Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be present at the official launch of four geothermal power plants (the Ulumbu, Ropa, Ndunga and Mataloko plants) on 11 September 2014 on Flores (East Nusa Tenggara). These plants will supply 20 megawatts of electricity to eight regencies on the island (West Manggarai, Manggarai, East Manggarai, Ngada, Nagekeo, Ende, Sikka and East Flores). Indonesia is estimated to have the world’s largest geothermal energy reserves. However, the country only uses a fraction of its geothermal potential.
Geothermal energy is a relatively environment friendly energy source derived from the earth’s inner heat in the form of steam which is used to drive turbines for the production of electricity. Although exploration costs and the capital cost of geothermal plants are higher than plants that run on fossil fuels, production costs for geothermal plants, however, are low compared to the fossil fuel-fired plants.