BANYUMAS, thepresidentpost.com – Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo has said geothermal is clean energy for the power plants but most of the people still need to be educated about the benefits of the energy.
“Talk to the environmentalists, ask them what is clean environment? Should we have nuclear power plant instead, ask the environmental activists to talk about it,” he told reporters after the commemoration of World Environment Day, Central Java level, at the Baturraden Botanical Garden, Banyumas Regency, on Wednesday (7/19).
What Ganjar said was related to the rejection of some elements of society against the construction of Geothermal Power Plant (PLTPB) Baturraden on the slope of Mount Slamet.
“If we do not want to use the geothermal energy, how if to use nuclear instead? I believe the answer will be no, fearsome,” he said.
He added that currently no one wants to use fossil fuels to generate electricity. In fact, the use of coal for the Batang Power Plant (PLTU) has also been protested.
“When I was called by the president to speak of strategic development in Central Java, there was an interesting but healthy debate between Pak Jonan (Minister of Mineral and Energy Resources) and Ibu Sri Mulyani (Minister of Finance),” he said.
According to him, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani proposed that the world economy should move to green energy and she gave an example of geothermal in Iceland.
Sri Mulyani said the Iceland went bankrupt and the geothermal energy has been helping the country to recover.
“Now it’s up to you, the important thing now is not whether the permit should be revoked or not. Let’s get knowledge about this energy. We need energy and we have the resource, what we’re going to do about it,” said Ganjar.
Therefore, he asked all parties, especially those who reject the development of PLTPB Baturraden to learn more about the energy.
Separately Assistant for Economic and Development Affairs of Banyumas Regional Secretary Didi Rudwiyanto said that the Law No. 21 of 2014 on Geothermal, the business on mining and geothermal are separated after previously in one division.
According to him, the separation is done because geothermal usually located in the protected forest areas banned for mining activities.
“The core of the earth is like a kettle and there is water coming in. The stones are hot due to the exposure to the magma and generate steam. What will be taken is the steam, so do not worry that Guci (Tegal) and Baturraden will lack of water,” said Didi who studied geology.
He added that the message in the Law No. 21 of 2014 has not reached the public for the government has yet to socialize the law in the people’s language instead of the legal one. Some members of the community think the development of PLTPB Baturraden would end like the Lapindo drilling.
“We do not look for oil, nor gas but steam in the frozen rocks at a depth of 2,500-3000 meters. The drilling can be done in a sloping position which is allowed in a protected forest with the area specified,” he said.
The Baturraden PLTPB development project on the slopes of Mount Slamet has been criticized by several elements of society for fear to damaging the environment, especially the preserved forest.
Hundreds of people who joined in the Alliance to Save Slamet held a rally in the Pendopo Si Panji Banyumas Regency on Tuesday (18/7) to reject the construction of PLTPB Baturraden. (RLS/TPP)