Indonesia’s state-owned electricity company, PT PLN (Persero), is actively exploring the potential of nuclear power generation, a key component of the country’s ambitious shift towards cleaner energy sources. Their vision encompasses the deployment of a 100-megawatt (MW) nuclear power system. This move reflects a proactive step towards modernizing the energy landscape.
This innovative venture hinges on small modular nuclear reactors, a concept introduced to reduce dependence on conventional fossil fuels. Mochamad Soleh, Vice President of Technology Development at PLN Indonesia Power, emphasized the significance of these small-scale modular nuclear reactors as a viable alternative to traditional diesel power plants. This revelation was made public on October 17, 2023.
The project unfolds in partnership with prominent entities such as the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), and NuScale Power, an American energy corporation. These collaborative efforts aim to bring the promise of cleaner, more sustainable nuclear energy to fruition in Indonesia.
According to Soleh, nuclear power is one of the three pivotal new energy sources on Indonesia’s radar. In tandem with exploring nuclear power, PLN is diligently investigating strategies to mitigate carbon emissions. Among these strategies is the co-firing of biomass in coal-fired power plants. This is a practice that aligns with the global push for renewable and cleaner energy solutions.
Furthermore, PLN envisions the gradual phasing out of coal-fired power plants. Subsequently, replacing them with alternative facilities that harness zero-carbon fuels, like hydrogen. This transition may also incorporate advanced technologies for carbon capture and energy storage via battery installations.
Three other energy sources aside from Nuclear Power
Indonesia’s focus on these three new energy sources – hydrogen, nuclear, and ammonia – is pivotal for achieving the nation’s Net Zero Emission (NZE) goals by 2060. The challenges encountered on this journey include ensuring the affordability of these emerging energy options for the general public. After all, affordability is a key consideration in Indonesia’s broader energy strategy.
To facilitate these ambitious objectives, the Indonesian government has outlined a comprehensive roadmap for green hydrogen and ammonia utilization through 2060. This roadmap encompasses regulatory frameworks, quality standards, infrastructural development, technology integration, supply chain management, and demand projections.
Dadan Kusdiana, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), envisions Indonesia becoming a global hub for hydrogen, underscoring the potential that hydrogen holds in driving Indonesia’s energy transition. Currently utilized predominantly in the industrial sector, hydrogen serves as a crucial raw material for fertilizer production. However, Indonesia envisions green hydrogen playing a transformative role. This role involves decarbonizing the transportation sector by 2031. It also entails greening the industrial sector by 2041.
In summary, Indonesia’s energy landscape is dynamic. It’s characterized by a strong commitment to source diversification, including nuclear energy. Additionally, it lays the foundation for sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives. All these efforts are made while considering the affordability for its people. This proactive approach reflects the nation’s determined march towards a greener, more sustainable energy future.