The demand for solar panels is increasing, this is the prospect in Indonesia

27 Apr 2021

The increasing use of solar panels globally opens opportunities for coal companies to diversify their business in Solar Power Plants (PLTS).

Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Service Reform (IESR) Fabby Tumiwa revealed that the demand for solar panels in the world tends to grow rapidly. Unfortunately, he revealed that solar power production in Indonesia tends to be slow compared to China, India and Vietnam.

"The currently installed capacity is only around 200 mega watts, whereas PLTS is believed to grow rapidly in the next few decades, beating the electricity industry," Fabby told Kontan, Wednesday (21/4).

Even so, if we look at the last two years, Fabby revealed that the business and commercial building segments have started using solar panels since 2019. One of them is also driven by the actions of several multinational companies such as Coca Cola and Danone which use solar panels in their factories.

As PLTS grows, he explained that the investment cost for solar panels has become cheaper. In fact, not infrequently some companies choose to switch to using solar panels as a business strategy, especially for coal companies that are starting to look at the solar panel business for diversification.

Furthermore, Fabby revealed that the domestic solar panel production capacity is around 500 MW per year. Where the level of utilization is still very low, domestic solar panel modules are 40% more expensive than imported modules.

"If you use a domestic module, the average price is US $ 28 cents to US $ 30 cents per watt pick. Meanwhile, if imported counterfeit products from abroad can be US $ 20 cents per watt pick, it can even be US $ 16 cents to US $ 18. cents per watt pick on a large scale, "said Fabby.

The reason for the price of foreign modules can be cheaper is because the solar panel industry abroad has been integrated from upstream to downstream, especially in China. That way, the prices between domestic and foreign products are still very competitive.

On the other hand, Len Industri is reportedly conducting a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a company in China to build a solar panel factory. Fabby welcomed the plan, hoping to cut the cost of using solar panels in the country.

"But to compete in price or the same as if importing modules from China is difficult, because they are already integrated, starting from silica, ingots, wafers, cells, modules and their supporting industries. Whereas here maybe only solar cells and modules, so it doesn't feel supportive yet," he said. unless we can start from the upstream industry, "he explained.

Fabby predicts that the production capacity or demand for solar panels in 2022 can increase by 1 GigaWatt (GW) from the current level of 500 MW. Moreover, with the projected increasing demand from industrial and household commercials, along with several projects by the State Electricity Company (PLN) to run smoothly, this year's capacity alone could increase.

"If the PLN projects run, the one in Cirata, Bali runs, the requirement could be 700 MW - 800MW and possibly 1GW in 2022," he said.

PT Bukit Asam Tbk Corporate Secretary Apollonius Andwie revealed that currently his party is also conducting an exploration with Jasa Marga in terms of collaborating with the use of solar panels.

"PTBA is also exploring the installation of solar panels in collaboration with Jasa Marga for lighting on toll roads," Apollonius told, Wednesday (21/4).

As a reminder, PTBA is also preparing to work on two large-scale Solar Power Plant (PLTS) projects on ex-mining land owned by the end of 2021. Plans are to encourage projects in the two ex-mining areas to be carried out in Ombilin, North Sumatra and Tanjung Enim. South Sumatra.

The area for the ex-Ombilin mine reaches 224 hectares, while the Tanjung Enim area is 201 hectares. Later, the targeted capacity to be installed for each of these projects will reach 200 MegaWatt (MW).

Meanwhile, PTBA also has the Soekarno Hatta Airport PLTS project with a capacity of up to 241 kWp in line with the aspirations of presenting a Green Airport in Indonesia. In collaboration with PT Angkasa Pura II (AP II), the project starts from the largest airport in Indonesia with the hope of encouraging other airports to adopt New and Renewable Energy (EBT) through PLTS.

"In the future, the hope is of course that the use of PLTS in Indonesia can continue to grow to increase the new energy mix in Indonesia," he said.

Source :

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