Indonesia is committed to leveraging its solar energy resource to help increase the share of renewable energy supply into its overall energy mix to 23% by 2025.
ADB has invested a $40.2 million financing package to four solar PV power plants developed and operated by Vena Energy in North Sulawesi and Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara. This is part of a two-phased portfolio financing for new renewable energy investments in Indonesia and is considered as the country’s first utility-scale solar (PV) plants on a project-finance basis. Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) and the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in Asia II (CFPS II) also supported these projects.
The projects have also opened opportunities for Lombok women through jobs and training to improve their livelihoods. Here are the stories of Fatma Mulyana and the women of Jeger Buana Lombok who are some of the women benefitting from Indonesia’s renewable projects.
Lombok Island, Indonesia – This Indonesian island east of Bali is brimming with opportunities and has a bright future. Like the rest of Indonesia, solar energy resources are abundant at Lombok Island.
Developing them will help meet Indonesia’s ambitious target to increase the share of renewable energy supply to 23% by 2025. This shift to clean energy is creating new economic opportunities on the island. It is also improving people’s livelihoods and quality of life, especially for Lombok women. Meet Fatma, operations and maintenance staff at Vena Energy solar project in Sengkol, Lombok, and the women of Jeger Buana Lombok who are planning to expand the market for their cassava chips business.
"Vena Energy offered a training opportunity here in Lombok in 2018. I registered because I was interested to learn a new skill. And because of that training, I gained new friends and got a job here at Vena Energy. I was motivated to finish the training because of the benefits of working in a good company located in my own village. It would keep me close to my family," shares Fatma Mulyana, Operations and Maintenance Staff at Vena Energy.
Kustina Harwati, head of Jeger Buana Lombok, tells about the group's business, "Our cassava chip business is founded and managed by our group, JBL or Jeger Buana Lombok. We are a women’s group that has members who are housewives and younger women who were not able to continue their education. After completing our entrepreneurship training, we are now waiting for the release of our business permit. And then we will need to process our certification from the Drug and Food Monitoring Agency and the Halal product certification. We need these permits and certifications so we could eventually distribute our products out of Lombok and hopefully export them to international market. The guidance of our training facilitators from Vena Energy, Mataram University, and our local government is a huge help in our goal to expand our cassava chips business."
Vena Energy, Asia-Pacific’s leading renewable independent power producer, is operating three 7 MW solar power plants at Lombok Island. These solar projects and a 21 MW solar power plant in Likupang, North Sulawesi are Indonesia’s first-ever utility-scale solar PV plants. ADB and its development partners supported these projects with a financing package totaling to $40.2 million. It is part of a two-phased portfolio financing for renewable energy investments in the country.
"Vena Energy shares the same concern with ADB on gender equality. So, we too have our internal policy for woman equality within Vena Energy. We are very concerned to provide jobs for women. We are striving to have a fifty-fifty proportion between men and women. A lot of our projects have been supported by ADB. Working with them is like, you know, we are guided to have a better performance, not only in gender, but also in the environmental and social aspects. Specifically for gender, they are very supportive and they always provide guidance on how to achieve our targets," explains Adi Nataatmadja, Safeguards Specialist at Vena Energy.
Financing renewable projects can provide direct economic benefits to women through jobs. It can also improve lives by helping them start small-scale enterprises, and develop their skills through training. ADB* is committed to strengthen and support gender development initiatives in renewable energy projects across Asia and the Pacific.