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2023 World Hydropower Congress, Indonesia's hope to overcome hydropower plant development challenges

Written by  Rahma
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially opened the 2023 World Hydropower Congress (WHC) at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Badung Regency, Bali, on Tuesday, October 31, 2023. In his speech, President Joko Widodo hoped that the forum could produce policy recommendations for a more sustainable Earth.
Previously, at the opening of the WHC plenary session on Tuesday (31/10), the Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif said that hydropower plants have contributed to Indonesia's electricity system for more than 100 years. As quoted from the official website of the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, he said that the role of hydropower is currently becoming increasingly important, in efforts to accelerate Indonesia's energy transition to achieve Net Zero Emissions (NZE) by 2060.
Minister Arifin said that the congress, which was attended by more than 43 countries and over 300 companies, was expected to be able to overcome various challenges in the development of hydroelectric power plants and to increase constructive collaboration globally.
Minister Arifin further explained that Indonesia has a hydropower potential of 95 Gigawatt (GW), and the installed plants' capacity has currently reached 6.7 GW. In 2030, the hydropower plant development is targeted to reach more than 10 Gigawatts, and in the future, this will be increased to reach 72 Gigawatts by 2060. Meanwhile, the pumped storage will reach 4.2 Gigawatts.
According to Minister Arifin, hydropower is a type of renewable energy that can be used as a base electricity load and also as a solution for the intermittency of renewable energy variables, such as solar and wind power in the electricity network.
The Indonesian government is currently prioritizing the development of super grid transmission to improve inter-island connectivity. It is even more important to encourage the use of hydroenergy sources and other renewable energy in the country. Arifin added that construction on several hydroelectric power plant projects in Indonesia is also currently underway, such as Jatigede power plant in West Java with a capacity of 110 Megawatts (MW) and Asahan power plant in North Sumatra (174 MW), which are targeted for starting operation in 2024. Meanwhile, Peusangan 1 and 2 power plants in Aceh (88 MW) and Merangin power plant (350 MW) will be operated in 2025, and the Batang Toru power plant in North Sumatra (520 MW) will be operated in 2026.
Through the 2023 World Hydropower Congress, Minister Arifin hopes that all parties can strengthen cooperation to increase the use of technological innovation and access to competitive financing.
The 2023 WHC will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2023 with the theme 'Powering Sustainable Growth'.
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