UN launches US$18m solar project in remote Indonesia areas.

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The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA),  has launched an US$18 million project to provide access to solar power and clean water in remote parts of Indonesia and Timor-Leste. The four-year project, named Accelerating Clean Energy Access to Reduce Inequality (ACCESS), was funded by KOICA and will help nearly 20,000 people living in the remote areas of the two countries. KOICA Indonesia country director Jeong Hoe Jin said the agency was committed to completing the solar power project in Indonesia to ensure access to clean energy and tackle the issue of energy inequality.

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“Under the framework of South-South and Triangular Cooperation between Timor-Leste and Indonesia, we will work with the governments of the two countries to create common goals so that the project can make meaningful progress,” he stated recently. UNDP Indonesia acting chief representative Sophie Kemkhadze said the project would change the lives of thousands of people in remote areas of Eastern Indonesia and Timor-Leste who did not have access to reliable or affordable electricity. “This project exemplifies the commitment of UNDP, together with KOICA, to reach out to the most deprived populations and reduce inequalities,” Kemkhadze said.“It is also a climate action, with clean and renewable electricity generated from solar panels,” she added. More than 10 million Indonesians and some 37,000 families in Timor-Leste lack access to reliable electricity.

In Indonesia, ACCESS will reach 23 villages in West Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, East Nusa Tenggara, and Central Kalimantan through the construction off-grid solar-PV power plants with a total capacity of 1.2 MW. In Timor Leste, the program aims to reach 25 villages in the municipalities of Dili, Manatuto, and Bobonaro through the deployment of about 1,000 high-efficiency solar-PV lamps and 10 solar-PV water pumps to provide clean water access. Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry renewable energy and energy conservation director-general FX Sutijastoto commended the project, noting that ACCESS would support the government’s efforts to accelerate electricity development in remote areas.