Indonesia is an archipelagic country, with a vast territory and large number of residents. This is a challenge on its own for the Government, especially in conducting effort in creating equalization of development through provision of access to energy for the communities especially in remote, frontier, and outlying islands regions. One of the main indicators used by the Government to measure the reach of energy provision in Indonesia is electrification ratio. According to BPS’s definition, electrification ratio is defined as ratio between the number of household customers who received lighting sources both from PLN’s electricity or from non-PLN’s electricity and the total number of households.
From data released by Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources/Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (“ESDM”) through its official portal, until November 2020 Indonesia’s electrification ratio has reached 99,15 percent. Although this achievement seems large, the indicators used do not look deeply into the quality of electricity provision received by the communities in depth. Taking sample from Eastern Indonesia region, there are still a lot of communities who even though have obtained access to electricity, however the quality of the electricity received has low voltage and is only available for a few hours. If seen from the equalization aspect, there are still 5 provinces in Indonesia with electrification ratio under 95%, namely Papua, Maluku, West Sulawesi, and Central Borneo. East Nusa Tenggara/Nusa Tenggara Timur (“NTT”) Province alone has electrification ratio under 90%. Communities who have not obtained access to electricity are generally located in areas far from national electricity grid, spread across remote areas, or are living in small-to-medium-sized islands. Even though, in these areas, energy resilience becomes very vital because it is also related to state resilience mainly in frontier regions.
To fulfill access to energy for communities right now, especially those located in remote areas, generally, the government is using three main strategies namely expansion of State Electricity Company/Perusahaan Listrik Negara (“PLN”)’s grid, usage of isolated grid, and distribution of energy-saving solar-powered lighting/Lampu Tenaga Surya Hemat Energi (“LTSHE”). These strategies certainly have different advantages and challenges. Indonesia’s challenging geographical condition, effort of PLN ‘s grid, for example, faces a lot of troubles such as the extended duration to complete works, low energy consumptions, and huge investment cost. Isolated grid such as mini and micro-grid generator mainly based on diesel generator also require high cost due to significant logistical cost of fuel. Distribution of LTSHE on the other hand, is also still a short-term and temporary solution (pre-electrification) due to only being able to provide limited electricity for basic lighting with service life of only just 1-3 years.