Baseline survey of energy needs, consumption and production sources on Bintan Island

Adequate, reliable and sustainable power crucial for the economic and social development of Indonesia’s islands. Currently, many island power systems rely on expensive, polluting and unsustainable diesel generation. The planning and development of alternative systems is greatly hampered by a lack of data on the needs and resources of specific communities. This project aimed to document existing sources of power and provide baseline data on consumer behaviour on the island of Bintan in the province of Kepulauan Riau.

Researchers surveyed the household energy needs of 360 individuals on Bintan. The results were statistically analysed, as well as being used to model the value of distributed generation and storage in providing increased reliability and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The survey was conducted face-to-face by trained volunteers in three districts. After collecting basic demographic information, questions in the energy section consisted of two parts. Part one tried to profile households energy consumption and expenditure. The interviewer also performed a high level audit on the household electrical appliances, emphasising heavy power users such as air-conditioning systems, computers and microwave ovens, which could be included in the analysis to estimate the energy consumption profile of each dwelling. 

Part two focused on electricity outages, with questions on the average frequency and duration of blackouts, methods of back-up power and the interviewees’ opinions on the inconvenience the frequent outages raise. 

Finally, interviewees were asked for their ideas on improving the situation, as well as a set of questions exploring the extent of behavioral and economic sacrifices they would make to have an uninterrupted, reliable electricity supply.

It was evident that monthly electricity consumption has significant positive correlation with all variables. This is easily understood, as variables reflected dwelling size, appliance ownership and financial status, so an increase in any one can be easily associated with an increase in electricity consumption. Among all variables, electricity use correlated most strongly with connected wattage, household income, number of televisions and number of air-conditioners. The variables representing the size of dwelling (number of bedrooms and occupancy) had a weaker correlation to electricity consumption.