KILASMALUKU.com - In order to celebrate 60 years of friendship between Indonesia and New Zealand, Maluku’s Provincial Government and the New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia officially launched the New Zealand-Maluku Access to Renewable Energy Support (NZMATES) program.
The launch of this program was marked by the signing of an MoU between Maluku’s Provincial Government, represented by the Governor, Said Assagaff, and Mercy Corps, a national organization which collaborates with New Zealand-based renewable energy company, Infratec Ltd., took place at the Governor’s office, Wednesday (11/28).
Mercy Corps collaborates with the EBTKE (the Directorate General of Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation), PLN (State Electricity Company), Bappeda (Provincial Development Planning Agency), provincial and district/city governments, as well as local communities, private sectors, and educational institutions in conducting the program implementation.
The Governor expressed in his speech that the potential of natural resources especially in the energy sector in Maluku is very abundant. "However, this is constrained by the lack of basic infrastructure, limited access to transportation and facilities, unequal access to electricity and services on each island, especially on large islands, Seram and Buru, as well as on the outermost, underdeveloped, and border islands,” he explained.
All of these factors contribute to the existence of poverty in the Maluku region. "These issues certainly need special attention especially on electricity services to be equally accessed by communities across the region,” he said.
He said that he is aware of the enormous electricity needs, in order to improve community livelihoods and increase the quality of basic services in education, health, and energy security. "Efforts to provide the quality of electricity services equally are somewhat constrained by the geographical conditions of Maluku archipelago and high cost of building the infrastructure for conventional energy in the islands," he said.
Thus, through the New Zealand-Maluku Access to Renewable Energy Support (NZMATES) program with the support from the Government of New Zealand and Mercy Corps, the Governor hopes this program could provide solutions in eliminating electricity problems through renewable energy. "This is supported by the renewable energy resources that have not been optimally utilized for development purposes. Such as, geothermal and ocean current. "Energy power from wind, solar, water, biomass, and so on, these resources exist in our area," he said.
He also added that the implementation of this program would then be followed up in the form of signing a cooperation agreement, in order to support the use renewable energy utilization to improve welfare of the local community in Maluku.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia, Dr. Trevor Matheson, said that the government of New Zealand provided NZD 10 million to implement the NZMATES program until 2023. "This program aims to support the development and implementation of renewable energy projects on Seram Island, especially hydro and solar plant projects, as well as other power plants which potentially powered by wind and biomass,” he said.
The Ambassador of New Zealand explained that NZMATES is a three-way partnership agreement between the government of New Zealand and the Directorate General of Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and PLN.