Transforming Indonesia's Sumba into an Iconic Green Energy Island

Video | 18 June 2014

An ADB-supported renewable energy initiative is changing the lives of poor communities on Sumba island, transforming this little corner of the Indonesian archipelago into an exemplary green energy project.

Transcript

Title: Transforming Indonesia's Sumba into an Iconic Green Energy Island

Description: An ADB-supported renewable energy initiative is changing the lives of poor communities on Sumba island, transforming this little corner of the Indonesian archipelago into an exemplary green energy project.

VO: The island of Sumba in eastern Indonesia is culturally distinct from the rest of the country, with unique burial traditions, animist religion, and its own unique language. But it shares many of the same problems as other isolated regions – poverty, high infant mortality and diseases like malaria common.

Access to power for the 650,000 islanders is a huge problem. Nearly half have no access to electricity and use kerosene and wood fires for lighting and cooking – it’s expensive, unsafe and unhealthy.

Meanwhile, the island has an abundance of renewable energy with plentiful solar and biomass resources and significant potential for hydropower and wind.

To harness this green energy for Sumba, a Dutch NGO, Hivos began working with the government. They set an ambitious goal: to extend electricity to the vast majority of Sumba's population using 100% renewable energy.

SOT: Umbu Zaza,
District Head
Bupati, South West Sumba
We choose to have renewable energy here in Sumba… because of our geographical conditions. The island is hilly, very windy, and the distance between settlements is far.

VO: This initiative to turn Sumba into an "Iconic Island" of clean energy has since attracted additional support from other development partners, the private sector, and most recently the ADB.

Progress has already been made in rolling out renewable energy. The village of Weepatando benefits from a government sponsored small-scale solar project. It brings power to 36 houses for a small monthly fee, much lower than the household kerosene bill.

For village headman Lede Dauga, having electricity ar home has changed his life.

SOT: Lede Dauga
Village headman
The children can study now that we have electricity. They have become very disciplined about studying.

VO: And for the rest of the village it means the chance to work and study after dark, and access to things like television for the first time.

ADB joined the Initiative in 2013 with a technical assistance grant worth $1 million aimed at scaling up renewable energy access in Sumba and other areas of eastern Indonesia. This was later increased to $2 million with a grant from the government of Norway.

SOT: Mike Crosetti
Director, Castlerock Consulting
Asian Development Bank
ADB’s involvement can help leverage this model across other geographies within Indonesia and outside Indonesia by supporting the overall development of the program. And the subsequent implementation that can provide a model that can be replicated elsewhere

VO: This ambitious energy experiment on Sumba is important because if it is a success on the island it could enable Indonesia to widen cost effective energy access across many other poor, isolated communities.