As a country that has tens of thousands of islands, Indonesia has the energy derived from waves and ocean currents are large. One that can be developed is the utilization of the kinetic force of ocean currents in the strait. An area that has great potential for generating electricity hydrokinetic the Sunda Strait, the Strait of Bali and Lombok Strait.
BJ Habibie, former President of Indonesia who is also former Minister of Research and Technology presented his ideas as the keynote speaker at the event on renewable energy for the future of organized non-governmental organizations in the field of environment and renewable energy, including nuclear, in Jakarta. NGOs are Care Community Energy and Environment (MPEL), Indonesia Renewable Energy Society (METI), Association of Indonesian Nuclear Society (HIMNI), Institute of Nuclear Energy (IEN), and Women in Nuclear (WIN) Indonesia.
According to this flight technology experts , the kinetic force in the straits area was high because the pressure to collect the current from the open sea. Sunda Strait currents supplied from the South China Sea. Meanwhile, Bali and Lombok Strait have ocean currents flow through the Pacific Ocean Strait of Makassar. “In the Lombok Strait’s current is the strongest recorded in Indonesia,” Habibie said.
Seeing the strait location near Java and Bali, according to a source of renewable energy has the potential to meet the needs of electric power in the interconnection Jamali (Java, Madura, Bali) in the future.
Kinetic power in the sea currents of Lombok Strait can be utilized to pump water up to the cliffs on the coast of East Bali. Furthermore seawater was used to drive turbines in artificial reservoirs that can be built in the area. “Management of the potential of this ocean currents as a generator can be offered to private parties as well as oil fields off the coast,” he continued.
In response to Habibie’s thought , Energy Resource Development Director of BPPT (Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology), which is also Energy Society of Indonesia, Unggul Priyanto, Friday (5/2/2010) says, the potential energy of the sea has been studied by BPPT. The result, not satisfactory as a generator for an expensive investment. “Until now hydrokinetic in the world is still in the research stage, no one has the commercial process for electricity production because the cost per kWh generated is still very expensive,” he said.
Meanwhile, the use of ocean waves in coastal Lombok, Rusyana Hoetman Agus explained, Assistant Deputy Engineering Develeopment division, Research and Technology Ministry has actually been studied for utilization in small scale by a team of researchers from the University of Mataram led by I Made Adi Sayogya. Ocean currents energy is converted into mechanical energy to drive the water pumps to meet the water needs for agriculture and clean water on the coast.
Meanwhile, to meet the electricity needs on the island of Lombok, University of Mataram also developed a system of Micro Hydro power generation semi-floating type of tunnel, to help people on the riverbank get cheaper electricity environmentally friendly. In the depth of 2 meters, width of 2.75 meters, and a speed of 2.45 meters/seconds, the river can generate electricity with a hydrokinetic power of 3371 Watt.
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