Monday, February 28, 2022

Indonesia to Replace Diesel Electric Generator with Solar Power Plant

Indonesian state-owned electricity company, PT PLN, in the first stage, is replacing its 265 megawatt diesel powered electric generators throughout the country with more environmentally friendly power plants. Solar photovoltaic panels and batteries with capacity of 660 megawatt will be installed to replace the diesel power plants. (Source:, 8 Feb. 2022)

This decision is made by PT PLN (Persero) to increase its portfolio in renewable energy power generation and reduce its dependency on imports of fossil fuel.

In the second stage, the company plans to convert 2 gigawatt of its diesel powered electric power plants with combined solar and wind ones. 

To carry out these projects the company have invited bids from 160 companies that have got the qualifications and expertise in constructing the renewable energy power plants especially in remote regions of Indonesia. The participants of the projects are expected to be more innovative in building more efficient and reliable batteries. 

The conversion of diesel power plants to renewable ones is prioritized on diesel engines that are 15 years or older. The ones whose diesel oil consumption is more than 0.2738 litres/ kWh. 

The increase of fossil fuel in international market has become a heavy burden on Indonesia's economy that now relies on imports. The shift to renewable energy is seen as a good solution for the country's economy.

This trend is seen as economic opportunity for companies in Indonesia to offer electric bikes and motorcycles that do not depend on gasoline and diesel fuel.  

Also read:

Hydrogen society

Indonesian Shifts to Electric Motorcycles

Based on data from Indonesian traffic police in 2021, there were 143,340,128 motorized vehicles (Viva Otomotif 2021, 6 Sept 2021). Most of them use gasoline as fuel. This was more than half of the population of this country. The military conflict that is still going on this week between Russia and Ukraine has triggered the rise of fossil fuel. The increase awareness among global society about the importance of creating cleaner atmosphere can also be felt in Indonesia.
People shift to electric motorcycles that are cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Shops that sell conventional gasoline powered motorcycles start to provide electric motorcycles. 
Electric motorcycle makers have listed their companies in Indonesian stock exchange. Some of them include PT. Wijaya Karya (Persero) TBK (through its subsidiary PT WIKA Industri Manufaktur); and PT Gaya Abadi Sempurna (SLIS).
selis agats an Indonesian made electric motorcycle
SELIS AGATS - an electric motorcycle - a product of PT Gaya Abadi Sempurna

The trend of Indonesian people shift to electric motorcycle will continue to increase in the coming years. It becomes a great opportunity for these electric motorcycle makers to expand their business. SLIS recorded 20% increase in the sales of electric bike and electric motorcycles. They are now opening more shops in cities and towns in Java, Bali and Sumatra. If they manage to open more shops throughout Indonesia, they will be able to reach more marketshare. Their electric bikes and motorcycles are offered in marketplace websites such as tokopedia; shopee; and lazada; bukalapak;; and akulaku. This marketing strategy significantly expand the reach of selis bikes and motorcycles to thousands of cities, towns and villages across Indonesian archipelago. 
A lot of Indonesian are interested in buying electric bikes because they are cheaper than gasoline powered motorcycles. They don't need to go to petrol station anymore. They just need to swab batteries or recharge their electric bikes at home.
Local electric bike manufacturers still need to improve the quality of their bikes especially in the range, energy density, charging time and power. 
The potential market of electric bike in Indonesia is huge. There are approximately 273,5 million people in 2021. 
The use of renewable energy in Indonesia is still low. It was 11.5 % in 2020. The Indonesian government plan to increase it to 23% by 2045 by generating power from solar, wind, hydro and biomass energy. 
The increase use of electric vehicles in Indonesia will significantly reduce the country's Carbon Dioxide emission if the energy that is produced to supply the vehicles is coming from renewable resources. This will be a great development for the conservation of global environment. 
Also read:

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Digital Art Inspired from Tropical Forest

I like to create art drawings that are inspired from plants and animals in tropical forest. I can use manual tools such as pencil and watercolor on paper or digital ones such as vector drawing software - Freehand and Inkscape - in a deskstop computer. 

