1 Mar 2002 – Indonesia is currently utilizing only 3015 MW or less than five per cent of its hydro-power potential of 75 000 MW to supplement its electricity needs, state electricity firm PLN said.
“This is because of a lack of investment funds, and the fact that the continuing monetary crisis has forced the government to delay construction of large-scale hydropower plants,” PLN president Eddie Widiono said Thursday.
Speaking at a seminar on dams, he said Indonesia was now actually struggling to meet domestic need for electricity, and without the creation of new sources, the country might suffer an energy deficit in 2004. “With the peak of our need for electricity to be reached in 2005 and without resort to nuclear power, we will definitely suffer a deficit. The problem can be averted if we develop hydropower on a large scale. Unfortunately, we cannot do this yet because of funding constraints,” he said.
Widiono said a number of hydropower plants in the country such as in Riau and West Sumatra were currently declining in production capacity. The Singkarak Lake Hydropower Plant in West Sumatra, for instance, was now only producing seven megawatts while its capacity was actually 175 MW.
The decline in the Singkarak plant’s capacity was related to a drop in the water debit of the lake as a consequence of damage to the basin areas of the rivers flowing into the lake.