Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital frequently suffers from unpredictable electricity. In the commercial area, power goes out during peak business hours. The frequent power interruptions affect the ability of businesses to serve their customers. Lights go dim and store spaces get extremely hot because there is no electricity to run the fans or air conditioning.
Unfortunately, the situation is not limited to Jakarta because the country’s unique geography makes it challenging to build infrastructures to achieve nationwide electrification. The gird has been overwhelmed by rapid urbanization so that 30 million Indonesians suffer from frequent blackouts, unpredictable power outages and unstable electrical connections.
President Joko Widodo has come up with a solution through the ambitious 2015 electricity investment program that will provide 35,000 megawatts of power by 2020. The program that hopes to achieve nationwide electrification and improvement in energy quality involves construction of 291 power plants, 1,375 sub-stations and 732 new distribution and transmission lines. However, Indonesia will need about $43.7 billion worth of investments to realize Widodo’s dream for the expansion of transmission and distribution network.
In order to ensure that investments will pay off in the future, it is important for electricity planners to know about the current state of Indonesia’s electricity quality. This will be a big task particularly since the new programs will be taking an innovative approach to provide power to those who need it through crowd sourcing data.
In order to gather data, organizers will work with individuals to install electricity supply monitors across 25 locations in Jakarta that will include households, small businesses, farms and public buildings. The devices have the capability to record and log data on electricity supply and outages. Voltage supply will be recorded per minute with data sent to a central server using mobile network for online availability. The data collected will provide stakeholders with a picture of electricity patterns to make strategic decisions.
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