Indonesian Island Plans to Fully Depend on Renewable Energy

August 6, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. renewable energy /rɪˈnuəbəl ˈɛn ər dʒi/ (n.) – energy supply from natural resources, like water, wind, and sunlight
Example: Relying on renewable energy is better for the environment.

2. utilize /ˈyut l aɪz/ (v.) – to use something for a specific purpose or to maximize the use of something
Example: The generators utilize water to produce electricity.

3. things started to look up /θɪŋs stɑrtid tu lʊk ʌp/ (idiom) – a situation in which there are improvements after difficulties
ExampleThings started to look up for the economy when the government invested on technology.

4. generate /ˈdʒɛn əˌreɪt/ (v.) – to produce something
Example: The new power plants generate power with more efficiency.

5. waste /weɪst/ (n.) – undigested food released by the body
Example: The scientists used animal waste to create an alternative fuel.


Read the text below.
An Indonesian island is maximizing its renewable energy sources to solve its problem on the supply of electricity.

Sumba [SOOM-bah], located in eastern Indonesia, has been struggling in recent years because of lack of electricity. Many of its inhabitants experience power cuts, while some have no power at all. Generally, electricity is a major problem for Indonesia. Large cities and even Jakarta, the country’s capital, also experience power cuts.

In 2012, the Indonesian government partnered with a Dutch development organization called Hivos to help the country solve its energy problems by utilizing natural energy resources. Since then, things have started to look up for Sumba.

The project, called the “Iconic Island,” aims to provide Sumba enough access to electricity and help the island use 100% renewable energy by 2025. According to government data, 30% of around 650,000 Sumba residents have electricity, and more than 50% are supplied by renewable sources.

Sumba’s residents commonly use tools such as wind turbines [TUR-bin, -bahyn], solar panels, and hydroelectric generators to generate renewable energy.

Mochamad Sofyan [MOH-kuh-mad sof-yan], renewable energy chief of Indonesian electricity company PLN, said a large supply of electricity can be derived from geothermal [jee-oh-THUR-muh l] sources, especially in a country like Indonesia, where many active volcanoes are present. However, operating geothermal power plants is almost impossible because of several governmental issues that need to be discussed.

On the other hand, porcine [PAWR-sahyn, -sin] waste is found to be an effective alternative for fuel by converting the waste to methane [METH-eyn] gas.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Which renewable energy source would you prefer (e.g. wind, water, sunlight, waste, geothermal)? Why?
·         What do you think are the other advantages of using renewable energy? Please explain.

Discussion B

·         How difficult is it to have no electricity?
·         What do you usually do if you experience blackout for several hours? Kindly describe.

August 6, 2014