Sunday, December 7, 2008
Indonesia Electricity Crisis
This huge banner on the wall of PT PLN (Indonesia's State Electricity Company) office building on Cikapundung Street, Bandung, reads "Avoid Blackout ...! Let's economize the use of electricity now ...!"
This banner is part of the nation-wide campaign to conserve the use of electricity and other forms of energy.
Shortage of electricity supply is a nation-wide concern now. Indonesia's electricity consumption grows 6.7 percent per year, while the the generating capacity only grows 3.5 percent per year. If this trend continues, Indonesia will soon have an electricity crisis.
For your information, Indonesia only has one electricity company, that is PT PLN (Perusahaan Listrik Negara) or State Electricity Company. PT PLN handles both the production and distribution of electricity for the whole country. This monopoly is guaranteed by the Indonesian Constitution, which states "Branches of production which are important for the state and which affect the lives of most people shall be controlled by the state."
As a result of this monopoly, however, PT PLN has been considered by many as inefficient. Our electricity tarif, for example, is one of the most expensive among ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries. (Lower income families who use 900 Kwh or less of electricity, however, are heavily subsidized by the state, and therefore they don't have to pay the actual tarif.)
There have been proposals to end PT PLN monopoly, but the latest legislation passed by the House of Representatives (DPR) was revoked by The Indonesian Constitutional Court because it was considered unconstitutional.
Private companies can produce electricity but all their production has to be sold to PT PLN at the price that is subject to government regulation.