The Indonesian Ministry of Village, Disadvantaged Region Development and Transmigration stated that approximately 70 percent of more than 74 thousand villages in the country had access to the Internet.
“Only 30 percent of the total villages in Indonesia have not had access to the Internet. We hope that all villages across Indonesian territory will have access to the Internet this year,” Indonesian Minister of Village, Disadvantaged Region Development and Transmigration Eko Putro Sandjojo stated after the launch of an application for discussing ways to develop the village on Tuesday.
The application is android based and can be accessed as a forum of communication between village officials and facilitators for rural development. The application was created under cooperation between the ministry and the Australian government.
Through the application, village officials and facilitators can share information about the management of the village. As many as four provinces have become models for implementing the application, namely Aceh, West Java, East Java and West Nusa Tenggara, the minister said.
“In future, this application will be accessed by the local community, so that they can also monitor the management of the village,” he noted.
Sandjojo added that the application was expected to enable the facilitators to provide support and ideas more efficiently and effectively for rural development. The application will particularly provide the latest data and information to the ministry.
“Using the right data, it is expected to establish the right policy anyway,” he added.
The ministry can also use the application to monitor and analyze problems faced by every village to be discussed further. Through the application, the ministry can identify villages that require further support in implementing the Village Act.
The ministry can also use the application to provide guidance, regulatory updates and information to the village facilitators and authorities directly.
The Indonesian government remains optimistic about its bilateral relations with the US following Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the global superpower, as Indonesia’s main concern is its exports to the US.
While the US trade policy under President Trump might potentially lead to protectionism, it will not significantly affect Indonesian exports to the US, according to Director of the Executive Center of Reform on Economics Mohammad Faisal.
The US was Indonesia’s major trading partner, with trade balance reaching US$19.27 billion during the January-October 2016 period.
Indonesia’s export products to the US are mostly sought-after commodities, such as rubber, shrimp, and furniture, and it also includes manufactured products, such as footwear and textiles, he pointed out.
“The US is forecast to maintain its importation of products, including textiles, garments, and footwear, from countries that use cheap labor force, such as Vietnam and Indonesia,” he added.
Following his telephonic conversation to congratulate Trump, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) expressed optimism that bilateral relations between Indonesia and the US will remain sound.
“I am optimistic that the relations between Indonesia and the US will be better, but it should be based on mutual benefits,” the president stated in Bogor, West Java, on January 22, 2017.
Jokowi recalled that during their telephone conversation, Trump told him that he had several friends and businesses in Indonesia.
Earlier, following the election of Republican candidate Trump, the government said Indonesia was preparing a set of foreign policies to enable the country to adjust to the change in the US government.
“The Indonesian government is currently involved in planning and preparations in response to the new political situation (in the US),” Johan Budi, President Jokowi’s special staff for communications, stated in Jakarta on Friday.
He also made assurance that the relationship between both nations would remain on good terms.
Jokowi had earlier noted that regardless of the candidate that the US public elects to be their next president, the bilateral relations between Indonesia and the US would continue to be close and warm.
Budi also remarked that the Indonesian government will continue to closely follow Trumps foreign policies in a bid to maintain sound relations between Indonesia and the US.
“We look at this as an anticipatory measure to prepare us for potential global changes, not only with regard to changes in the US foreign policy but also a general shift in global politics. This is something that the Indonesian government needs to do,” he affirmed.
In the economic field, Indonesia should aim for more business opportunities with the US, as Trump is a businessman, noted Rony Mamur Bishry, lecturer of American Studies at the University of Indonesia.
At a forum organized by the Habibie Alumni Program titled “Trump Presidency and its Impact to Indonesia” held on Jan 21, Bishry stated that Indonesia had to be more aware of potential business partnerships with the US industry, such as with its technology sector.
Due to his background in business rather than politics, Trump is expected to prioritize US economic interests over political formalities.
“He is a realistic businessman. As long as we can find intelligent businessmen to negotiate with him, I think Indonesias economic position with the US will be safe,” Bishry noted.
The US is ranked as the 10th-largest investor in Indonesia, with a total value of $430.40 billion in 2016, which is mostly in mining projects.
As the US is very competitive in the field of modern technology, he suggested that Indonesia should form partnerships with major US companies for developing knowledge and boosting its technology sector in fields, such as software, gaming, and animation.
Bishrys recommendations were in line with the governments goal of producing 1,000 technology-based entrepreneurs and 8,000 micro, small and medium enterprises by 2020. The digital technology sector, particularly financial technology, has the potential to have a major impact on the countrys economic development.