Today, my favorite tools are Baseus Stylus and Android Phone which I use with Autodesk Sketchbook drawing application. 

Birds, flowers and butterflies that I see while trekking in the forest have become the main subjects of my drawing projects. For instance, the Red Bird of Paradise (locally called Cendrawasih Merah) below was created after I guided some visitors on a 2-week adventure tour in Waigeo island, Sorong regency and Arfak mountains. I saw the bird in Raja Ampat.

Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra)

I also created several other versions of the Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra) using Android based drawing application.

gambar Cendrawasih Merah Raja Ampat
A male Red Bird of Paradise

Gambar sepasang Cendrawasih Merah
A Couple of Red Bird of Paradise

Birds of paradise as well as other tropical birds of West Papua can be watched in several birding sites such as Waigeo island, lowland forest of Sorong regency, Arfak mountains, Manokwari and Teluk Wondama regency. Birdwatching tourism attracts hundreds of visitors to West Papua province of Indonesia every year. This helps local villagers generate income while preserving their tropical forest. 

Villagers work as porters who carry bags of visitors, cooks, and wildlife watching guides in the forest. When they can earn some money from tours in the forest, they will see positive benefits of the preservation of the environment. 

Here is the pictures of typical forest tours that I run in West Papua. 

hiking and wildlife watching in Indonesia
Rainforest tour in West Papua province of Indonesia

Please, support this blog by buying some products such as t-shirts, mugs, stickers, cell phone cases and etc. that are printed with the above drawings at my artshop in Redbubble: Forest and Coral Reef Art

Friday, February 4, 2022

Preservation of Tropical Forest and Wildlife

Tropical forest in West Papua is the natural habitat of thousands of species of plants and animals. They have become important natural resource for indigenous people who have lived in the region for generations. They obtain food, medicines, and materials for the construction of their houses, hunting equipment and tools from the forest.

birdwatching activity in West Papua's forest by foreign visitors
Birdwatching in the forest of West Papua

Unfortunately, the rainforest in West Papua in now being cut by big companies to take its timber, and clear the land for palm oil plantation. Rural areas around big towns and cities of West Papua are being expanded for massive monoculture plantations, and human settlements. There are areas in the forest where trees are cut for road constructions and mining concession. 

Hiking tour in the forest of Indonesia
Australian Tourists were walking along a ridge to see the beauty of West Papua's forest

Preservation of rainforest in West Papua is now an urgent matter if we still want to see this precious environment in next decades. One of the ways to preserve the forest is by empowering the indigenous people to be united, and smart in economically and sustainably exploiting their natural resource from the forest for their prosperity.

Villagers already have got local wisdom on how to collect honey, catch fish, do hunting and make medicine. However, they need to learn how to make essential oils from various kinds of flowers in the forest or how to run a guesthouse for tourists who want to enjoy a 3-day walking tour in the forest to watch birds and other wild animals.

In other words, the empowerment of the indigenous people is a must to enable them to have economical capacity and will to protect their forest.

West Papua is a very rich land. The mountains and hills have got huge deposits minerals including of copper, nickel, gold, zinc, uranium, and etc. There are coal, gas, and oil too. However the indigenous people are lack of know how to sustainably exploit them. 

Environmentally friendly agriculture, alternative tourism, and education will enable local people to develop their land well. 

to be continued ...

by Charles Roring

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Rainforest Tourism West Papua

West Papua is the western half region of New Guinea island. It is now under the administration of Indonesia. There are two provinces in West Papua, i.e. Papua and Papua Barat. Papua Barat itself, in English, means West Papua. 

Most of the land in West Papua is still covered by huge tropical rainforest. A lot of species of plants and animals live in it. In recent years, rapid economic development has caused rapid shrinking of rainforest. Road construction, logging activities, monoculture plantation, the opening of new human settlements, and mining concessions occur in almost all parts of West Papua both along the coastal and remote mountainous areas. 

The Covid Pandemic that curbs most of the economic activities around the world did not stop that rapid deforestation of West Papua's land. Tropical forest of West Papua can still be preserved. One of the ways to do that is by developing environmentally friendly tourism.

