An employee walking along a thermal pipe at the Kamojang geothermal
power plant near Garut, West Java, on March 18. State utility provider
 Perusahaan Listrik Negara is targeting an additional 135 megawatts of
electricity from three new geothermal plants. (Reuters Photo/Beawiharta)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,.. etc.)
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - (Text version)

“.. Nuclear Power Revealed

So let me tell you what else they did. They just showed you what's wrong with nuclear power. "Safe to the maximum," they said. "Our devices are strong and cannot fail." But they did. They are no match for Gaia.

It seems that for more than 20 years, every single time we sit in the chair and speak of electric power, we tell you that hundreds of thousands of tons of push/pull energy on a regular schedule is available to you. It is moon-driven, forever. It can make all of the electricity for all of the cities on your planet, no matter how much you use. There's no environmental impact at all. Use the power of the tides, the oceans, the waves in clever ways. Use them in a bigger way than any designer has ever put together yet, to power your cities. The largest cities on your planet are on the coasts, and that's where the power source is. Hydro is the answer. It's not dangerous. You've ignored it because it seems harder to engineer and it's not in a controlled environment. Yet, you've chosen to build one of the most complex and dangerous steam engines on Earth - nuclear power.

We also have indicated that all you have to do is dig down deep enough and the planet will give you heat. It's right below the surface, not too far away all the time. You'll have a Gaia steam engine that way, too. There's no danger at all and you don't have to dig that far. All you have to do is heat fluid, and there are some fluids that boil far faster than water. So we say it again and again. Maybe this will show you what's wrong with what you've been doing, and this will turn the attitudes of your science to create something so beautiful and so powerful for your grandchildren. Why do you think you were given the moon? Now you know.

This benevolent Universe gave you an astral body that allows the waters in your ocean to push and pull and push on the most regular schedule of anything you know of. Yet there you sit enjoying just looking at it instead of using it. It could be enormous, free energy forever, ready to be converted when you design the methods of capturing it. It's time. …”

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Indonesia calls for solar power project investment, 2013-11-06

JAKARTA: The government is tendering as many as 80 projects related to the development of solar power plants in an attempt to boost the country’s renewable energy supplies.

The 80 projects will have a combined capacity of up to 140 megawatts (MW), according to Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry director general for renewable energy Rida Mulyana.

The ministry opened the tender starting last Thursday and is expected to announce the winners of the projects by this December.

“The solar plants’ construction will take about six months. Therefore, we will see the plants commence operation in the middle of next year,” Rida said as quoted by Antara news agency.

He added most of the solar power plants would be located in eastern Indonesia, such as in Papua, West Papua, Maluku, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara. Most of the power plants will have a 1 MW capacity while the biggest project will be located in Jayapura, Papua, with a 6 MW capacity.

According to Rida, at least nine units of power plants would be offered for development in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) with a total capacity of 14 MW. He said seven locations in Papua would host solar power plants with a 14.5 MW capacity, six locations in North Maluku with a combined capacity of 7.5 MW, six developments in Maluku with 9.5 MW and another six projects in North Sulawesi with 13 MW.

There will also be three locations in Aceh hosting 4 MW solar power plants, six units in Riau with an 8.5 MW capacity, seven units in West Kalimantan with a 9.5 MW capacity, five unit plants in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) with 17 MW and four units in East Java with a 4 MW capacity.

The 140 MW projects will need roughly 2.8 trillion rupiah in investment. Earlier this year, the government inaugurated the largest capacity solar power plant in Karangasem, Bali. The plant has a 1 MW capacity and cost 26 billion rupiah in investment.

The government has put aside 400 billion rupiah on the development of solar power plants this year.

According to the announcement on the renewable energy directorate’s website, the tenders of power plant projects have been open for development in Kupang, NTT and in North Lombok, NTB, with 5 MW and 2 MW capacities, respectively.

Despite abundant potential in renewable energy, the country remains heavily dependent on the fossil fuel for its electricity supply.

According to a report in the renewable energy directorate general, the country’s solar power plants’ installed capacity had reached 59 MW as of early November.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said the country had a solar energy potential of 50,000 MW. “A number of companies came to us and said they wanted to build plants,” Jero said at an event recently.

Attempting to boost solar power plant development, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry issued last June Ministerial Decree no. 17 2013, which regulates the purchasing of electricity produced by photovoltaic solar power plants by state-owned electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

– By arrangement with the ANN/The Jakarta Post –

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Philippines a Symbol for Local Geothermal

Jakarta Globe, Dion Bisara, November 6, 2013

The geothermal power power plants in Mount Apo in Mindanao, Philippines,
help to reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels. (JG Photo/Dion Bisara)

Indonesia does not have to look very far to find the best way to tap geothermal energy, which potentially is located in protected, remote forests.

As Indonesia struggles to find a balance between the development of geothermal resources, forest conservation, and development, the Philippines has shown how that can be achieved.

