"The tenders are out there, they just need the investors to come in," says Paul Brophy, president and chief executive of geothermal consultancy GES. "So far, some 20 to 30 concessions have been issued so there is still lots of room for new companies to come in and develop the resources."
Unfortunately, the bidding process to lack of infrastructure is holding up investment in addition to a muck of local politics and cultural beliefs. Some Hindu leaders fear that meddling with nature could anger the gods.
Geothermal is one of the most environmental ways to produce energy; it creates almost no carbon dioxide and requires a third less land than solar or wind energy infrastructure. It’s also cheaper than coal or gas, and could dramatically boost the growing economy of Indonesia. Although upfront investment can be high, the country needs the power to help it grow.
Chevron is currently the world’s largest geothermal power producer with plants in Java and in the Philippines. In addition to other companies like India’s Tata Group and General Electric Co., Chevron is putting more money towards the country’s geothermal potential, even despite accusations from disheartened locals that the company is cutting down trees in the process.