Showing posts with label energy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label energy. Show all posts
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Where to complain for bad water services – a comparison

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


If you are in England, UK:

Consumer Council for Water : Consumer Council for Water via kwout



If you are in Victoria, Australia:




If you are in Indonesia:





With one caveat however. The Indonesian Ombudsman does not deal particularly with water (or utilities issues). So I have no idea how they can help, especially when the service is privatized. Read my article here.


Related Posts:


Missing water and shadow users
Human Right Aspects of Private Sector Participation in the Water Sector
14 Disturbing Facts about Jakarta's Water
Water companies duty to satisfy reasonable demands


Student Paper Contest - Renews Berlin 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

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The new electricity law

Friday, September 11, 2009

The House of Representative recently passed the new electricity bill. The bill is perceived by the media as a real attempt to liberalize the electricity sector in Indonesia. But is it true that the law is an attempt to liberalize the sector? How does the law protect investor?

Under the new law, electricity provision are segregated into generation, transmission, distribution and retail and the private sector is allowed to participate. The question is of course, in which segment can the private sector participate and what are the incentives, rights and obligation?

I will return with the discussion later. In the mean time, you can have a look at the new law here (in Bahasa).

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Govt limits liability for nuclear accidents

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The government recently issued GR 46/2009 on the limit of liability for losses caused by nuclear accidents. Under the recent GR, liability is limited into Rp. 4. Trillion (from the previous Rp. 900 billion). Read the said GR here (in Bahasa).

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Nanofactory licensing

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Michael Anissimov wrote a very cool piece on nanofactory regulation:
A primary concern for the development of civilian and commercial nanofactories is the buildup of NanoTrash - cheaply mass-manufactured products made of mostly diamond and empty space. Avoiding NanoTrash while preserving our freedom to design and create will be a great challenge of the early nanotech era. For starters, each nanofactory user should have a personal matter and energy budget determined by a safety authority. These limits should be variable based on product class and user profession. For example, someone that works at a hospital should have a larger energy budget when it comes to manufacturing medical products. In the same way that it’s illegal for just anyone to randomly practice medicine, not just anyone should be permitted to manufacture large quantities of painkillers, syringes, or scalpels.
The idea is to limit and allocate matter and energy budget per person. I guess this means that it operates more like a "license" than a "right". Note that when we talk about right, then the general rule is 'you are allowed to do anything unless it is prohibited'. But when we talk about license, the general rule is 'you are prohibited to do anything unless it is allowed'. For example a driving license: you may not drive unless you have a license.

Who has the power to allows and restricts? Of course, it's the authorities job. The general system in today's licensing-cycle may then be applied: granting of licenses, monitoring of licenses, warning, suspension of license, and finally, revocation of license. Also, this means that we need to consider the types of the licenses. Individual license? Corporate license? Are the licenses transferrable (Can I give my quotas to third parties)? Can parties aggregate their quotas? etc.

Regulating matter may be relatively easier than regulating energy intake. Authorities can regulate matter at the upstream level if they are presented as blocks. But regulating energy may not be that easy. As I have noted in my previous post, even the present day nanotechnology will make it possible for lay people to generate energy. Thus, the general rule in current energy law is: you can consume as much as energy it takes as long as you can either generate it or pay for it. It would be interesting to see that the rule is reversed. Energy is not scarce but they need to be allocated for security reasons. I guess -- for environmental reason -- energy consumption must be limited anyway.

I've been imagining that the licensing will come in the same bundle with the purchase of nanofactory. This licensing discussion is a good start to prepare proto-regulation for future nanotechnology. Another important step would be in designing the authority.

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Nanotechnology: Broadband, Renewable Energy, Long Tail

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Professor Lessig wrote an interesting article in Wired commenting on municipal broadband initiative:

Yes. There isn't yet a Linus Torvalds of broadband, nor is a single competitive platform being built by volunteers to displace AT&T. But there are forces mucking up the game for those who would profit most from last-mile control.

The core of this resistance comes from municipalities. Local governments are building neutral infrastructures that allow anyone, from ISPs to community networks, to use and extend blisteringly fast broadband networks. At the end of its first year, a project in Sandoval County, New Mexico, for example, already provides many in the area with more than 10 times the capacity than anywhere else in the US.

And municipal networks are just a first step. Many Linux-style volunteers are building free wireless networks that enable participants to share access and offer capacity to others. These volunteers are also building free protocols that enable legal access without shifting control to a last-mile access provider.