The Philippines gets 14 percent of its electricity supply from geothermal power plants and the nation is the second-largest producer in the world of such energy by capacity, after the United States.

Indonesia can only tap 1.4 percent of its estimated 28,994 megawatts in reserves — the largest in the world — as the country is yet to resolve issues such as conflicting laws that forbid geothermal exploitation in conservation areas, pricing, and opposition from indigenous people.

Agnes de Jesus, senior vice president for environment and external relations at the Energy Development Corporation — the Philippines’ largest geothermal power producer — recalled similar challenges in 1988 when the Philippine government decided to build geothermal power plants in the middle of Mount Apo Natural Park following the El Nino weather phenomenon that reduced hydropower generation.

The plan was highly controversial at that time, de Jesus said, citing the lack of legal basis to establish plants in a conservation area, which is also an ancestral domain for indigenous people.

“We conducted scientific surveys on the site to asses the environmental impact and held many consultations with stakeholders to explain about the project,” she said. It took four years for the project to start after securing approval from indigenous people and a presidential decree that granted exploitation permits in the forested area.

The EDC currently operates two generators in Mount Apo — a dormant volcano on Mindanao island, which is in the southern Philippines — with total capacity at 106 megawatts. The power plants use about 15,000 metric tons of steam tapped from underground reservoirs to power the generators, and as much as 40 percent of the steam escapes to the air because of evaporation.

Steam generation

The steam is captured through pipes that go through the turbines, and the steam then goes through a series of pipes that condense the vapor into water, which is then cycled back into the underground reservoir to produce more steam.

That steam loss cannot be converted back into water through this process, so conservation remains critical for the Mount Apo geothermal project because the forest captures rainwater and replenishes the reservoir, de Jesus said.

“The key to Mount Apo’s geothermal coexistence with the protected area or park was to locate it in less critical sites of the forest — in the openings or amongst secondary vegetation,” she said.

The company’s conservation efforts range from forest patrols to reforestation using native species of plants, de Jesus said.

Mount Apo is considered to be one of the richest botanical mountains in Southeast Asia, hosting hundreds of rare, endemic and threatened species of flora. It is being proposed as a world heritage site by Unesco.

Since the geothermal project commenced in Mount Apo, the national park was better protected from encroachment, thanks to increasing efforts from the EDC and the government in securing the geothermal plant site, said Eduardo Ragaza, chief of protected areas and wildlife division at the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The geothermal project also benefits indigenous people.

Samuel Asicam Sr., chairman of the Cotabato Consultative Tribal Council, which represents some indigenous people in Mount Apo, remembered the days when the natives’ houses were only made by wood, bamboo splits and banana leaves.

“Now we have good houses, many have refrigerators,” Asicam said. “But the best thing is we can have access to education, and we believe it will change our lives.”

The EDC projects provide support for indigenous people, including scholarships, free electricity, emergency health care and assistance in developing livelihoods for them.

Divina Sillador, manager at Lake Agco Hot Spring, which is the only resort within the park, said the arrival of EDC provided jobs. She also said the indigenous Ilomavis tribe benefited from the subsidy on their electricity bills — meaning that the cost for electricity at less than 650 pesos ($15) was free. Divina is an Ilomavis.

All children go to school now, she said, and most of them return to work with the EDC project. Last year, 259 people worked at the facility.

“I hope some day the indigenous people can lead the project,” she said.

Mario C. Marasigan, a renewable energy management director at the Philippine Department of Energy, said success at Mount Apo provided a platform for the country to continue tapping its geothermal potential. The Philippines aims to be the world’s largest producer of geothermal energy by 2030, increasing its installed capacity from 1,848 MW to 3,293 MW, Marasigan said.

“We want to achieve energy self-reliance,” Marasigan said, “Unlike Indonesia, which has coal and fuel, we have very [little] of it.”

Investment incentives

In order to achieve its goal, the Philippines provides generous incentives for companies to develop geothermal in the country, including an income tax holiday lasting seven years; a 10-year duty-free import period on machinery, equipment and materials; and a 10 percent corporate tax after the end of the seven-year tax holiday, which is lower than the normal 30 percent corporate tax, Marasigan said.

And thanks to a market-driven electricity pricing policy in the Philippines, companies like EDC are able to take risks in exploring for new resources while having sound assurance on profitability, Marasigan said.

Such incentives may be small compared to the 17 million barrels of fuel-oil-equivalent — valued at $1.6 billion at current rates — that the country saves annually from having geothermal power plants.

Only 5 percent of the Philippines’ energy sources comes from fuel — which is mostly imported — and that has helped keep the country’s current account balance in the surplus for the last 15 quarters.

By comparison, Indonesia’s current account reached a record deficit of 4.4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in the second quarter, after seven consecutive quarters being in the red as reliance of fuel imports grows amid its declining oil production.

