Ministry sets sights on boosting national electricity consumption rate

September, 22 2018 | 00:05 am Courtesy of ESDM
Courtesy of ESDM

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan recently announced the government’s vision of increasing the national electricity per capita consumption rate to 1,200 kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2019 by boosting the production of electric vehicles and stoves, which are environmentally friendlier.

As of the first half of 2018, the national electricity per capita consumption rate amounted to only 1,050 kWh.

“Hopefully, we can boost the per capita consumption rate to 1,200 kWh, in line with what Vice President [Jusuf Kalla] said. As the livelihoods of more Indonesians become increasingly modernized, they will consume more electricity,” Jonan said while addressing the opening of the Power Gen Asia 2018 Indonesia exhibition, held in conjunction with National Electricity Day on Sept. 15 in Serpong, Banten.

Jonan added that the government sought to boost the electricity-consumption rate by increasing the production of environmentally friendlier cars and stoves. To support this mission, the government plans to issue a regulation on electric cars, according to Jonan.

“The government is currently formulating a regulation on electric cars. Hopefully, once the regulation has been issued, the electric cars can compete with conventional, hybrid or fossil-fuel vehicles to create a cleaner environment, all the while boosting electricity consumption, in line with the government’s vision,” he explained.

“I have also suggested that [state-owned electricity company PLN] adopt a more [aggressive] marketing strategy to promote the use of electric stoves among the public,” he said, adding that besides boosting the electricity-consumption rate, the mainstreaming of electric stoves could also reduce the volume of Indonesia’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports.

According to Jonan, the advantage of using electric stoves lies in their affordability.

“Their price range lies between Rp 300,000 and Rp 500,000. [For people from lower socio-economic brackets], PLN can also offer a chance to pay for the electric stoves in installments,” he said.

Jonan added that currently, the government subsidized the use of 3-kilogram LPG canisters, which could be better used as electricity subsidies.

“The government’s annual electricity subsidies [in 2018], including those carried forward from the previous years, amounted to more than Rp 50 trillion [US$3.37 billion]. This amount is less than the government’s subsidies for the 3-kilogram LPG canisters, which amounted to Rp 67 trillion,” he said.

“Therefore, our colleagues in PLN have to further the effort to help the public convert from using LPG stoves to electric stoves,” he added.