As we have emphasized on several occasions before, this energy transition is not a transition without risks. Energy is the basis, for the most part, of all products and services that are manufactured in the world today as well as for transport. And so, if the energy supply is skewed for some reason, it can potentially trigger massive inflationary pressures as well as economic and social damage.
Moreover, history shows that excessive government intervention can seriously disrupt markets and industries. In fact, in 2021, we are witnessing to what extent a severe state intervention can trigger an energy crisis. Although this is a unique situation, the decision of governments to impose closures in 2020 in an effort to tackle the COVID-19 virus – thus severely disrupting trade, consumption and production, including energy production – led to a sudden and massive surge in energy demand when the recovery began. The explosion in demand, but which has disrupted logistics and depleted supplies, has caused energy prices to rise sharply, especially in parts of Europe and China (with, in some countries, electricity prices reaching triple digits).
However, the energy transition is also an important factor at the origin of this energy crisis. As many countries move away from coal in favor of natural gas and renewables, imbalances quickly emerge in tough times. Additionally, renewable energy sources (such as wind and solar) are even less reliable than fossil fuels (especially during winters) and generally do not (yet) create large-scale energy.
The energy transition to renewable energies is therefore not without risks. The good news, however, is that a growing number of companies and countries appear to be embracing this transformation, implying that more and more money becomes available to be invested in renewables (although the danger is that of huge amounts of money be used unproductively if the transition fails at some point).
When it comes to Indonesia’s energy supply, we often read the dichotomy between fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. But is there perhaps a middle way? Well, yes, and it comes in the form of nuclear power. The interesting thing about nuclear power is that the energy is renewable, but the fuel used is not renewable (uranium being the most widely used fuel by nuclear power plants for nuclear fission). Yet, it is generally considered to be clean energy because nuclear energy does not create air pollution or release greenhouse gases. So, is nuclear an option for Indonesia?
Nuclear power in Indonesia
So far, Indonesia does not generate electricity from nuclear power for commercial purposes. However, that could change in the next two decades. While discussions of nuclear power development have been on the table in Indonesia for the past two decades, the Indonesian government has recently given signs that nuclear power is a target, particularly under the current energy transition.
This article deals with:
– How is nuclear energy regulated in Indonesian laws and regulations?
– The Indonesian new and renewable energy bill mentions nuclear energy. What are government officials saying about the development of nuclear power?
– Why would nuclear power be necessary? Are there concerns about the development of renewable energy sources such as solar and geothermal energy?
– Are we waiting for Indonesia to be the forerunner in nuclear power in Southeast Asia?
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