Gunung Salak Geothermal Energy
Sustainable Development Goals supported:
There are over 150 active volcanoes in Indonesia, giving the archipelago nation huge potential for geothermal energy production. Indeed, 40 percent of the worlds geothermal reserves are located underneath Indonesia, but only about 6 percent have been developed. Setting up a geothermal power plant is costly and risky. On top of this, geothermal exploration was classed as a mining activity by the government until 2014. This made it near-impossible to pursue, as almost 80 percent of Indonesias geothermal locations are within protected national parks.
Located within Halimun-Salak National Park, the Gunung Salak Geothermal Energy project involves the capacity upgrade of three turbines at an existing geothermal power plant from 55 MW to 60 MW, significantly increasing its efficiency. This additional installed capacity of 15 MW allows the plant to generate more energy from the same source of geothermal steam. This helps service Indonesias growing energy demands with clean electricity, reducing the need for emissions-heavy fossil fuel burning power plants.
The project creates social benefits extending beyond simple emissions reduction. The project promotes sustainable development and supports regional educational programs, running activities such as book donations at local schools. The Gunung Salak project also improves employment opportunities by offering vocational training classes in the garment industry to unemployed local community members, and improves local transport infrastructure through, for example, upgrading roads and bridges.