Ambon Ekspres - Pattimura University (Unpatti) Ambon in collaboration with the Mercy Corps Indonesia Foundation (YMCI) develops solar technology in Maluku area. This is a follow-up to the signing of the MoU between the two institutions on May 7, 2019 including working together in energy training and renewable energy education under the New Zealand - Maluku Access to Renewable Energy Support (NZMATES) program.
Lecturer at the Unpatti Ambon Engineering Faculty, Ir. A. Simanjuntak, MT explained to Ambon Ekspress based on the MoU. The Faculty of Engineering of Unpatti and YMCI agreed to make the Faculty of Engineering as a Training Center of Solar Power Plant. As a follow-up to the agreement, there will be training on the System of Off-grid Solar Power Plant as the first phase and will be conducted for 40 participants.
"The purpose of this training is to equip participants to be able to institutionalize knowledge regarding off-grid renewable energy-based electrification and educate as well as qualify trainers and technicians, especially on the Off-grid PLTS system," he said.
He hopes that through this program, NZMATES and Unpatti can work together to strengthen the renewable energy capacity in Maluku now and in the future. He added, Maluku Province with a population of 1.7 million people is in the archipelago which has 1,450 islands, some of which are in the forefront, outermost and remote areas.
Especially on small islands where the population is relatively small, building a diesel power plant is very unlikely because it can be assured of economic loss. This condition will eventually become a major obstacle in overcoming disparities in the region both socially and in terms of production capacity and making these regions undeveloped.
Seeing the potential of solar energy in Eastern Indonesia around 5.1kWh/m2/day, its use as electrical power especially on small islands and needs to be developed with the concept of an energy independent village or island. With access to energy, the potential for improving the welfare of the community, social and community services, and economic activities can be carried out.
"Even in areas that have already had electricity from PLN, the use of solar energy for electricity needs to be developed. It aims to help Indonesia achieve its targets in tackling climate change as part of the Paris Agreement,” he said.
He also explained, based on data from the National Energy Council, the potential of solar energy in Indonesia reached an average of 4.8kWh/m2/day, equivalent to 112,000 GWp (ten times the potential of Germany and Europe). Thus the development of solar power plants (PLTS) in Indonesia has enormous potential.
This condition is also a challenge for the development of the archipelago, especially the small islands, including in Maluku. Thus, this also increasingly requires the involvement of the education institutions with various academic potentials, related to the need for integrative handling by considering various aspects as well as comprehensive.
"Pattimura University is in line with the choice of the Main Scientific Pattern, thus it also needs to be present by finding a more integrative form of participation in dealing with the crucial issues of developing small islands," he concluded.
(Source: Ambon Ekspres (printed edition), 12 November 2019, page 1)