energy is, at present, fairly limited, the Government plans to increase its share. The National Energy Policy states that by 2025 renewable energy will provide 17% of the energy mix (of which biomass, nuclear, hydro, solar, wind and coal bed methane will supply 5%).