2,500-Kilometre ‘Extension Cord’ to Deliver Clean Australian Electrons to Indonesia’s Capital
An Asian consortium is proposing a record-setting 2,500-kilometre underwater “extension cord” to connect solar panels and wind turbines in northern Australia to nine million electricity consumers in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
Indonesia’s government wants to add 35 gigawatts to its existing 45 GW of electrical generating capacity, Australia’s RenewEconomy reports, but has ruled out additional coal-fired generation on Java, the island that includes Jakarta. It has also committed to raising renewables’ share of its capacity by 23% by 2025.
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Led by InterContinental Energy, CWP Energy Asia, and global wind leader Vestas, the Asian Renewable Energy Hub (AREH) consortium hopes to distribute 4 GW of wind turbines and 2 GW of solar photovoltaic panels across thousands of square kilometres of sunny, windy desert in Western Australia state, near the country’s north coast. Electrons would be routed through two high-voltage direct current (HVDC) underwater cables with capacity to deliver a firm 3 GW to West Java.
Peer-reviewed research reported on the blog NoFibs envisioned how Australia could become a clean energy exporter, using “state-of-the-art HVDC backbone cabling to provide up to 5 GW of power to potentially over 300 million people by 2050 in several countries including Timor Leste, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and perhaps Thailand.”
If AREH finds the US$10 billion it needs for its project, it will beat that forecast by 20 years.