Tech Progress: Less Energy Consumption, More Productivity
Our lives are inseparable from energy consumption. We use energy to move machines, build infrastructure, and even for daily usage as charging our smartphones.
Urban settlement like Jakarta consumes a significant amount of energy every day. One exposition study stated that on average 80% of energy in Indonesian urban area, which is worth 30 GW has been extracted from oil, gas and liquid fuels. For instance, in Jakarta as the capital city of Indonesia, most of the energy – especially electricity – is being provided by power plants in Muara Karang, Tanjong Priok, and Senayan. These power plants are mostly fueled by gas and liquid to produce electricity. Despite fossil fuel with coal as the most dominant material, innovations have provided a more efficient and less damaging externalities cost.
Jakarta, as the main center for economic activities requires a massive energy to run its path. In 2017, Darmin Nasution, Coordinating Minister of Economics has estimated that 5% economic growth in Jakarta is equal to 7% increase in energy requirements. This estimation puts a general calculation of energy use for Jakarta residents – from electricity to fuel use. Further density caused by urbanization will likely increase public works such as cable for telecommunications, public transportations such as MRT and private vehicles and so on. State’s Electricity Company (PLN) is currently planning to provide the energy requirements.
Power Plants are implementing innovations to produce more energy using the same amount of raw materials. The Back-Pressure Turbine and Combined Congregation – for instance – could harness more energy for electricity in a more efficient way than conventional method. This way, we can produce more electricity. Another achievement by power plants are using heat resistant boiler that could harness 20% more energy from heat generated by burnt coal, according to data found by Indonesian Engineers Association (Persatuan Insinyur Indonesia). These efforts also reduce the externalities such as carbon emission and other pollutants such as smoke.
Indonesia is still relying on fossil fuels, but this doesn’t mean that we aren’t progressing. Some power providers have attempted to mix their supply not only from fossil fuel but also from wind turbines or water based-power plant. As the main developer of alternative energy use, PLN’s major obstacles to develop these alternative energies are the fact that these energies aren’t always reliable to exist in a constant basis – as nature is also being used for another purpose in different area and community. Some waterfalls may provide a relatively constant current, but the nearby community could change the current if they built a dam for agricultural interests, and there is little count of constant wind in nearby cities – making wind power unreliable. PLN’s decision to mix the energy is a right move to progress, lessening the carbon emission while utilization of alternative energies could make room for more practical improvements. In this case, we’re doing pretty good with alternative energies.