See 1. Introduction

1.1. Geothermal Capacity Building Programme Indonesia-Netherlands (GEOCAP)

Indonesia is with 220 million people and a GDP estimated around US$800 billion in 2010 one of the largest economies in Southeast Asia. The economy has been steady growing over the past decade, mostly in the range of 5 to 6 percent per year. Although the economy in 2013 has seen a slight set back in its growth, the forecasted developments are very positive. The population growth rate along with the economic growth impacts on the countries need for infrastructure (e.g., schools, hospitals, housing, roads), resources (e.g., food, water, electricity), and jobs. This economic growth has also led to increasing demand for electricity that has averaged around 8 percent growth per year.  It is envisaged that Indonesia’s energy demand is planned to grow 30-fold in 2050. PLN, the national power company, has struggled to mobilize investments to sustain the demand in energy. In 2006, the Government of Indonesia the adopted the Fast-Track Program designed to rapidly develop 10,000 MW of generation capacity utilizing the relatively inexpensive coal resources that is abundant in the country. This resource is cheap but the downside is that it is results in massive CO2 and dust emissions, which are hazardous to the people, and environment and negative contribute to climate change. Indonesia however is also committed to international agreements on greenhouse gas emission. The government launched the INISIATIF ENERGI BERSIH (More Energy, less Carbon), the Indonesian effort to limit the impact of climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative proposes a 9,500 MW of Geothermal electricity generation to be commissioned by 2025 that will reduce 69.5 million ton CO2 annually and over 2,085 million calculated over a 30 year. Indonesia, being located in the ring of fire, a large magmatic arc of active volcanoes, has among the world’s largest resources of geothermal energy or energy generated from natural heat produced by the Earth through volcanic processes. There are presently two main hurdles to overcome that limit the development of geothermal energy: lack of skilled and trained personnel to explore, produce and exploit the resource and the competition between exploration and protection of forest areas as most of the suitable locations for geothermal energy are located in protected forest areas. To achieve the ambition of the Government of Indonesia to increase energy production from geothermal resources to 3556 MW in 2014 and 12.332 MW and to support the 20 new geothermal working areas, geothermal companies will need earth scientists (geophysicist, geologists, geochemist) but also engineers, economists, land conservation experts and legal experts. In part, university-level personnel will be required but also a range of technician-level personnel will be needed. At present there is not enough skilled personnel to fill the existing gaps hence a nation-wide capacity building program is needed. It is difficult to assess the capacity needed both in volume as well as in level of education. The Netherlands Embassy, through Agenschap.NL started to assist BAPPENAS in 2009, to accelerate investments in geothermal areas. On 14 October 2011, the National Development Planning Agency of Indonesia (BAPPENAS) by its Directorate for Energy, Mineral Resources, and Mining issued a program for ‘proposed technical assistance’ aimed at establishing a National Geothermal Capacity Building Program (NGCBP). The Geothermal Capacity Building Program – Indonesia-Netherlands (GEOCAP) specifically refers to the Indonesian-Netherlands capacity-building program that is seen as a contribution to NGCBP.


The objective of the NGCBP program issued by BAPPENAS was to increase the capacity of Indonesia’s Ministries, Local Government Agencies, public and private companies and knowledge institutions in developing, exploring and utilization of geothermal energy sources, and to assess and monitor its impact on the economy and environment. BAPPENAS formally asked to Netherlands to support Indonesia in its quest to develop geothermal resources. A broad Indonesian-Netherlands partnership between the Consortium and relevant and interested Indonesian partners that jointly hold all required knowledge and expertise to support the request was formed. Because of the nature of its members, both in Indonesia and in the Netherlands, the partnership took the form of a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The main goals of the BAPPENAS capacity building program to which the IND-NL PPP developed its program were:

