Dutch, RI develop new solar energy system

A Dutch-Indonesian initiative has developed a new system for photovoltaic (PV) solar energy, offering a solution to help meet the rapidly increasing demand for electricity in Indonesia due to the country’s vibrant economic growth and growing prosperity.

Angele Reinders, a solar energy expert from Twente University and the project’s leader, said the new system could produce about 50,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year, the equivalent of saving around 5,000 liters of diesel and 11,000 kilograms of coal annually.

“A pilot plant has been installed in Papua. We have provided training courses on solar energy and there is now a monitoring system for the PV system,” said Reinders, an associate professor in Industrial Design Engineering at the university, in a release made available to The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

She added that the town hall in the provincial capital Jayapura, where the project was launched, is now using the solar energy system and has become largely self-sufficient regarding its energy needs.

Reinders was awarded a grant of ¤700,000 from the Dutch government to develop grid-connected PV systems in Indonesia.

Under the program, Twente University and local counterpart, the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), along with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and various local installers have worked together to develop the PV system in Papua over the past two years. “Until three years ago, Indonesia had hardly any experience with solar energy systems that were connected to the grid,” Reinders said.

“Due to growing demand for [the] utility, the local electricity network has suffered many blackouts, while noisy and polluting diesel generators have dominated views of streets [in] the city. In remote areas of Papua, diesel has to be flown in for generators,” she added.

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