U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Robert Blake visited the largest geothermal power plant in Indonesia on April 10. The 377 megawatt Salak geothermal power plant operated by Chevron Geothermal Salak, which has contributed to national electricity needs since 1994, is an example of the important role of U.S. companies in supporting Indonesia’s energy and environmental goals. During the visit, Ambassador Blake learned that Indonesia has more geothermal potential than any other country, but is currently exploiting less than 5% of that potential. Geothermal energy, unlike coal, gas, or oil, will never be depleted and does not emit greenhouse gases.
“Indonesia has a permanent global competitive advantage in geothermal, and companies from the United States can support Indonesia’s efforts to develop energy resources that utilize that competitive advantage,” remarked Ambassador Blake after his trip. “Geothermal does not rely on an external fuel whose price fluctuates in the commodity markets – this helps boost Indonesia’s energy security. And it does not pollute the air or contribute to climate change, which improves Indonesia’s energy sustainability.”
The Ambassador highlighted U.S. Trade and Development Agency efforts to support growth in Indonesia’s geothermal sector over the past several years, including providing over $2.2 million to fund three geothermal project feasibility studies, conducting geothermal training workshops in five locations in Indonesia, and hosting Indonesia geothermal sector leaders for a business mission in the United States.
The visit highlighted the significant opportunities for growth in Indonesia’s geothermal sector if the market and regulatory structures provide incentives for investment that can meet Indonesia’s ambitious renewable energy targets.”
In addition to support for geothermal energy, Ambassador Blake noted the U.S. government is currently investing over $350 million to advance other renewable energy projects through MCC’s Green Prosperity Project, USAID’s Indonesia Clean Energy Development Project, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sustainable Electricity for Remote Indonesia Grids Project. “No one is investing more in Indonesia’s renewable energy future than the United States,” said the Ambassador.