A road between green rainforest in Tambrauw mountains

In 2018, local government of Tambrauw regency in bird's head (vogelkop) region of Papua Barat province declared their territory as the regency of conservation. With this declaration, the local government of Tambrauw will automatically reject any applications for permits on logging, plantation and mining operations. 

Environmentally friendly tourism is seen as one of the alternative income generation schemes for local communities. Agriculture is also encouraged by the government. 

The capital of Tambrauw regency is Fef town which is a valley surrounded by hills and mountains of Tambrauw. There are some guesthouses for tourists who want to stay while enjoying birdwatching and wildlife watching activities in Tambrauw. 

flight route to Wondama regency in West Papua province of Indonesia
Flight route to Wondama (Wasior town)

Another important rainforest area is Wondama regency. Its capital is Rasiei which is an integral part of Wasior town. Tourists who travel to Wasior can enjoy both rainforest and marine tourism. Wondama has got a lot of islands. Visitors can start their exploration of the tropical rainforest inside the Wondiboy nature reserve and then continue their activity by enjoying swimming and snorkeling in Yoop and Roon islands. Wasior town can be visited by airplane from Manokwari city. There are several flights in a week served by Susi Air from Rendani Airport in Manokwari to Wasior town. Some passenger ships travel between Wasior and Manokwari harbours every week too. Hotels, guesthouses, shops, and restaurants can be found in Wasior town. For communicating with the outer world, visitors need to buy telkomsel mobile phone simcard in town to get 4G internet connections. 

wildlife watching trip in Indonesia
Cuscus Possum in the forest of Manokwari

Manokwari city as the capital of Papua Barat province is the main gate for visitors who want to enjoy birdwatching and sightseeing in Arfak mountains. The landscape of Anggi lakes is very beautiful. Visitors can visit Anggi by 4WD car. Rhododenron, passion flowers, canna are some of the many flower plants that grow along the banks of Lake Anggi Giji and Lake Anggi Gida. Nephentes in this elevation looks different from the one in a karst in Kabui bay of Raja Ampat. 

rainforest tourism in Arfak range
Arfak mountains as seen from Rendani airport of Manokwari

Most visitors go to Mokwam region (Kwau village and Syioubri village) to watch birds of paradise. Western Parotia, Magnificent Bird of Paradise, Black Sicklebill as well as Vogelkop Bowerbird of Paradise are some of the many birds that visitors can watch while hiking in the forest of Arfak mountains. 

birdwatching in Raja Ampat islands
Red Bird of Paradise

Raja Ampat is also a highly recommended destination for rainforest tourism. Waigeo island is where most visitors go to watch Wilson's Bird of Paradise and Red Bird of Paradise. Actually, visitors can watch a lot of other animals there from colorful butterflies to soa-soa monitor lizard and green turtles. In addition to snorkeling and scuba diving in Raja Ampat, visitors can go hiking in hills or coastal areas of Waigeo to watch wildlife. 

Most of the rainforest tourism activities in West Papua are served by local people especially the indigenous people who live near the forest. They work as local guides, cooks, porters and suppliers of food materials to visitors. They earn money when tourists visit their forest to watch tropical birds and other wild animals.

Environmentally friendly tourism is an alternative income generation scheme which can help indigenous people improve their economic life and at the same time bring in foreign exchange to government's cofers.

This can be a win-win solution both for the rulers of this country and the indigenous people who have lived in their traditional lands for centuries. by Charles Roring - Email: & Whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Please, support this blog by buying art drawing or illustration of birds, flowers, baby turtle that are printed on t-shirts, tank-tops, laptop skin, cell phone case, spiral notebook, poster, coaster, and a lot more. They are available at Wildlife Artshop in my redbubble webpages.

baby turtle was crawling to the sea
Illustration of Baby Turtle Crawling to the Sea

Water colour painting of paradise birds for sale in redbubble
Lesser Birds of Paradise in the forest of West Papua - watercolour pencil on paper

flower painting for home decor for sale
Water Lily - a framed art print