Indonesia makes strides in solar power

The Asian Development Bank rolls out loans to help Indonesia build its first-ever solar power plants.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  May 24, 2018 at 6:53 AM
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May 24 (UPI) -- More than $150 million in loans will help Indonesia build its first utility-scale solar power plants, the Asian Development Bank said Thursday.

ADB said it would offer financial support for a project led by Vena Energy, the largest power producer in the Asia-Pacific, to advance renewable energy projects in Indonesia. The first phase of the project calls for the construction of a 72 megawatt wind power plant. The second phase calls for a combined 28 MW in solar power plants, the first ever envisioned for the country.

Vena Energy CEO Nitin Apte said his company was capitalizing on Indonesia's renewable energy commitments.

"Vena Energy is leveraging our regional project development track record, technical capabilities, and economies of scale to generate low-cost clean energy to support the government initiative, as well as create employment opportunities and drive economic growth in local communities," he said in a statement.

The Indonesia government pledged to use renewable energy resources like wind and solar power for 23 percent of its total energy mix by 2025.

Indonesia is an on-again-off-again member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, suspending its membership most recently in November 2016. Since then, the county has made consistent advances in low-carbon energy options.

With support from a $40 million finance agreement from the ADB, French energy company ENGIE made its debut in geothermal energy last year with a commitment to help build a 80 MW power plant in Indonesia, enough capacity to power 120,000 average homes.

Indonesia is also the world's fifth-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

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