What can Nanotechnology can contribute to broadbands? Cheaper cables, cheaper routers, cheaper, faster, better connections. Similar to broadband, nanotech may contribute significantly to the energy market: cheaper, high capacity high quality solar cells. What effects will this brings to the future regulations?

As for the energy market, the network still belong to the giants. But this will soon changes as nanotech makes it easy for anyone to provide energy:
MIT's Vladimir Bulovic said that nanotechnologies such as nanodots and nanorods are potentially "disruptive" technologies in the solar field. That means they could cause a major switch in a primary energy source, potentially proving more efficient than the silicon used in most solar energy devices today. Bulovic is fabricating quantum dot photovoltaics using a microcontact printing process.

"If 2 percent of the continental United States were covered with photovoltaic systems with a net efficiency of 10 percent, we would be able to supply all the U.S. energy needs," said Bulovic, the KDD Associate Professor of Communications and Technology in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Thus, nanotech will trigger a long tail effect in the energy market: everyone can supply energy,mostly through solar cells. This is not good for the giants of course, but this does not mean that they'll lose their business. Like Microsoft's response to Linux and open access, they only need to change their business model. One of the possible business model is to become an energy aggregator. As to my knowledge, a scheme similar to this one has been applied in Germany for wind-energy electricity providers. The government there supports independent green energy production and provide mechanism for energy providers to sell their surplus to the authorities. Nanotech will only make the pattern and the tail longer. Nanosolar, a solar cell company called this the third wave of solar energy as it will open mankind to the era of abundant energy.

What the legal people need to consider is how to adjust the regulation to this phenomenon; how to adjust the regulation to support the long tail. Unbundling of energy market will still be a hot debate for the next decade.

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Geothermal projects in Indonesia

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Update on renewable energy investment in Indonesia. There is an interesting article in the Jakarta Post on Geothermal investment. Indonesia has developed only less than a thousand MW of geothermal power although it is estimated to have nearly one-third of the world's geothermal resources. A research (in Bahasa) from the ministry of mineral resources mentioned that there are 252 geothermal locations which have been identified along a volcanic belt extending from Sumatera, Java, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi until Maluku. These heat resources has the total potential of 27 GWe, which puts Indonesia as the biggest geothermal potential country in the world!

The Jakarta Post op ed told that (i) tax uncertainties and (ii) legal uncertainties are among the frontlines of investment barriers. Geothermal investment is really a high risk-high return investment scheme which involves huge exploration and exploitation funds. It is never intended as a short term investment. Investors are afraid that their contracts are not being honoured.

I'll give a little comment on the legal barriers. Generally contract observance remained high. Business partners will think twice before deciding to bailout from a contract since litigation costs are too high. The problem stems not from observance of the contract but mainly due to regional autonomy. How much share will the regions receive are the hot issue. There has been a case where Garut regional government requests Chevron and the Central Government to disburse concession money for their region. They even threatened to invalidate Article 41 of the Geothermal Law to the Constitutional Court. Article 41 governs a transitory provision which stipulates that all contracts prior to the entry into force of the Geothermal Law will remain valid. Under this transitory provision, regions don't receive any money. Of course, their attempts to invalidate the article are futile.

It must also be noted that the 2003 Geothermal Law gave many power to regions in particular with respect to licensing. This is a good opportunity for investors as they can now deal directly with the regions. During the old days, people will have to deal with state owned enterprise such as PLN or Pertamina. However, it is necessary to make sure that both central and regional government approves or condone the projects. It wouldn't be good if after a few years of investing the license given by regional government is revoked by the central, or a license given by central government is revoked by the central. In any event, although the regions are granted more power, it is always important to asks some sort of condonation from the central government.

Click here to read the Jakarta Post article and here to get some general views on geothermal potentials in Indonesia.

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Renewable Energy Investments in Indonesia

Monday, January 1, 2007

The state's electricity company reported that Western Kalimantan's regional government is ready to build a 2x30 Megawatt power plant. The plant will derive its energy from peat (gambut). So far, one investor had obtained a license to build the plant.

Renewable energy is a potential business for many parts of Indonesian region dominated by peat and swamps, such as Kalimantan. Pontianak Regency alone has 2,5 million cubic of peat, ready to be processed into biogas.

I have not specifically look into the rules and legislations for renewable energy in Indonesia, but I will put it in an updated report.