Indonesia to build up its geothermal industry

Indonesia has serious plans to build up its geothermal industry. The nation has plans to add as much as 9 GW of installed capacity by 2025. However, geothermal observers don’t think the nation will achieve this goal unless the government does more to attract foreign investment for the project.

According to Paul Brophy, president and chief executive of geothermal consultancy GES, which is working with the Indonesian government to help boost foreign investment and develop the geothermal industry, the potential is out there, but there is still lots of room for new companies to come in and develop resources.

Industry observers say Indonesia, with the world’s highest number of active volcanoes, has the greatest geothermal potential of all nations in the area. Of all those countries, Indonesia, Philippines and Japan have the strongest development potential, observers say.

However, Indonesia has more volcanic “hot spots” (some 265) and a more aggressive development scheme than the other countries. Developers are using these hot spots to drill holes that can produce steam from volcanic energy. So far, Chevron is the leading foreign developer in the sector but others including Indian industrial conglomerate Tata, Shell, Canada’s Raser Technologies and Australia’s Origin Energy are also looking to set up geothermal plants.