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Indonesia sits on the doorstep of a US$ 15 billion renewable energy investment bonanza. If embraced, Indonesia will be empowered to leapfrog its capacity to generate solar power at scale and on a commercially viable basis, insulating the country from the ever-present threats of global fuel price fluctuations. Alternatively, failure to embrace this opportunity will allow other middle-income nations in the region to reap these benefits.

The essence of the program is to have Indonesia export clean electricity to Singapore, which is engaged in several major initiatives to import renewable energy. Singapore has already commenced importing electricity from Laos to Singapore via Thailand and Malaysia. The proposed clean electricity export program from Indonesia does not entail diverting any electricity currently produced by Indonesia for its domestic market. This is purely a case of producing additional energy that was never expected to be produced domestically, and as the source of energy is renewable, there is also no depletion of precious domestic natural resources.

This program will encourage the development of domestic manufacturing of solar energy panels and related equipment. This will be achieved by developing the world’s largest solar PV power plant that exports its power directly to Singapore. The proposed export program will generate new forms of international income and Foreign Direct Investments for Indonesia. At the same time, being a facility at scale will encourage the development of large-scale and thus competitively priced panels and other solar equipment in Indonesia. This will be a game-changer for Indonesia to enter the league of countries able to produce large-scale solar electricity on a commercially viable basis.

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