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Increassing Livelihood Opportunity of Community in Rural Area through Renewable Energy Development

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The conflict between traditional fossil-fueled electrical generator and novel, dispersed, clean power resource is more than a conflict over technology, it is including a battle over values and cultural attitudes concerning social welfare, profits, the natural world, and many else (Sovacool, 2009; Wustenhagen, Wolsink, & Burer, 2007). This condition is also similar with Indonesia who want to increase their renewable energy percentage by 23% by 2025 and 31% by 2050 in its energy mix (GoI, 2017), but also want to increase their electrification ratio to 100% by 2025 (ESDM, 2015). To increase the electrification ratio and the demand of electricity, Indonesia still uses coal as main source for power plant. The fossil fuel generator is mainly determined by the price of the fuel itself (Tidball, Bluestein, Rodriguez, & Knoke, 2010) while the renewable energy is determined by technological learning. It possible for Indonesia with its coal reserve, but, for a long time, the dependence will be expensive. Meanwhile, the number of renewable energy power plants are increase, but with minimal growth (Kementrian ESDM, 2016).

These ambitious targets from Government of Indonesia (GoI) is not easy to achieve, particularly with growing demand of energy who related with economic activity and population (DEN, 2016). There are various strategies and approaches in several cities in Indonesia in fulfill the demand of energy (Sagala, Lubis, Ameridyani, & Prambudia, 2015; Tarigan, Samsura, Sagala, & Wimbardana, 2017). In several remote areas in Indonesia, the main problem is electrification rate due to limited energy infrastructure to distribute it. However, renewable energy could increase the electricity access in remote areas as it is more suitable for off-grid on small scale (Pegels, 2010). Barriers for renewable energy development such as technology, cost competitiveness, pricing, and policy (Foster et al., 2017; Verbruggen et al., 2010) are factors that influence the impact and sustainability.

The geological and geographical condition of Indonesia which in form of an island country is the barrier and challenge for Indonesia energy fulfillment and equity in access energy. Many small islands in Indonesia are not connected to main grid. To address this issue, government of Indonesia have tried to use micro-grid approach. One of the prioritize program for renewable energy development of Indonesia is Sumba Iconic Island (SII) project that started in 2010. This program has a target of 100% renewable energy-dependent by 2025 with 95% electrification.

Sumba Island is located in eastern Indonesia, within the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur. Sumba is known as one of the most of vulnerable areas in Indonesia even in South East Asia. Predominantly, Sumbanese’s economy is agriculture and livestock (Bajgain, 2011). Sumba Island has been a subject of interest of many development agencies and national government alike in recent times, mainly because of humanitarian issues caused by climate change effect as well as the socio-economic repercussion caused by them, in the form of poverty, prolonged droughts, floods, and other disaster. In 2014, there was a recorded of 111, 779 “pres-pros-poverty” families within Sumba (Bappeda NTT, 2013).

One of the biggest concern in Sumba Island is the electrification ratio, only 24, 55% despite all readily available renewable energy resources (Hivos, 2011). Centralized energy distribution is deemed to be expensive and somewhat inaccessible for rural communities in remote area. This situation also similar with Sumba Island which is not connected with main grid of National Electric Company (Perusahaan Listrik Negara-PLN) due to its poor economy, thus avoiding the risk of bad investment (PLN, 2015). Moreover, most PLN power plants use fossil based resources such as kerosene, diesel, and petrol. Most of these resources are imported from other areas in Indonesia, mainly from Java. Over time, this situation could increase the cost for electricity in Sumba. Sumba Iconic Island project tried to address these issues with renewable energy as their main energy resources.

Hivos International (international non-government organizations) collaborate with GoI and various International Organization to bring renewable energy to all of Sumba by 2020 through Sumba Iconic island project. Sumba have potency for renewable energy development (Table 1). They have tried different approach’s in fulfilling their demand energy through decentralized/distributed system. Distributed energy system are becoming a real trend as an alternative to the traditional energy grid that is more reliable and environmental friendly (Alanne & Saari, 2006)

SII which implemented in every district in Sumba Island namely, West Sumba, South West sumba, East Sumba and Central Sumba. The study will be focusing in one of the district, East Sumba as a study case. East Sumba chooses a case study due to several factors such as the number of beneficiary for SII project and the various renewable energy that has been used.

The objective of this study is to identify and analyze the impact and barrier of renewable energy development in Sumba in social-economic of community. To achieve the objective, we break down the objective into two purposes as follows:

  • 1. Identification of the impact in community level after implementation of Sumba Iconic Island project in livelihood activity.
  • 2. Analyze the barrier of renewable energy development on Sumba Iconic Island Project in order to maximize the benefit for community.
This study will give analysis clear of the relation between renewable energy developments in remote areas to community livelihood even it impacts to social-economic aspect. The results of study are expected to give clear strategies for government and private sector in implementing renewable energy project for communities particularly for communities in remote area who not connected with main grid in optimize the benefit for socio-economic of communities.