Meanwhile, Hikmahanto Juwana, an international law professor at the University of Indonesia, viewed Trump as being quite bold while mentioning terrorism by using the terms “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Trump implied that only “Islamic” terrorist groups would be wiped out, he pointed out.
“This can trigger both public and official discontent in the Islamic world against the US,” he added.
Maswadi Rauf, another professor from the University of Indonesia, pointed out that the Indonesian government should not harbor high hopes from the US government under President Trump, as he prefers to work with other Western countries rather than with developing nations, such as Indonesia.
He added that Trumps earlier comments, which could be perceived by some as being racist and anti-Islamic, would also affect Indonesia.
In December 2015, Trump had called for barring all Muslims from entering the US.
“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the US until our countrys representatives can figure out what is going on,” his campaign press release was quoted as saying by CNN.
Trump had earlier also called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database of all Muslims living in the US.
“If Trumps anti-Islamic stance continues during his administration, the political turmoil it will cause to global politics will inevitably affect Indonesia,” Rauf concluded.
Geothermal power is expected to contribute 9,500 megawatts to the country’s energy requirement in 2025 when oil contribution is to be cutback by 30 percent.
Stability of production of geothermal power is more reliable as it is not affected by weather, Deputy Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Arcandra Tahar said when visiting Pertamina Geothermal Energi (PGE) of Kamojang Area on Sunday (1/8).
The superiority in production stability makes geothermal power base load in electricity provision by state electricity company PLM for the public, Arcandra said.
Production of geothermal power as a base load would continue at full capacity when the use of power at its lowest level, he said.
“Geothermal power plants (PLTP) could continue to operate at full capacity while oil fueled and coal fired power plants have to be shut down as bad weather,” he said.
He said the challenge in the development of geothermal power is competitiveness of the geothermal power price.
The production cost of geothermal power is high making it less competitive in price facing power produced from other facility such as, gas, oil and coal fired power plants.
Data at the Geology department of the ESDM Ministry showed that Indonesia holds the largest reserve of geothermal in the world.
The data said Indonesia has known geothermal reserves of 29 GWe found in 265 locations in the country or around 40 percent of the worlds reserves.
If the potential could be fully converted into reality, the country would save 1.2 million barrels per day needed to generate energy, Arcandra said.
Meanwhile, Operation Director of PGE Ali Mundakir said by the end of 2016, the installed capacity of PGE was 537 MW electricity equivalent. Four of 14 Geothermal Working Area (WKP), have been in operation by PGE. They are Kamojang Area in West Java, Sibayak in North Sumatra, Lahendong in North Sulawesi, and Ulubelu in Lampung.
Five other WKP are operated by its partners including Sarulla in North Sumatra, Gunung Salak, Darajat, Wayang Windu, all three in West Java and Bedugul in Bali, Ali said.
He said the Kamojang Area is the first WKP in Indonesia producing geothermal power. It started commercial operation with PLTP Monoblok built in 1987 with a capacity of 250 kWe officially commissioned by then Mining and Energy Minister Subroto.
Commercial operation of the PLTP in Kamojang started in 1983 with Kamojang Unit-1 coming on line (30 MW), followed by Unit-2 and Unit-3 in 1987 each with a capacity of 55 MW.
“The three units of PLTP are owned by Indonesia Power (IP), a subsidiary of PLN. PGE, therefore, sold geothermal steam to IP,” Ali said.
The Unit – 4 of PLTP Kamojang came on line in 2008 with a capacity of 60 MW and PLTP Unit-5 in 2015 with a capacity of 35 MW.
PGE handled the jobs from explorations to development of the field as well as the construction and operation of the power plants.
“The output in electricity is sold to PLN which deals with the end users,” Ali said.
Altogether the total installed capacity of the Kamojang Area is 235 MW electricity equivalent, supplied to the high voltage 150 KV cabel of the Java-Madura-Bali interconnection.
Ali said the Kamojang Area has received a citation of Proper Emas (Gold) from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in six successive years from 2011 to 2016.
On that Sunday, Arcandra also visited Geothermal Information Center (GIC), PLTP operation areas, Kamojang Crater tourist area, and Kamojang Eagle Conservation Center (PKEK), built by PGE in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Center (BBKSDA) of West Java.
Accompanying Arcandra included Director General for New and Conservation Energy (EBTKE) Ridha Mulyana and Geothermal Director Yunus Saefulhak.