Indra Sari Wardani, WWF-Indonesia Ring of Fire coordinator, said EDC’s geothermal project in Mount Apo shows that engagement with indigenous people and forest conservation can be achieved.

“As one of the geothermal projects located within in conservation forest, EDC has one of the best practices,” Sari said.

Ring of Fire is a WWF program launched in 2011 to promote sustainable production and use of geothermal energy in the Philippines and Indonesia. WWF identified challenges in Indonesia’s geothermal energy, including a subsidy policy that distorts the market price for electricity, and the law on conservation forests that prohibits mining activities — under which geothermal energy is categorized.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has estimated that 42 percent of the country’s geothermal resources are located in protected forest areas.

Bambang Purbiyantoro, head of preparation and evaluation for geothermal work area division at the energy ministry, said the government is now working on revising the geothermal law to resolve the issues.

“In the end the main challenge is the politics,” Bambang said.

The Jakarta Globe was invited by the WWF’s Ring of Fire project to observe the Mount Apo geothermal project in the Philippines last week.

Related Article:

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Geothermal Bill Step Closer to Law

Jakarta Globe, Tito Summa Siahaan, October 22, 2013

Trucks at Patuha Geothermal plant in Bandung, West Java. Indonesia holds
40 percent of world’s geothermal potential. (JG Photo/Reza Estily)

A special committee at the House of Representatives approved on Monday the geothermal bill proposed by the government, which would make it a step closer to becoming law, as the nation seeks to wean itself from reliance on fossil fuel to produce electricity.

All of the nine factions in the committee supported the bill, and all of the speakers highlighted the country’s enormous geothermal potential, the need to attract investment, and the inadequacy of the current geothermal law.

Should the bill become law, it will replace the existing law on geothermal issued in 2003.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said the aim of the bill is to optimize the country’s geothermal potential.

“Indonesia holds 40 percent of the world’s geothermal potential, or 28,617 megawatts, but only 1,341 megawatts, or 4.6 percent of that amount had been harnessed,” he said.

Jero said that one of the key points in the proposed bill is the removal of the words “mining activities” in the definition of geothermal activities. Inclusion of such wording could create unnecessary complication in the exploitation of geothermal energy.

Another law bans any form of “mining activities” to be performed in areas of conservation, according to the minister.

“Most of our geothermal potential is located within conservation areas,” Jero said.

Such overlapping policies in Indonesia have, in many cases, created disadvantages for investors — especially among international investors that want to invest in the country’s energy business.

Aside from that, regulation on conservation areas had been widely blamed as the main reason as to why development of many geothermal projects has stalled.

Ali Kasela, a lawmaker for People’s Conscience Party (Hanura), said that his party supported the bill as it would bring more benefits from geothermal energy to regional development.

Jero said that the problem is rooted in the misunderstanding of the impact of geothermal projects.

“Unlike mining operations, a geothermal power plant takes only little space within a protected forested area,” Jero said.

State utility firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara estimated that Indonesia would need at least $77.3 billion in new investment to produce 13,000 megawatts of renewable energy, including geothermal, to the country’s electricity grid until 2021.

Tisnaldi, the director for geothermal at the Energy Ministry, said that another highlight in the proposed bill is the obligation for geothermal concession holders to sell a 10 percent interest to regionally owned enterprises or state-owned enterprises after it enters the exploitation stage.

“It aims to share the benefits of the geothermal project to local governments,” Trisnaldi said.

Jero said that the government is also looking to use geothermal to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuel and help the objective in carbon emission reduction.

Milton Pakpahan, the chairman of the special committee, said that the bill is scheduled to be approved by the House plenary meeting in April 2014.

The National Energy Council (DEN) forecast early this year that the country may not achieve its target to have a more balanced energy mix by 2025, which is designed to reduce the country’s oil consumption and carbon emissions.

Based on the council’s projections, Indonesia’s energy consumption in 2025 would be made up of 23.9 percent oil, 19.7 percent natural gas, 30.7 percent coal and 25.7 percent renewables.

In 2010, the country’s energy mix was 49.8 percent oil, 24.5 percent coal, 20 percent gas and 5.7 percent renewables.

Related Article:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Future of Sustainable Energy in a Growing Asia Pacific Is a Common, Very Necessary Goal

Jakarta Globe, Noeleen Heyzer, October 18, 2013

Indonesia has only exploited around five percent of its world-leading
geothermal potential (JG Photo/Rezza Estily)

The world is at a critical juncture, with energy consumption rising dramatically. Even allowing for the positive impacts of the policy commitments and plans announced by countries to address global climate change, total primary energy demand in Asia and the Pacific alone is expected to nearly double between 2010 and 2030.

How will the Asia Pacific region meet this demand? How will we grow in a sustainable way that is both equitable and efficient? How can universal energy access be achieved?

These are some of the key questions being addressed at the 22nd World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea, which begins on Sunday.

