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Indonesia to Spend US$84 Mln on Solar Energy in Rural Areas

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Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry announced that it would spend 800 billion rupiah (about US$84 million) to build solar power plants with a total capacity of 2,234 kilowatts-peak to expand access to electricity in rural areas next year, the Jakarta Globe reported on Monday.

"The electricity produced by the plants will benefit 150,000 to 200,000 households in different parts of the country," Jacobus Purwono, the ministry's director general of electricity said.

The Kilowatts-peak is a measure used to describe maximum out putby a solar power plant under ideal conditions, expressed in kilowatts.

An estimated 84 million of the country's 240 million population have no access to electricity, Jacobus said.

This year, the government has allocated 600 billion rupiah (about US$62.4 million) to build solar plants for 100,000 people. Under the ministry's 2010-2014 power generation blueprint, it would build 250 solar-powered plants across the country, he added.

In addition, the government also planned to build 570 micro hydropower plants with a generating capacity of 45.6 megawatts, to set solar power generating panels for 192,000 homes and to build 270 wind power generator with a total power capacity of 21.67 MW.

(Xinhua News Agency November 2, 2009)

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