  • Support and strengthen with technical assistance the proposed Project Management Unit (in BAPPENAS) and two Project Implementation Units (one in MEMR and one in ITB/PGE, research and master’s program in geothermal).
  • over a three year period,  strengthen, ITB, Universitas Gadjah Mada and Universitas Indonesia to develop and teach high level specialized geothermal program for senior geothermal experts
  • over a three year period, provide capacity for up to 17 Universities (see table below) with planning and assisting relevant government authorities and institutions with the development and supervision of implementation of geothermal projects (both through direct and indirect utilization of steam) including but not limited to i) social, environmental and forestry management plans, ii) geothermal business development, iii) geothermal disaster risk management.
  • Train local University lecturers and staff in remote heat sensing methodologies and building on the training put together a resource map for developing Engineered Geothermal Sites.
  • Train local university staff to identify, develop and appraise small and medium scale business, which will utilize geothermal energy other than electricity.
  • Train university staff and staff from Badan geologi MEMR and district energy bureaus of local governments to utilize a publicly accessible geothermal database, which will also be developed by the universities under this project.
  • to upscale the activities Geothermal Energy addressing the need for trained personnel (e.g., scientific staff in Universities, National and local Government staff, Management and technical staff in Companies). For each MW of installed geothermal energy, 1.7 FTE additional personnel is required. At the current ambitions of the Indonesian government, the sector should grow to around 12000 employed in 2025 and 30000 employed in 2050.

The Geothermal capacity building programme Indonesia-Netherlands (GEOCAP) is a public-private partnership (coordinated by INAGA and the University of Twente) of Indonesian and Dutch Universities (Institut Teknologi Bandung, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Indonesia, University of Twente, Delft Technical University, Utrecht University), knowledge institutes (TNO - Netherlands organisation for applied scientific research), companies (IF Technology, DNV-GL). GEOCAP reports to an advisory board chaired by BAPPENAS with INAGA forming the secretariat. Members are the Rectors of the participating Indonesian universities, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Directorate General of the New and Renewable Energy (MEMR), Directorate General of Human Resources, Science, Technology and Higher Education (RISTEK-DIKTI), president of INAGA, Head of BPSDM (MEMR).

GEOCAP is funded by the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the Netherlands and received co-funding from BPSDM and in-kind funding and data from several Indonesian geothermal companies.

GEOCAP contributes to build capacity of Indonesian Ministries, Local Government, Agencies, Public and Private Companies, and Knowledge Institutions in developing, exploring and utilization of geothermal energy resources and to assess and monitor its impact on the economy and the environment. The programs aims to lay the foundations of a long-term sustainable relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia in form of Knowledge-to-Knowledge cooperation, Business-to-Business cooperation and Government-to-Government cooperation. The present GEOCAP has a number of intimately linked components:

  • A Education and Training program; focusing on developing capacity at university and technician level in support of the development of the geothermal sector
  • A Research program; addressing the real needs of the sector and solving real life problems related to exploration, exploitation of geothermal resources as well as environmental and legislation issues.
  • A database program; to collect, standardize, digitize, store surface and disseminate subsurface information relevant to geothermal development.
  • A program focusing on the use of-low and medium enthalpy resources.

GEOCAP started in January 2014 and runs until end 2018 although several research projects will outlive the lifetime of the program and there are modest facilities in place for outreach and sustaining training activities.

GEOCAP cooperations 

  • GEOCAP: Government-to-Government cooperation

    In terms of government-to-government cooperation, GEOCAP hosted as part of the annual year plan discussion held in Delft where representatives from the Ministry of Energy of Indonesia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and INAGA (the branch organization of geothermal in Indonesia) presented the current policies on renewable energy uptake. It is clear that our countries foster the uptake of renewable energy. For the Netherlands, this is a direct result of the COP21 agreement. In September 2013, a society-wide Energy Agreement for Sustainable Growth was signed between industries, non-governmental organizations and governments leading to a low CO2 energy economy and an increased share of renewable energy (14% by 2020 and 16% by 2023). Recently the Energy Report was issued focusing on 2023 and beyond again fostering a CO2 neutral energy supply system by 2050 taking on board three main principles: 1) focus on CO2 reduction; 2) make the most of the economic opportunities that the energy transition offers and 3) integrate energy in spatial planning policy. Geothermal plays a key role in this energy transition. The Indonesian the economy grew by 5-6% per year with population growth of 1.2% per year and a growth of the energy supply by 7-8% per year. The country is still highly dependent on fossil fuels and the utilization of renewable energy and implementation of Energy Conservation has not been optimized yet. The government of Indonesia has set itself the ambition to reach 23% and 31% renewable energy usage in 2025 respectively 2050. To speed up the uptake of geothermal a number of legislations have been put in place to simplify the licensing process, to provide incentives for geothermal development (tax holiday, import duties, value-added tax, etc.), with attractive tariffs and a national banking policy support. There is also harmonization of regulations among sectors ongoing (MEMR, Forestry, MoF, Local Government, etc.). Now there are 51 projects in the pipeline. For further acceleration, the Government is implementing a Feed-in Tariff mechanism. Based on the Government Regulation no. 79/2014, new renewable energy in Indonesia must contribute 23 % of the energy mix and 12-13% will be from Geothermal. It has been determined that by 2025, the geothermal development must reach 7200 MW or in other word, it will require additional of approximately 5700 MW. Currently installed capacity is 1493 MW by the end of 2016, additional capacity will come from Lahendong 20 MW, Karaha Bodas 30 MW and Sarulla 110 MW. Next, other geothermal working areas will be developed such as Hululais, Lumut Balai of PGE, Sarulla another 110 MW, Supreme Energy etc. EBTKE also planned to tender 30 GWA during 2016 - 2026. In 2016, the first successful tender was Gunung Lawu, (165 MW) won by Pertamina, then Wai Ratai (55MW) won by Enel from Italy.