The world faces two main energy challenges: providing enough light, warmth and power for every household — and at the same time shifting to cleaner energy sources to protect our increasingly fragile natural environment.

Just over a year ago, at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, 191 member states and observers recognized the critical role that energy plays in development.

This is why the UN General Assembly declared 2014-2024 the “Decade of Sustainable Energy for All” and why UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched his “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative in 2011, focusing on three major goals: improving energy access, energy efficiency and the share of renewable sources in our energy mix. Ensuring sustainable energy for all is additionally challenging in Asia and the Pacific.

Despite great progress in improving peoples’ lives, the Asia Pacific region still has 628 million people without access to electricity and 1.8 billion who still use traditional fuels such as wood, charcoal, agricultural residue and animal waste.

Widespread energy poverty condemns billions to darkness, ill health and missed opportunities: children cannot study at night, clinics and hospitals cannot offer quality health care and many people cannot make use of the opportunities and information accessible through modern technology.

We must end this inequality, but we need to do so in a way that is intelligent and sustainable, utilizing natural resources while preserving the integrity of the ecosystems on which we depend.

In addition to the hundreds of millions without access to modern energy services, the Asia Pacific region also has some of the highest levels of carbon intensity. Our primary energy intensity is among the highest in the world, despite rapid and significant reductions in recent decades. This limits long-term national and regional competitiveness, jeopardizing employment opportunities and income levels.

The Asia Pacific region has some of the largest exporters and importers of fossil fuels, as well as the highest rates of fossil fuel subsidies. Worldwide, these subsidies were six times greater than the financial support for renewable energy.

The increasing dependency on fossil fuel imports in both the largest economies and the most vulnerable small island states exposes our region to the risks of oil price volatility and the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events.

Rebalancing our mix is therefore critical. The countries in our region have some of the fastest growing rates of investment in and added capacity for renewable energy, taking advantage of our ample supplies of solar, hydroelectric, wind, biomass, geothermal and ocean energies.

Still, the current energy mix remains mostly fossil fuel-based — especially coal — with renewable resources, including hydro, accounting for only 16 per cent of total electricity production.

These additional challenges are why a comprehensive, long-term understanding of “enhanced energy security” is evolving in the Asia Pacific region. This concept moves beyond calculations of supply and demand alone towards a holistic consideration of multiple aspects, including access, efficiency, renewables, environment, economics, trade and investment and, last but not least, connectivity.

As early as 2008, member states of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap) were developing a regional framework to address these challenges, passing a resolution at the its annual session on promoting renewables for energy security and sustainable development.

In a lecture last year to the Energy Market Authority in Singapore, I also proposed that the region should explore the creation of a game-changing Asian Energy Highway — an integrated regional “smart grid.”

These discussions culminated in May, when Escap organized the Asian and Pacific Energy Forum, the first conference of energy ministers held under the auspices of the UN in the region.

Hosted by the Russian Federation, 34 countries met in Vladivostok and adopted a groundbreaking framework — a Ministerial Declaration and five-year plan of action on regional cooperation for enhanced energy security and the sustainable use of energy.

One key area of action is to develop common infrastructure and to promote energy policies that accelerate regional economic integration.

Energy connectivity is not something new here. The Asean Power Grid (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the SAME or Saarc Market for Electricity (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) and the GMS Power Market (Greater Mekong Subregion), are key instances of initiatives that could be linked and expanded under a common goal.

The lesson of these initiatives is that regional cooperation works best when it is based on a unified vision.

As evidenced by the Asia Pacific countries in Vladivostok, our region is committed to shaping the regional energy future we want: one of equity, efficiency and resilience, to benefit our people and our planet.

Noeleen Heyzer is the under secretary general of the United Nations, executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, and special adviser of the UN secretary general for East Timor.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A solar investment in California’s Imperial Valley: Google

We’re celebrating Halloween early with our “lucky thirteenth” renewable energy investment: a $103 million commitment to Mount Signal Solar, a 265.7 MW solar photovoltaic plant in Imperial County, CA. The project will generate enough energy to power 80,000 homes.

Like many states, California has a goal of increasing the amount of energy procured from renewable sources. The energy from Mount Signal Solar, which has been contracted to San Diego Gas & Electric, will help California meet this goal. The project, which is owned and operated by Silver Ridge Power (formerly AES Solar), will also create over 900 construction jobs in a part of the state that suffers from high unemployment.

Thirteen renewable energy investments in three years! That’s a lot of energy—the over $1 billion we’ve committed to these projects will generate enough electricity each year to power more than 500,000 U.S. homes. Why are we making these investments? It’s simple: we believe in a clean energy future, and we think that companies like ours can help make it happen. We invest in these projects because they make business sense, because they help put more renewable energy on the grid, and because they have a positive impact on the local economies where they operate.

