On Wednesday (Sept. 28), Vice President Jusuf Kalla said, the Four Ideals of Electricity Development covering power adequacy, competitiveness, sustainability, and equitability should be realized in order to meet the demand for electricity, which has become the basic needs of society.

“Electricity is the prime energy and the development of electric infrastructure will never stop. There are two reasons for this. First, the population continues to grow 1.5% per year, and secondly it is to support the growing industry,” said the Vice President in the opening ceremony of Electricity Seminar and Exhibition to commemorate the 71st National Electricity Day 2016, at the Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta.

The Vice President added that one component that matters most in the world of industry the competitive price of electricity.

The Vice President also said that Indonesia’s economy in the past was not as advanced as other countries due to the low capacity of the state in building infrastructure because too many subsidies, with the largest subsidies in the energy sector.

“The peak was in 2014 with subsidies reaching 390 trillion rupiahs. Some 330 trillion rupiahs of the subsidies was for energy, 100 trillion rupiahs of which was for electricity,” said Vice President.

Based on other countries’ experiences, the Vice President continued, the provision of subsidies in the energy sector has led to various dilemmas.

“We do not want to sell electricity at high prices, but we also want people to save electricity. When the electricity is sold too cheap, people will not care about (this). We should educate our people to appreciate what is given by the state to them,” said the Vice President.

Closing his remarks, the Vice President said that with the momentum of the 71st National Electricity Day, electricity infrastructure is expected to be fulfilled by using domestic technology capabilities.

Previously, Chairman of the Indonesian Electricity Society (MKI) Supangkat Iwan Santoso reported, the electricity seminar and exhibition electricity is slated to last for 3 days, from the September 28th to 30th, 2016 with 27 speakers from home and abroad.

Mr. Santoso also reported that currently there are 14 state-owned enterprises (SOEs), 7 SOEs’ contractors, and around 191 private companies that have been involved in the electricity development.

Based on data from the Ministry of Industry, the state-owned electric firm PLN, and the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), almost all medium and small-scale steam-powered power plants (PLTU) –with a capacity of 100 MW and under—are using locally-made components.

On the occasion, the Vice President also launched a national PLTU program with small and medium capacity as an attempt to boost the use of domestic content and to build a synergy among strategic state-owned enterprises.