    GEOCAP also participated in the Netherlands Trade Mission to Indonesia headed by Prime Minister Mark Rutte accompanied by Ministers Schultz, Ploumen and Dijksma. During the Mission we organized a seminar on renewable energy transition bringing together stake holders from Indonesia and the Netherlands to share best practices on energy transition toward a CO2 neutral society (government-to-government cases), best practices in business cases for easing the uptake of renewable energy (business-to-business cases), best practices in capacity building and the labour market for geothermal personnel (knowledge-to-knowledge cases) and to align forest conservation and geothermal exploration seeking best practices (government-to-government cases). This through a discussion between Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Indonesia Mr. Archandra Tahar, president of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers VNO NCW Mr. Hans de Boer, Director General of New and Renewable Energy Mr. Ir. Ridha Mulyana, MSc, Head of the Human Resources Development Agency, MEMR Mr.  Dr. Ir. Djajang Sukarna and several GEOCAP experts.

    GEOCAP collaborates directly with BAPPENAS and MEMR and maintains a liaison with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.

  • GEOCAP: Knowledge-to-Knowledge cooperation

    In terms of Knowledge-to-Knowledge cooperation, GEOCAP has been active in establishing long-term sustainable means of collaboration in education and in research. In education, we see the need of assisting universities outside of Java in fast track developing their university curricula in geothermal. The three main Indonesian University partners have a sustainable master program in geothermal, however such programs are in large lacking in the islands outside Java. Despite that many of the proposed (e.g., 51) working areas for geothermal are outside Java and on the other main islands. For these working areas to be developed, local skilled personnel is needed. Thus, GEOCAP is opening up its training workshops to trainers of these universities in particular. GEOCAP has an agreement with BADIKLAT now BPSDM (the training centre of the Ministry of Energy) to enable to support more colleagues from outside Java to join its trainings. The long-term aim is to select a number of these universities and as a follow up to GEOCAP assist them in curriculum development possibly in form of joint education programs. GEOCAP has also been pioneering in setting up so called joint (or double) degree PhD programs between the three university partners in Netherlands and Indonesia (co funded by LPDP). Possibly this could be channelled as part of the cooperation under an MoU signed on 22 April 2016 in the Hague by Dutch minister Bussemaker and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi. In 2016, GEOCAP established the first joint supervision-sandwich PhD program to which six PhD candidates enrolled. These candidates will obtain their PhD through joint supervision from two (one Netherlands and one Indonesian) universities and they will spent half of their research time in the Netherlands and in Indonesia. Initially it was our ambition to develop this program as either a double degree (two degrees, two certificates) or a joint degree (one joint degree and one certificate) to honour the bilateral equal partnership of GEOCAP. However, this was found impossible, as RISTEK DIKTI (e.g., Ministry of Education in Indonesia) back then has no regulation in place to support joint/double programs at PhD level. We had meetings with LPDP and BAPPENAS had meetings with RISTEK DIKTI, which resulted in a legislation from DIKTI that put the responsibility and mandate for joint supervision programs with the Indonesian universities. GEOCAP has also contributed to the development of a joint research agenda for bilateral collaboration fostered by the KNAW and AIPI (e.g., the Netherlands and Indonesian science foundation respectively). With the end of the Scientific Program Indonesia the Netherlands (SPIN) on the horizon, and taking into account significant changes in both our countries concerning institutions, scientific and societal agendas, the KNAW took the initiative for a process of stocktaking. Together with scientists and stakeholder institutions, we wanted to find out what the strengths of our cooperation and networks is at this moment, which scientific ambitions and goals are on our radar and how those scientific ambitions could contribute to answering national and international challenges and problems. We have used the knowledge and strength of the Dutch and Indonesian members of our networks, who all contributed to the identification of themes, defining the scientific and societal importance, and indicating the connections and synergies within the resulting circle of themes. GEOCAP also was part of the scientific organizing committee of the eighth KNAW Open Science Meeting 2017. These Open Science Meetings have become a modern tradition in the scientific cooperation between Indonesia and The Netherlands. 