The Mount Signal Solar project in Imperial County, CA

 Posted by Kojo Ako-Asare, Head of Corporate Finance

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Joko Wants Solar Panels for Jakarta Low-Cost Apartments

Jakarta Globe, SP/Deti Mega P. on 5:06 pm October 8, 2013

People walk across a yard inside the Pinus Elok low-cost apartment
complex in East Jakarta on Sept. 30, 2013. (JG Photo/Safir Makki)

Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo said on Tuesday that he wanted to install solar panels on the 100 low-cost apartment towers that his administration planned to construct next year.

“I think we need to apply an environmentally friendly concept for next year’s low-cost apartment construction,” Joko said on the sidelines of a visit to electronics manufacturer Panasonic Gobel’s plant in East Jakarta. “So solar panels should be installed on all the low-cost apartments that will be built next year.”

Joko said he was aware that solar panels would boost the upfront construction cost, but emphasized the savings that would be made over the longer term.

Yonathan Pasodung, the head of Jakarta Housing and Building Agency, said last month the Jakarta administration was ready to build 100 low-cost apartment towers next year in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Housing.

Each tower would consist of six floors and was planned to host 100 apartment units, with construction cost set at between Rp 20 billion ($1.7 million) and Rp 22 billion per tower.

The towers will be built across five Jakarta municipalities and offered for rent at Rp 150,000 per month per unit to low-income residents.

“That will include those displaced by [Jakarta's] river normalization project,” Yonathan said, according to Indonesian news portal

He added the towers would use precast concrete to make them more resistant to earthquakes.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Australian building giant in graft scandal

Google – AFP, 3 October 2013

Australian construction giant Leighton Holdings is at the centre of a
 corruption scandal with allegations of bribery among senior executives 
(AFP/File, Greg Wood)

Sydney — Australian construction giant Leighton Holdings, which operates in more than 20 countries, said Thursday it was "deeply concerned" by allegations of bribery and widespread corruption within the company.

A six-month investigation by Fairfax Media, which obtained hundreds of confidential company documents, exposed what it said were "plans to pay alleged multi-million dollar kickbacks in Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia and elsewhere, along with other serious corporate misconduct".

In one case, it alleged, former chief executive Wal King approved a Aus$42 million (US$39 million) bribe to a firm in Monaco nominated by Iraqi officials who gave Leighton an Aus$750 million oil pipeline contract.

Fairfax cited a memo written on November 23, 2010 by then-acting chief executive David Stewart, in which Leighton International managing director David Savage had revealed he and King knew of the massive kickback.

"I asked did Wal K approve this? And he said 'yes'," the memo reportedly said.

King, who was the company's chief executive for 23 years before retiring in late 2010, refuted the allegations.

"Well, I deny the allegations that I had any prior knowledge of circumstances in Iraq. I've never visited Iraq," he told ABC radio, adding that he could not comment further because he was bound by confidentiality agreements with Leighton.

Leighton is a US$7 billion company active around the world in the telecommunications, engineering and infrastructure, building and property, mining and resources and environmental services industries.

The revelations hit its share price hard, with the stock down more than 10 percent in late afternoon trade at Aus$17.60.

In a three-page statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, Leighton said it "takes these accusations seriously and is deeply concerned about the suggestions of impropriety", but added that the allegations were "exceptional instances".

It said that in 2011 Leighton voluntarily reported to Australian police a possible breach of its code of ethics relating to accusations of bribery in Iraq, and this was still under investigation.

"We are not aware of any new allegations or instances of breach of our ethics," it said.

The statement added that a senior executive was dismissed in 2012 and "over recent years, Leighton Holdings has continued to strengthen and improve its corporate governance and risk management processes".

"The directors of Leighton's subsidiary companies and of Leighton Holdings are aware of their responsibilities and have at all times executed their duties with the appropriate care and diligence, and in the best interests of each relevant company," it added.

Related Articles:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Indonesia Allocates $302 Million to Back Geothermal Exploration

Jakarta Globe, Fitri Wulandari,  June 18, 2013.

Indonesia started a fund to finance the exploration of geothermal energy resources as the nation seeks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels for electricity.

The finance ministry’s investment agency will manage Rp 3 trillion ($302 million) this year for geothermal exploration, Saritaon Siregar, the agency’s chairman, said in an interview at a conference in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Local governments that have geothermal areas can use the fund to determine their potential, he said.

“If exploration shows good results, the local government can put the area for bidding and investors that win can repay the exploration funds to us,” Siregar said.

The energy source produces 1,341 megawatts, or less than 5 percent of Indonesia’s potential geothermal generating capacity of 29,038 megawatts, according to data from the energy and mineral resources ministry.

