Written by : Faddy Ardian

Indonesia is a country with enormous energy resource potential. But unfortunately Indonesia still has not able to optimize its resources, especially concerning energy supply to it citizen. Some of Indonesian citizens still do not have access to electricity and the rest of it does not have any guarantee on the availability of energy supply. Sometime we should prepare candle and generator to continue our activity. Not only electricity, in some areas, it is still difficult to obtain gas needed to cook. This problem affects our productivity and it affects our economy. This problem has not been solved until now.

Using conventional energy resources makes us depend on oil and natural gas. With our oil reserve (approximately 9 Billion barrel), if we produce 500 million barrel per year we will finish our oil reserve in 18 years. In case of natural gas, our natural gas reserve can only be sufficient for 60 years. These facts show a big problem in the current energy supply system in Indonesia. Our energy supply system needs to be developed with other non conventional energy to stabilize our energy supply.

We have a lot of potential natural resources that can be used for energy supply. But unfortunately, Indonesia has not yet optimized its natural resource for energy supply. Below is a table of potential energy from natural resource data and the portion of its capacity that is already installed in Indonesia:

From the data above, it can be seen that we have not yet used much of our potential natural resources for supplying energy. We still have a lot potential resource that can be used. However, we cannot yet optimally use it because obtaining energy supply through natural resources has various problems. The problems are in various aspects ranging from economic, social and policy.

Problems in each energy resources for energy supply:


  • Exploration and development costs are very high, therefore the total investment for geothermal power is very large.
  • Equipment and machinery must be imported for exploration, there are no products in the Indonesia that are suitable for this purpose.
  • Development of geothermal wells takes a long time. Not many investors are interested in such long term invest.


  • Solar cell and it components are expensive, so the Investment needed are high, although upon completion the operational costs are very low.
  • National Industry has not produced any solar panel or solar panel components.
  • Research of Solar power is very little.

Wind energy

  • The current windmill technology and the common generator still need to be adapted for Indonesia natural environment.
  • The average wind speed in Indonesia is only 5 m / sec (only some regions in the eastern Indonesia have high wind speed), so it is necessary to develop research in creating low-speed windmill.

Nuclear energy

  • Nuclear power plant construction and it components are expensive, so the investment needed is high.
  • National Industry has not produced any nuclear plant components. Almost 80% of the components need to be imported.
  • People still couldn’t accept nuclear power as energy supply because the fear in radiation hazards and waste.

Water power

  • In some areas, the range of river debit fluctuation between dry season and rainy season is too wide so the power isn’t stable.
  • We need to develop technology according to Indonesia climate condition.

To overcome all of these problems, we need to make approaches that can overcome this energy supply problem. High investment in energy plant makes the growth of the energy plant still small. Making policies that could encourage investors to invest in energy sector will increase growth of energy plant. For example, like giving fiscal incentive and subsidy to investor. The increasing growth of energy plant will have possitive effect on stabilization of energy supply. The stability of energy supply could increase the productivity of its people and this in return will provide a positive impact on the welfare of it people.

The policy must be supported by the development of technology. National industry has a major role in this problem. Imported component will increase the value of investment needed and the growth rate of energy plant will diminish. For that reason, the government needs to assist the development of technology by creating a new industry for energy plant components, so not only we could increase the growth rate of power plant but we could also provide new job opportunities. This way, not only it will stabilize the energy supply but also reduce the unemployment rate.

We also need to provide technology socialization. Most of Indonesian people can not accept new technology even though it increases access and ease in energy supply. Nuclear power is the easiest example. Because of less information about the waste management and the radiation hazard, people still object the use of nuclear power as an energy supply. They are afraid that their environment will be polluted by the waste and the radiation. This condition resulted in the fact that there is no development in nuclear power as an alternative source of energy supply so far in Indonesia. Another example is in the use of high voltage grid (sutet). At the first time it is introduced, there were many objections as people were afraid of its side effects. Because of that, the socialization of new energy resources for all people needs to be encouraged.

We can conclude that having a big resource of energy is not the key to secure our energy supply. The key to secure energy supply is developing technology to use every energy resource, creating policies that could encourage energy plant growth, and the socialization of this technology to the community. With these key we could achieve the stability of energy supply.

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