  • GEOCAP: Business-to-Business cooperation

    An area of key expertise in the Netherlands is in direct use of geothermal resources for heating and cooling, process heat for companies, drying of crops and small-scale electricity on remote locations. In Indonesia, there is lot of expertise on energy generation from high enthalpy volcanic geothermal systems. Direct use in GEOCAP focuses on the use of low and medium enthalpy geothermal energy (up to 200°C). One important application is direct use: geothermal heat is used directly for heating purposes. The main advantage is that the energy efficiency is very high. Next to direct use, the geothermal heat can also be used for cooling (by using sorption-cooling machines) or electricity production (by using ORC-like technology). The focus of the study is on West-Java. Lessons learned can be used in other areas of Indonesia as well. Direct use has very high-energy efficiencies, but important (technical) boundary conditions are that the source temperature must be high enough to supply the required heat demand and that the source must be close to the demand. Both sources and demands were identified in West Java. Identified sources are five geothermal power plants, 27 locations with surface manifestations (e.g. hot springs and fumaroles) and the West Java sedimentary basin. A lot of heat is needed in (food) industry and agriculture. Detailed production data is not accessible, but using expert knowledge of universities in Indonesia, it was possible to identify important areas and applications. The next figure gives an overview of the identified sources and demand. The figure below gives an overview of the identified sources and demand. Because detailed production data is missing (due to confidentiality), literature and knowledge on agricultural and industrial processes were used to identify opportunities. In addition, input of the workshop with a variety of stakeholders was used to identify opportunities. Based on a temperature match and distance, 26 matches of small/medium enterprises were identified. In addition, three important industrial areas were identified within the West-Java Basin. Promising applications are in milk, tea-, textile- and vetiver oil industry. Promising locations are Wayang Windu, Cisolok/Cisukarame, Jababeka Industrial Estate, Karawang International Industry City, Southern part of Bogor and Awibengkok. Besides direct use, GEOCAP also assists the government of Indonesia and its private sector on the development and streamlining of geothermal databases. During 2016, a lot of discussion has been focused on the role of geothermal databases and repositories in GEOCAP. Several institutes in Indonesia maintain a geothermal or related database in Indonesia including various companies (on their working areas), the Ministry of Energy and the geological survey on Indonesia. In the Netherlands, TNO is maintaining the subsurface data for the Netherlands. GEOCAP will provide assistance in building the Data and Information of the Indonesian underground, building from state of the art technologies and extensive experience in subsurface database development, digital workflows and web information systems, developed in the Netherlands.  In 2016, a GEOCAP workshop on the geothermal database has resulted in the scoping of cooperation between MEMR, Indonesian university partners and TNO for a geothermal database work plan, which is focused towards e-reporting.

  • GEOCAP: Trilateral South-South collaboration

    GEOCAP has collaborated through the World Bank ESMAP program to support capacity building within the Tanzania Geothermal Development Company (TGDC).  The objective was to create a forum for knowledge sharing among the key stakeholders in the energy and extractive resource sectors on the status of geothermal development in Tanzania and to prepare Tanzania for exploration drilling. For this purpose, a study visit to Indonesia was executed in 2016 as a follow up of meetings in Tanzania led by staff from ITB (Indonesia) and TNO (The Netherlands).