Private investors can also apply for loans for geothermal exploration, Siregar said. The agency hasn’t started distributing funds, he said.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

China Invests $17b in Indonesian Power Project

Jakarta Globe, Tito Summa Siahaan, May 29, 2013

China Power will harness the power of North Kalimantan’s Tayan River for
Indonesia’s largest power project. (JG Photo/Yudhi Sukma Wijaya)

Chinese companies China Power Investment Corporation and Anhui Conch Cement announced more than $17 billion of investments in Indonesia, underscoring the attractiveness and allure of the Southeast Asian nation to foreign investors.

China Power, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, has been granted permission by the Indonesian government to build what could be the archipelago’s largest-ever power plant project.

Xia Zhong, a vice president of China Power, met with Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik late on Monday to discuss the company’s plan to develop 7,000 megawatts from hydropower plants on Kalimantan island.

The project will harness the power of the Tayan River in the newly created North Kalimantan province.

Jero told reporters in Jakarta on Monday that the Chinese firm will invest a total of $17 billion for hydroelectric plants in North Kalimantan.

“Construction will take seven years to be completed and will be divided into five phases,” he added.

China Power has concluded the preliminary study of the project and will proceed with its feasibility and environmental assessment impact study, Jero said.

“We expect to see the groundbreaking next year,” the minister added. “Construction for the first phase will be completed in one-and-a-half years. By 2015, the power plant will generate 700 megawatts of electricity,” said Jero.

The minister said that the government will not provide additional incentives.

The government has set the price level for renewable energy like hydropower considerably high to entice more investors. In comparison, the price for coal-fired power plants is around 4 to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour.

“They did not request for incentives. They think that the 24 cents per kilowatt-hour power purchase price for hydropower plant is good.”

In Indonesia, independent power producers must sell their electricity to state utility firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara, based on the government’s approved pricing.

China Power is also looking into the possibility of building a smelter for bauxite, according to Jero. “But they have yet to make any estimations,” he added.

Electricity generation is China Power’s core business and in total has power plants with a capacity to generate 80,074 MW of electricity.

Currently, the firm is building a 6,000 MW hydropower plant in Myanmar, from which the electricity will be channeled to mainland China.

China Power also has coal and aluminum assets.

Anhui announced its plan to build a cement plant in South Sulawesi at total investment of 2 billion yuan ($327 million), Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday.

Anhui’s main business in the manufacturing and selling clinkers and cement products. It distributes cement and clinkers under the brand named Conch.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

ILO Prepares Building Safety Guidelines for Indonesian Garment Factories

Jakarta Globe, Erwida Maulia, May 28, 2013

Workers set up a tent as they demand for better pay in front of a garment factory
in Tangerang, Banten, in this April 10, 2013 file photo. (JG Photo/Fajrin Raharjo)

The Indonesian office of the International Labor Organization on Tuesday said it was preparing new infrastructure safety assessment guidelines for Indonesian garment factories in the wake of a building collapse in Bangladesh that killed over 1,100 people.

The ILO said it was drafting the new infrastructure assessment criteria under its Better Work Indonesia program, and would use it to appeal to Indonesian garment makers to ensure the safety of their factories.

“In a country that is prone to earthquakes and other natural disasters, it is imperative that employers ensure their buildings are structurally sound by regularly making sure that their buildings are in line with government regulations,” BWI program manager Simon Field said in a press statement on Tuesday.

BWI senior enterprise adviser Muhammad Anis Nugroho said that Indonesia already has comprehensive regulations on building safety, but admitted that implementation was always an issue.

“A public works minister regulation on this [building safety], for example, is quite detailed — there should be regular inspections, and so on,” Anis said. “But it uses phrases only experts on the matter can comprehend.”

The new ILO guidelines, Anis said, are expected to help factories comply with the existing regulations by translating the technical terms into “practicable” guidelines.

He said that it was still unclear how well the government has followed its own regulations.

However, he added, companies should want to improve the safety of their work environments following the collapse of the eight-story building that housed five garment factories in Bangladesh, dubbed the world’s worst garment industry disaster.

“We will involve the government in the creation of the guidelines,” Anis said. “In the end, we want this to help the government carry out inspections.”

Indonesia earned $12.5 billion from textile exports last year. The figure is expected to increase to $13.5 billion this year, with the United States and Europe remaining the country’s main markets.

In comparison, Bangladesh, the world’s second largest apparel exporter after China, records $20 billion annually from textile exports.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jakarta Passes Sweeping Waste Management Regulation

Jakarta Globe, Lenny Tristia Tambun, May 21, 2013

Scavengers collect recyclable plastics at Bantargebang garbage dump
in Bekasi, West Java on March 29. (EPA Photo/Mast Irham)

A new regulation in Jakarta imposes fines of up to Rp 50 million ($5,120) on illegal dumping, while also implementing stricter mandates on eco-friendly bags, biodegradable packaging, littering and waste management.

Unu Nurdin, the head of the Jakarta Cleanliness Office, said the new rule, approved by the Jakarta Legislative Council on Tuesday, mandates that rubbish be put in designated locations and companies manage their waste, especially that which can lead to pollution and environmental degradation.

