Are Hydroelectric Power Stations Still Beneficial?

Hydroelectric power station is one of the major players in the renewable energy transition. Read on to learn why you should invest.

Hydropower, known as hydroelectric power, is a sustainable energy source that produces electricity. A hydroelectric power station alters the natural flow of a river or other body of water using a dam or different structure.

The power plant utilizes water as a fuel that is neither diminished nor lost. Hydropower depends on the unending, continuously replenishing mechanism of the water cycle to generate energy.

Hydroelectric power station facilities are typically situated on or close to a water source since they use water to produce energy. The amount of energy that the power station may extract from flowing water relies on its volume and the elevation change, or “head,” between two points.

Hydro Power Plant Position in Green Energy Investment

The amount of power that can be produced increases with flow and head. Despite a step up in capacity expansion, hydropower generators declined by 15 TWh (down 0.4%), falling to 4 327 TWh in 2021.

Droughts in many regions of the world were a major contributor to this decline. However, hydropower continues to be the most significant source of renewable electricity, producing more than all other renewable technologies.

Over the previous five years, the growth rate was just one-third of what was needed. That number indicates the need for more robust measures to simplify permits and guarantee project sustainability.

The reliability of hydropower facilities should be acknowledged as the foundation of future clean energy systems, and they should get the appropriate support.

Hydroelectric Power Station Investment in Indonesia

The Cisokan Hydroelectric Power Plant (PLTA), with a capacity of 1,040 megawatts, is being built by PT PLN (Persero) (MW). The hydroelectric project, which cost about USD 850 million, is situated at the boundary between West Bandung and Cianjur Regencies in West Java.

Harris A. Yahya, Director of Geothermal, Directorate General of EBTKE, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, stated that the hydropower project is a part of the plan to retire the steam power plant (PLTU), which will operate in 2027.

Both in capacity and as a baseload so that PLN can continue to deliver consistent electricity. As of August 2022, the hydropower plant that PLN created had an installed capacity of 5.4 GW, representing 8.1 percent of the total installed capacity of PLN plants in Indonesia.

In the meantime, 2.7 GW of the water-based power plants under development under the 2021–2030 RUPTL are in the building stage, 0.32 GW are in the funding stage, 0.27 GW are in the procurement, and 6.8 GW are in the planning stage.

Challenges in Hydroelectric Power Plant Development

Are Hydroelectric Power Stations Still Beneficial?

Although largely beneficial, hydroelectric power plants have a prominent drawback that investors and business actors should consider. One drawback is that rich and fertile woods in plains and river valleys, marshes, and plains are occasionally destroyed.

Large dams connected to conventional hydroelectric power plants might cause widespread flooding along the river. Killing dams can harm the ecosystem and impede river flow frequently.

Creating massive dams is also a drawback, as they lead to displaced people and animals. Hydropower output can be significantly decreased by drought and seasonal variations in rainfall. Evaporation can also result in the loss of water.

Additionally, the largest particles can be carried downstream by flowing water. This harms dams and associated power plants, especially those that are located near rivers or densely populated wetlands.

Lastly, The production of hydroelectric ponds has also been found to be quite methane-intensive in low-lying rainforest regions where some of the forests must be submerged.

Indonesia’s Green Energy Investment Alternatives

According to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, Indonesia had a bright future because it possessed nearly all of the energy sources required for the energy transformation process.

“The future of Indonesia is auspicious. We need to have faith in our bright future. We are still better off than our neighbors, and we have almost everything we need to complete the energy transition,” said Dadan Kusdiana, director general of new and renewable energy and energy conservation at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s Energy Transition Youth Forum.

He stated that Indonesia had a potential for 3,700 gigawatts of various renewable energy sources, evenly distributed from Aceh to Papua.

As a maritime nation, Indonesia has enormous potential for marine energy, Kusdiana continued. Since maritime power is predicted to be the energy of the future, these resources call for creativity from young people. He is, therefore, hopeful about Indonesia’s potential, especially regarding the abundance of resources.

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Pandu Biasramadhan

Pandu is the Consulting Manager at Cekindo. He has extensive experience in working with government agencies. Notably, he has provided market-entry solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managed regional partnership channels in Southeast Asia. At Cekindo, Pandu aspires to lead the consulting team to provide top-quality market-entry services and maintain a portfolio of global clientele. His specialty is market-entry advisory and business process outsourcing.