The State Owned Electricity Company (PLN) has planned two electrification programs in the eastern Indonesia which are Bright Maluku by 2020 and Bright Papua by 2020 to achieve 97 percent of electrification by 2020. For these programs, PLN has allocated 2.5 trillion IDR in 2017. The program fro Papua it self are allocated at 1.7 trillion IDR, while Maluku gets 800 billion IDR. The funding comes from the State Budget of 2017.
The Bright Papua by 2020 program covers electricity distribution to 14 Regencies, 300 Districts and 2,500 villages up to 2020. The General Manager of PLN in Papua and West Papua provinces, Yohannes Sukrislismono, explained that the challenges of the implementation of Bright Papua by 2020 program lies on the geographic condition of Papua and the challenging land acquisition.
Many of the locations in Papua can only be reached by airplane. In addition, the communication access is also problematic. To buy the token for electricity has become an additional challenge because of the lack of communication. Hence, PLN will actively engage and cooperate with the local government to improve the chance for the success of electrification in Papua.
The 1.7 trillion IDR funding allocated by PLN would be used for the electrification of 309 villages in Papua. Currently, there are still 3,500 villages all over Papua which are still without electrification. The electrification in Papua is still 45% which will be pushed to 75% in 2019. Therefore, the funding for electrification in Papua has been increased 6 times from 300 billion IDR in 2016.
There are several ways to improve electrification in Papua. In order to distribute electricity to villages that do not have electricity, the infrastructure for access is key.
If the village has already been connected by road to other areas with electricity, then PLN would just have to extend the electricity distribution for those areas. However, to isolated villages with limited access and no road connection, PLN would build Diesel Electricity Generator (PLTD), under the term that the location can still be accessed by land to distribute solar fuel.
However, if the location is very hard to access, and the cost to distribute solar to that area is very expensive, it is impossible to build PLTD. PLN would then build Solar Electricity Generator (PLTS) or utilize other renewable energy resources that are easily available in those areas.
One thing for sure is, the funding would give tremendous leverage for the electrification in Papua. It is also in line with the government’s program of energy self sufficiency which starts from the rural areas such as the villages in Papua.