Figure 1. Discussion About Renewable Energy Resources in Indonesia's Ocean with Prof. Purnomo Yusgiantoro

Figure 1. Discussion About Renewable Energy Resources in Indonesia’s Ocean with Prof. Purnomo Yusgiantoro

On April 7, 2018, Institute of Technology Sepuluh Nopember (ITS) hosted the Grand Seminar OCEANO 2018 with the theme, “Sustainable Development for the Indonesian Seas” in Surabaya. This seminar was moderated by Mr. Agro Wisudawan (ITS) and invited an expert panel made up of Prof. Hikmahanto Juwana (professor of international law of Universitas Indonesia); Mr. Sutrisno (Director of Public Engineering, Maintenance, and Repair of PT. PAL Indonesia (Persero)); and Prof. Purnomo Yusgiantoro (Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia (2004-2009) and Minister of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia (2009-2014)). The goal of this seminar is to provide a maritime-related insight not only for students but also for communities and professionals.

The first speaker, Prof. Hikmahanto Juwana brought up significant issues inside the government’s policy on the development of the Indonesian seas. He delivered the three milestones of Indonesia as an archipelagic country and followed by explaining four constraints of the process of reaching the third milestone. In the second session, a discussion about marine infrastructure development in Indonesia was discussed by Mr. Sutrisno. He emphasized that marine infrastructure development in Indonesia needs great attention from the government.

As for the last speaker, Prof. Purnomo Yusgiantoro brought the discussion about the potential of renewable energy sources in Indonesia’s ocean. As a start, he explained the theory of ocean energy as renewable energy and a glimpse of ocean energy application in the international sphere. In his explanation, there are six kinds of ocean energy: (1) wave energy; (2) maximum-tidal energy; (3) ocean current energy; (4) ocean heat energy (OTEC); (5) seaweed biofuels energy (Gracilaria & Aucheuma cotonii) and (6) salt energy. However, based on the current international experience, there are only wave energy and tidal energy/ocean currents energy which have been developed successfully. This two kind of ocean energy has reached the economy of scale, while the others are considered a pilot project. Although the cost to build ocean energy is high and the low energy output is making it difficult to achieve its economy of scale, some countries have successfully developed ocean energy as a power generation. In 2018, the highest capacity of oceanic energy located in Korea (511 MW), followed by France (246 MW), UK (139 MW), Canada (40 MW), Belgium (20 MW), China (12 MW), and Sweden (11 MW).

In Indonesia, there is high potential ocean energy especially for ocean currents, ocean heat, and ocean waves. The ocean waves energy potential in Indonesia is mostly located on the west coast of Southern Sumatra (70 kW / m), the southern coast of Western Java (40 kW / m), and also along the south coast of Java to Nusa Tenggara (10-20 kW / m). The tidal ocean energy potential could be found in the straits and bays of Indonesia, such as Bagansiapiapi, Palu Bay, Bima Bay (NTB), West Kalimantan, Papua, South Java Coast, Bali Strait, Lombok Strait, and Makassar Strait. Furthermore, for ocean heat energy, the potential areas are located beneath the equator around 6-9 degrees south latitude and 104-109 degrees east longitude (20 km from the coast). Although there are some research and development of ocean energy that had been done, ocean energy is not yet to be put on the National Energy Policy (KEN) as one of the top priority to be developed due to the economy of scale issues. At the end of his speech, Prof. Purnomo highlighted the opportunities and challenges in the development of marine energy in Indonesia. The opportunities are:

  • the extensive of ocean territory in Indonesia;
  • existing preliminary study mainly on the wave energy, tidal energy, OTEC and seaweed energy conducted by The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, BPPT and also PLN;
  • ocean energy as one of clean energy which does not produce emission;
  • and the unique character of ocean energy as the in-situ energy could be the substitution of fossil fuel energy in the off-grid area.

While the challenges are:

  • limited technology issues;
  • the economics of scale problem;
  • and environmental and social issues.


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