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One of the main challenges in electricity-sector development, particularly in rural areas, is the mismatch between primary energy resources versus population density. Although there has been an increase in rural electrification rates in APO member countries, efforts now need to address the demand for creating more green energy systems. Indonesia is no exception.
In attempts to address the growing need for green energy in the country, the National Productivity Organization (NPO) of Indonesia organized a training course on Green Energy Systems for Rural Applications Technology in Jakarta, 17–19 October 2017. The course was organized under the APO Technical Expert Services Program that provides technical assistance to NPOs and related organizations to strengthen their institutional capacities and upgrade their competencies in line with national needs for productivity improvement in specific areas.
The three-day training course was attended by 26 participants, mainly trainers from vocational training centers in Jakarta. It was facilitated by five APO-assigned experts from the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) of the Republic of China (ROC). The team of experts was headed by ITRI Senior Engineer Marco Tsai, who specializes in rural solar application projects and has wide-ranging experience in initial surveying for and installing rural solar systems in the ROC, the Philippines, Myanmar, and St. Kitts and Nevis. The course is one activity under a cooperation agreement between the NPO Indonesia and ITRI, particularly in relation to the dissemination of know-how with local Indonesian experts on planning, operating, and maintaining green systems for rural areas.
The APO training course was structured to provide a basic understanding of the installation and operation of various renewable energy-based plants, including solar, wind, and energy storage systems, with an introduction of HOMER simulation software to assist in the planning and design of renewable energy facilities. Participants also deliberated on and discussed possible energy solutions for remote islands of Indonesia. In terms of topics, the training was divided into two parts: solar energy system design, operation, and maintenance; and renewable energy mini-grid operation experience.
At the end of the course, an outline of an action plan to promote rural renewable energy applications under the cooperative agreement between the ROC and Indonesia was drafted. The ITRI team’s next visit to Indonesia is planned for February 2018 to visit the electrical vocational training center in Banten province. The team and NPO Indonesia through its affiliated vocational training program plans to survey the site and design a solar energy demonstration project there. That project is expected to provide electricity to a local village and function as a training center for trainers in rural solar energy systems. If successful, the model could be replicated in other rural areas.