“If residents and companies do not meet their obligations, as arranged in the regulations, they will face sanctions. The sanctions range from administrative ones to fines of between Rp 500,000 to Rp 50 million,” Unu said after a plenary meeting of the City Council.

Article 126 of the regulation prohibits dumping waste into waterways and water reservoirs, streets, parks and public areas. It also says that waste must be disposed in integrated waste dumps (TPST) and final dump sites (TPA) between 6 a.m to 9 p.m.

“It is also prohibited to dispose waste at the TPST or TPA without a permit, burn waste that pollutes the environment, throw waste from a vehicle, use parts of streets as temporary waste dumps, manage waste that leads to pollution or environmental degradation,” Unu said.

Neighborhood units known as Rukun Warga were also given the authority to slap administrative sanctions on those households which fail to separate their waste into organic and inorganic.

Those responsible over the management of residential, commercial, industrial and other special areas, who are found negligent in providing facilities for waste management will also incur administrative sanctions and fines of between Rp 10 million to Rp 50 million.

Operators of public and social facilities which fail to provide facility for waste separation will incur administrative sanctions and fines of between Rp 1 million to Rp 5 million.

Manufacturers which fail to display matters related to reducing waster or waste handling on their packaging, or use packaging that cannot naturally decompose, may face administrative sanctions as well as fines of Rp 25 million to Rp 50 million.

Shopping center operators who do not use environmentally-friendly shopping bags will also face administrative sanctions as well as fine of between Rp 5 million and Rp 25 million.

“The governor can issue administrative sanctions, including fines, on individuals who intentionally dump waste outside of the allowed time, of up to Rp 100,000,” Uno said.

Litterers, including dumping waste into water ways and reservoirs, on the streets, in parks or in public areas, face a fine of Rp 500,000

Those caught littering from vehicles will also face the same fine. Salvagers working on piles or mounds of waste can also face a fine of a similar amount if they spread the waste.

“These fines will be sent to the regional treasury in line with the regulations and laws. We want the public to be waste conscious, so that we can also reduce floods in Jakarta,” he said.

Monday, April 29, 2013

China becoming global climate change leader: study

Google – AFP, Martin Parry (AFP), 28 April 2013

Solar panels in the Sino-Singapore Eco-city near Tianjin on June 11, 2012
(AFP/File, Ed Jones)

SYDNEY — China is rapidly assuming a global leadership role on climate change alongside the United States, a new study said Monday, but it warned greenhouse gas emissions worldwide continue to rise strongly.

The report by the independent Australian-based Climate Commission, "The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change" presents an overview of action in the last nine months.

It was released on the same day as a fresh round of UN talks were to start in Bonn on boosting action on climate change -- a two-decade-long process that has been dogged by procedural bickering and defence of national interests.

The study found that every major economy had policies in place to tackle the issue, but China was at the forefront in strengthening its response, "taking ambitious strides to add renewable energy to its mix".

A wind turbine complex on the Zhemo 
Mountain in the outskirts of Dali in China's
 Yunnan province on November 5, 2009
 (AFP/File, Liu Jin)
"China is accelerating action," said Tim Flannery, the co-author and a key figure at the Climate Commission, which brings together internationally-renowned scientists, as well as policy and business leaders.

"China has halved its growth in electricity demand, dramatically increased its renewable energy capacity, and decelerated its emissions growth more quickly than expected.

"After years of strong growth in coal use, this has begun to level off. They are beginning to put in place seven emissions trading schemes that will cover quarter of a billion people," he said.

The report added that China, which this month agreed to work with the US to tackle global warming, wanted "to position themselves as the world's renewable energy leader".

"Whatever the reason, the results speak for themselves. China is quickly moving to the top of the leader board on climate change," said Flannery.

The report found that in 2012 alone China invested US$65.1 billion in clean energy, 20 percent more than in 2011. This was unmatched and represented 30 percent of the entire G20 nations' investment last year.

It pointed to new solar power capacity in China expanding 75 percent last year while the amount of electricity generated from wind in 2012 was 36 percent higher than 2011.

The United States, which with China produces some 37 percent of world emissions, also significantly strengthened its climate change response, pumping US$35.6 billion into renewable energy last year, second only to Beijing.

The report said the impact of the economic downturn and a progressive shift from coal to gas had kept Washington on track to meet its national goal of reducing emissions by 17 percent on 2005 levels by 2020.

"Important foundations have been set that are likely to have a lasting impact in the coming decades," it added, pointing to California, the world's ninth largest economy, beginning an emissions trading scheme in January.

More than half of US states now have policies to encourage renewable energy.

Beyond China and the US, momentum globally has grown with 98 countries committing to limit emissions.

