Increasing the number of coal-fired power plants (PLTU) from 42 to 159 will increase the risk of death from air pollutants in Indonesia from 6,500 a year in 2015 to 15,700 in 2024.
The government plans to add some 117 PLTUs in the next decade to meet the demand for more power.
A study conducted by Harvard University revealed that air pollutants from the burning of coal at 42 existing power plants resulted in at least 6,500 deaths per year from strokes, heart and lung cancers and other respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
The number will increase to 15,700 once the 117 new plants are constructed. The 117 new plants do not include other plants that the current government plans to install in its ambition to produce another 20,000 megawatts of energy. The ambitious project includes the construction of the controversial plant in Batang, Central Java, which continues to face protests from locals in he area.