Menyediakan energi bersih dari Mikrohidro

Posted on 30 January 2012  |   |  en  |  id

By Ben Hanley

Jakarta (30/01)-Climate change is one of the most significant challenges that Indonesia will face over the next century. With a population of 240 million, and annual growth in 2010 at 6.1%, Indonesia will be asked whether it is possible to continue on the same path without compromising the environment. Climate change has already seen the mean annual temperature in Indonesia rise by 0.3 degrees.

The climate condition could get even worse in the event that Indonesia’s trends in energy use continue. The country is living in a paradigm of unsustainable energy use, causing severe environmental degradation. Currently, 93% of Indonesia’s energy supply comes from fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil. Fossil fuels are proven to exasperate climate change due to the large quantities of greenhouse gases they emit.

In a positive step towards a better future, Indonesia’s government has pledged to increase the use of renewable energy from 7% to 15% through their 2025 vision, the National Energy Policy. Meanwhile, World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF), in their ground-breaking study The Energy Report presents a provocative scenario, setting a plan for the future where 100% of the world’s energy supplies are from renewable sources by 2050.

In order to accelerate the ambitious pathway towards clean power for our planet, advancing the use of micro hydro is one of the solutions.

As a renewable energy source, Micro Hydro has great potential for Indonesia’s future. The United Nations Development Programme has calculated that Indonesia has around 500 MW of Micro Hydro capacity, although currently only 21 MW has been installed. Moreover, the majority of Indonesia’s Micro Hydro capacity can be found in remote and rural communities, where access to electricity is rarely available.

In a Micro Hydro project energy is sourced from the power of a small stream through the construction of a water wheel that is attached to a generator. The natural flow of the stream is used as a power source to turn the wheel, which can then be used to drive an electricity generator. No water is lost in the system, as once it has passed through the wheel the water ends up back in the stream. Ultimately, Micro Hydro is a clean, sustainable energy source that consumes no natural resources, produces no emissions and creates zero waste.

In October 2010 WWF completed the construction of a Micro Hydro project in Sungai Lung Village, Central Kalimantan. Sungai Lung is situated in the remote surrounds of Central Kalimantan, with no access to government supplied electricity. Previously, the village used a diesel powered generator for energy supplies, but costs meant this was hardly in use. At completion, the Micro Hydro project in Sungai Lung provides 5kW of electricity, supplying all 10 households in the village.

With no need to buy diesel to power their generator, the cost of living has been measurably reduced for the community. This money can now be spent on health and education measures.. Also, a reliable electricity supply for lighting needs, cooking utensils and other appliances eminently improves their day to day standard of living.

Aside from improving the communities’ standard of living, it also provides substantial benefits for environmental conservation. According to Indra Wardhani, the WWF Indonesia Ring of Fire coordinator, “This project alone will save 20 tonnes of co² annually.”

Furthermore, the forest surrounding Sungai Lung is now saved from deforestation by the local community. As pointed out by Wardhani “Micro Hydro also supports forest conservation efforts, as trees are no longer cut down for the villages fuel needs”.

As a result of the successful Earth Hour campaign, WWF has promised to build a second Micro Hydro project in 2012. This time situated in Harowu village, Central Kalimantan, with a 15 kW capacity. One of the major advantages of Micro Hydro projects, apart from the obvious environmental benefits, is the minimal operational cost once construction has been completed. Consequently, remote rural villages in Indonesia can now have access to sustainable, self-sufficient energy supplies.

Micro Hydro is a proven renewable energy source, and WWF’s two projects in Kalimantan can be seen as the first step towards a sustainable future for all through 100% renewable energy by 2050.

© WWF-Indonesia/Primayunta Enlarge


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