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Study finds tidal energy potentials in Kelang, Larantuka and Alas Straits

JAKARTA ( – The New, Renewable and Energy Conservation Directorate General has revealed a new study about tidal energy potentials in Indonesia, which is expected to pave the way for Indonesia to kick start the development of tidal energy in Indonesia.

The study conducted by Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), which is supported by Bandung Institute of Technology and other institutions and Artelia, has identified 3 zones out of the 24 sites that have been surveid, namely Kelang Strait in Maluku, Larantuka Strait in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and Alas Strait which separates Lombok and Sumbawa, West Nusa Tenggara province.

Indonesia is the largest archipelagic state in the world with a large amount of straits between islands suggesting that the potential for marine energies and especially marine currents energy is interesting.

AFD conducted a second step detailed techno-economic evaluation of the sites preselected during step 1 of the mission based on literature and worldwide tidal model.

The tidal resource has been modeled by the Bandung Institute of Technology with a 3D ocean hydrodynamic model. The tidal energy farm costs in Indonesia have been modeled by Inn2Grid.

From these two inputs, the energy potential of each site has been assessed by Artelia with a dedicated techno-economic model.

Based on those detailed data, the yearly average tidal speeds appear to be often too low, or the interesting spots located in too shallow or too deep waters for 21 out of the 24 pre-selected sites, resulting in a low yearly energy production and thus a high energy cost.

Those results are contradictory with the literature on several sites, raising the question of the model and/or literature validity, and especially with regard to the effect of the Indonesian Through Flow (ITF) on the selected locations.

The Bandung Institute of Technology validated its model outputs based on their available tidal current measurements.

The best sites of interest have been identified in Kelang area with a global energy potential of 500 MW over three specific locations, to be compared to the very low electricity demand (3.2 MW peak) and poor electric infrastructure of this area in the current situation, even though there is a significant increase of the energy demand expected until 2020 (+218%).

This potential should be considered within the framework of the electrification of new areas. It is not relevant to consider, in the current situation, the development of more than one site, and limited to a small share of the global potential capacity. The choice of this site within the three candidates of this area cannot be done without considering the localisation of the expected development of the energy demand.

The second best location is Alas Strait, with an interesting potential estimated to 9 MW. The peak demand in this location is already significant, with 35 MW and an expected increase of +147% until 2020, which fit very well with its tidal energy potential.

The third interesting location is Larantuka Strait, with a techno-economic energy potential estimated to 3 MW to be compared with the electricity peak demand estimated to 3.9 MW and expected to increase by +175% until 2020.

The energy cost of this site is estimated to be already much higher than the two other sites, though we advise to keep it for the measurement step of the study in order to validate the non-effect of the ITF.

“In order to conclude definitively on this subject, we advise to undertake tidal current measurements on the three best locations identified in this study: Kelang, Larantuka, and Alas. These measurements should be done during a period of the year during which the Indonesian Through Flow is at its maximum,” the reported said. (*)

Edited by Roffie Kurniawan (

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