A geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump has higher efficiency when compared to furnaces, electrical heating, or even air source heat pumps, and especially useful for heating and electricity generation purposes.
Before one can built geothermal power plant, the operator will have to perform geothermal exploration to determine possible operation sites. Exploration techniques include drilling, trenching, etc. Drillings or trenching are usually performed to identify potential spots for the siting of geothermal power plants.
Drilling is usually more expensive than trenching. While trenching typically costs about USD$7.50 to USD$15 per metre, drilling a vertical loop can cost from USD$15 to USD$46.5 per metre. In some cases, the vertical loop cost even extends to about USD$90 per metre. The cost of drilling also differs from country to country.
Indonesia is committed to improving its renewable energy (RE) mix in order to support the Paris Agreement. Indonesia’s RE mix target in 2025 is set at 23%. However, according to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources presentation for the House of Representatives, the achievement currently stands at about 11.2%.
The country’s plan is to form a geothermal holding company and it involves three state-owned companies, namely PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy, PT Geo Dipa Energi, and PT PLN Geothermal.
The holding company’s establishment aims to support the government target of installing a 7,000 MW geothermal power plant in 2030 and another 9,000 MW one in 2045.
Further to this, the country also wants to attract other investors to the renewable energy business landscape. There’s a common understanding among the top officials that geothermal exploration activities are high-risk activities and most losses are due to failed exploration.
This is also why electricity that is generated from geothermal power plant, is priced higher compared to the average price of electricity.
As such, Indonesia is looking forward to step up their game to attract more investors into this field of renewable energy and they will try to do this by undertaking the exploration of geothermal spots.
By doing so, they would be able to transfer the risk to the government. The data from the exploration could then be accessed by potential investors for an informed decision.
The administration is already experimenting on one site, and is expected to do more if results are favourable.
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