Millions without power
Indonesia is among the most populous nations on Earth. With a population of over 257 million people, it has the world’s fourth largest population, and is home to 3.5% of mankind. A country of such size demands vast resources to support itself. Jakarta the capital has a greater metropolitan area consisting of 30 million people. A bustling mega city, it is but one of the areas in the country with great power needs. However, electricity shortages are a reality for tens of millions in the South East Asian nation. 96% of people may have some access to electricity. While this is a large majority, it still leaves 10 million with no electricity at all. Of the people with electrical access, this is often patchy and unreliable. This is not an issue arising from resources.
Indonesia has a wealth of proven reserves of fossil fuels available for energy generation. With 22 billion barrels of oil and gas reserves and 28 billion tonnes of recoverable goal, Indonesia has the potential to meet its own energy needs. Beyond fossil fuels, renewable energy has incredible potential. Geothermal energy, for example, could provide 28 gigawatts of energy. The failure to invest in adequate power stations for generation has left the energy infrastructure at a lower level than is optimal.
To solve these issues, the Indonesian government has found a novel solution. Many nations make use of water in order to solve their power generation issues. Normally this takes the form of hydroelectric or wave power. In Indonesia, however, this is not the case. A raft of floating power stations has been launched by the Indonesian government. Designed to help meet short-term energy requirements, these power generating ships will serve the eastern part of the country, particularly the eastern islands, where energy demand has long outstripped supply.
Let there be light
The five new floating power stations, owned by the Turkish firm Karadeniz Holdings, were deployed on the 8th of December. Due complications, the launch was delayed for eight months, having been first announced in April 2015. Though touted as a short-term fix, the $50 billion initiative may actually be a long-term solution. As power demand in Indonesia’s eastern isles grows 12% each year, the floating power stations will fill a crucial need. By 2019, Indonesia hopes to generate 35 gigawatts of power stations. The floating power stations will prove instrumental in achieving these ambitions.