Workers check a solar panel in a field in Hami, China's Xinjiang region,
on August 6, 2012 (AFP)

"Renewable energy is surging globally with solar capacity increasing 42 percent and wind 21 percent in just one year," said Flannery. "With so much global momentum this is clearly the beginning of the clean energy era."

But while progress was being made, the report cautioned that "it is not enough".

"Globally emissions are continuing to rise strongly, posing serious risks for our society," it said.

"This decade must set the foundations to reduce emissions rapidly to nearly zero by 2050. The earlier such action is under way the less disruptive and costly it will be."

The five-day Bonn negotiations beginning Monday are the first since United Nations talks in Qatar last December that set down a two-track process for tackling greenhouse gases.

The goal is a new climate treaty that will be concluded by 2015 and take effect by 2020. 
Countries would also pledge greater commitment on tackling the carbon problem in the interim years before 2020.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Advert turns air into drinking water

BBC News, Aida Parados, BBC Mundo, 22 March 2013

The billboard serves a dual purpose, acting to draw students to the newly
established engineering university UTEC

Related Stories

Just outside Lima, Peru, a billboard provides drinking water to whomever needs it - mainly, its neighbours.

The panel produces clean water from the humidity in the air, through filters.

Researchers at the University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) in Lima and advertising agency Mayo Peru DraftFCB joined forces to launch it.

UTEC says it wanted to put "imagination into action" and show that it is possible to solve people's problems through engineering and technology.

"A billboard that produces drinking water from air," says the billboard up high. And it does what it says on the tin: so far, the billboard has produced over 9,000 litres of drinking water - 96 litres a day.

The panel is strategically located in the village of Bujama, an area south of the capital city that is almost a desert, where some people have no access to clean water.

Access to all

Despite tough conditions with little rain, air humidity reaches 98%, says UTEC.

"The panel traps humidity in the air and transforms it into water. It's that simple," said Jessica Ruas, a spokesperson from the university.

"There is a lot of water. It is right there in the sea, but it is not suitable for drinking purposes, and costs a lot of money to process it."

Ruas says the system might become a wider solution for the problem.

The billboard has become something of
 a local attraction as well as a local
"It Doesn't have to come in the shape of a billboard, but ingenuity is keyto development"

Internally, the panel consists of five devices that extract water vapour from the air using a condenser and filters.

Water is stored in tanks at the top of the structure. Once filtered, it flows down a pipe connected to a tap, accessible to everybody.

The internal system costs some US$1,200 (£790) to set up.

On the publicity side, the panel itself seeks to attract the "creative minds that Peru needs" to the young UTEC, which was founded only a year ago.

"We want to change the minds of future engineers and inspire them," said Ms Ruas.

The neighbours have given the billboard a warm welcome. It has become a local attraction for and motorists and an indispensable part of life in the local village.

"We hadn't realised how big the impact would be," said Ms Ruas.

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“… New ideas are things you never thought of. These ideas will be given to you so you will have answers to the most profound questions that your societies have had since you were born. Inventions will bring clean water to every Human on the planet, cheaply and everywhere. Inventions will give you power, cheaply and everywhere. These ideas will wipe out all of the reasons you now have for pollution, and when you look back on it, you'll go, "This solution was always there. Why didn't we think of that? Why didn't we do this sooner?" Because it wasn't time and you were not ready. You hadn't planted the seeds and you were still battling the old energy, deciding whether you were going to terminate yourselves before 2012. Now you didn't…. and now you didn't.

It's funny, what you ponder about, and what your sociologists consider the "great current problems of mankind", for your new ideas will simply eliminate the very concepts of the questions just as they did in the past. Do you remember? Two hundred years ago, the predictions of sociologists said that you would run out of food, since there wasn't enough land to sustain a greater population. Then you discovered crop rotation and fertilizer. Suddenly, each plot of land could produce many times what it could before. Do you remember the predictions that you would run out of wood to heat your homes? Probably not. That was before electricity. It goes on and on.

So today's puzzles are just as quaint, as you will see. (1)How do you strengthen the power grids of your great nations so that they are not vulnerable to failure or don't require massive infrastructure improvement expenditures? Because cold is coming, and you are going to need more power. (2) What can you do about pollution? (3) What about world overpopulation? Some experts will tell you that a pandemic will be the answer; nature [Gaia] will kill off about one-third of the earth's population. The best minds of the century ponder these puzzles and tell you that you are headed for real problems. You have heard these things all your life.

Let me ask you this. (1) What if you could eliminate the power grid altogether? You can and will. (2) What if pollution-creating sources simply go away, due to new ideas and invention, and the environment starts to self-correct? (3) Overpopulation? You assume that humanity will continue to have children at an exponential rate since they are stupid and can't help themselves. This, dear ones, is a consciousness and education issue, and that is going to change. Imagine a zero growth attribute of many countries - something that will be common. Did you notice that some of your children today are actually starting to ponder if they should have any children at all? What a concept! ….”