Indonesia is the largest archipelagic country in the world, located in the South-East Asia area. According to Indonesia’s National Coordinating Agency for Survey and Mapping, the total number of islands in the archipelago is 13,466, of which 922 are permanently inhabited.
The equator crosses through Indonesia providing it abundant solar irradiation necessary for developing and exploiting solar energy. This favorable climate condition allows Indonesia to receive an almost constant and plentiful sunlight amount throughout the year. This means the yearly output is more predictable.
The frequent rain could also help to wash some dust and dirt that sediments on the solar panel glass.
Since Indonesia is an archipelagic country, some remote islands still do not have access to electricity. This off-grid deployment of solar energy to these islands could help to improve the communities’ lives.
Solar energy can generate electricity during day time and store them in a battery. This electricity is then used at night or when there is little sunlight.
The off-grid system is normally combined with diesel engine to mitigate the intermittence of solar power.
Another supporting point is that in the recent Paris Agreement, countries are committed to cutting the carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emission. Achieving the CO2 emission target can be challenging without having some form of renewable energy generation.
While there are many other options for the country such as wind, geothermal and tidal, these technologies are generally location dependent. Solar power prefers area with minimum shading. Solar power would be able ideal in area such as rural farm, commercial building in metropolitan city and residential rooftops.
Finally, the job nature of solar panels installation is similar to the construction industry.
The strong solar energy growth in the future could create new jobs. A construction company can take on more projects related to solar in additional to their routine jobs. New skills are needed and training from suppliers could help to speed up the upgrade of the skills.
Indonesia can benefit and derive the greatest value from solar energy technology. Nonetheless, there are other important factors that need to be considered.
They are short-term and long-term energy policy from the government, the financing of the projects, the quality control for building a quality and reliable power generation. These topics deserved high attention and must be considered throughout the implementation of the project to reap the full benefits of this technology.