Indonesian and Dutch governments plan geothermal study & training program

To work on its ambitious geothermal development targets, Indonesia needs more than 10,000 skilled workers, which a new cooperation of the Indonesian and Dutch government want to target, planning a geothermal study and training program.

The Ministry of National Development Planning / National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) is working with the Dutch government to strengthen Human Resources (HR) in the geothermal energy sector . The form of cooperation is the establishment of a geothermal energy study and training program for the people of Indonesia.

Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro said that Indonesia needed 10,000 skilled workers to utilize the country’s geothermal energy potential. With the National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN), the target for the utilization of Geothermal Power Plant (PLTP) is 7,500 MW, with a current installed power generation capacity of 1,949 MW.

“We still lack expertise. Talking about universities that have geothermal related fields is not much,” Bambang said, in Jakarta this week.

Another effort to develop geothermal energy is providing incentives that help reduce investment costs of exploration. This incentive is needed because geothermal exploration requires high investment and risk funds.

With that incentive, the selling price of electricity to PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) (Persero) can cover the investment costs. “To be able to run, first there must be incentives for exploration. Because the benefits to develop geothermal energy are not enough,” Bambang said.

With being the country with the largest geothermal potential, Indonesia so far has only reached a utilization of around 7% of its pteontial.

Meanwhile, countries such as the Philippines, Italy and New Zealand have utilized 30% of geothermal energy. “It means that now we have to plan how to use this geothermal energy to 30%,” he said.