Waste challenges in Indonesia

Norwegian clean energy solutions, marine and maritime technology can help Indonesia with their challenges and help the country reach their energy production targets.

Sunrise at Borobudur temple on Java island, Indonesia

A country half way across the globe with more than 260 million people, making Indonesia the world’s 4th most populous country in the world behind China, India and the US, but only the 16th largest economy. The country is still growing at a rate of 5-7% per year and is assumed to surpass most countries in Europe by leaps and bounds by 2030.

Increasing energy production

Indonesia has a lot to offer. Everyone has probably heard about Bali, but who has heard about the Komodo Island where the only real dragons live? Or Kalimantan, where the Orangutans live? Although Indonesia is still very much an oil and gas nation, its resources are waning, and has become a net importer of oil, and is barely self-sufficient when it comes to gas.

Gas is said to be the economic driving force in the years to come, where investment in LNG tech is necessary. How is gas going to be Indonesia’s savior you wonder? It probably won’t be, but Indonesia has hairy goals and ambitions. They have set a target of increasing their energy production capacity by 35 000 MW by 2019 (Norway’s total: 34 GW), of which 23% will be clean energy and most of the rest is coal.

Maritime and marine activities

Indonesia is filled with water (rivers and rain) and is a geothermal hotspot without comparison. What are the key ingredients for hydro power you say? And what is needed to harness geothermal energy? Water and drilling!

The vast country has long beautiful coast lines and is perfect for maritime and marine activities. Being the second largest producer of seafood in the world, and dwarfing Norway’s total production of 1,3 metric tons by a factor of 10!

While manpower is cheap, which is a benefit in the textile industry, they are sorely lacking in sustainable aquaculture and technologically advanced fish farms. Captured fish is still a prime asset, but declining as the oceans are being emptied and filled with plastics. Which leads us to where Indonesia has asked for help especially from Norway and the Nordics; WASTE MANAGEMENT.

Waste management

Indonesia produces 64 million tons of waste annually and almost 70% ends up in landfills. A lot of the waste doesn’t even get that far and ends up in the streets, nature and the ocean. These landfills are struggling to cope with the ever-growing population and economic growth, and many would characterize them as merely dump sites. The government has set a national strategy and even asked the Nordic countries to present solutions to the challenge ahead.

Waste-to-Energy can contribute immensely in tackling the complex waste issues, as well as play an important part in supporting the government’s target of 35 000 MW. Incineration plants are on the table for development in 7 cities. However, the plans have been annulled by the Supreme Court as different environmental groups were against incinerators. The government is currently revising the regulation for developer implementation and early this year, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources introduce a new feed-in-tariff (FIT) for renewable energy sources, including waste.

Marine pollution

Indonesia is the 2nd biggest marine polluter in the world. There are 3.2 million tons of plastic waste in Indonesian waters (2010). During the World Oceans Summit in February 2017, Indonesia pledged up to USD 1 billion each year to reduce the country’s plastic waste by 70% over the next eight years. The marine litter has invaded tourism and coastal areas. It also threatens the environment and marine biology. Recent research found that more than a third of sampled commercial fish consumed plastic, or microplastics, which again effect human health.

All said, Norway have all sorts of technology and knowhow that could help Indonesia grow and overcome these obstacles. We have perhaps the best aquaculture industry in the world, we are world leading in hydro power plants, we have ships that can gather plastics from the ocean, the most effective drilling in the O&G industry and exciting new companies that can harness geothermal power, Waste to Energy solutions that are everyday life, Plastic to Textiles and much, much more.

There is no time to WASTE!

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