The importance of developing alternative livelihoods in Indonesia is reaching a critical
level. Over 60% of the population is reliant upon the ocean for employment and destructive
fishing practices have destroyed over half of the marine habitat . As a result, family
incomes have suffered and fishers have been forced to travel farther from home, often
leaving their families for a month at a time. In response, development efforts have
begun to focus their attention on small entrepreneurial businesses that offer an increase
in the average wage earned by rural fisherman while also reducing the pressure on
wild fish stocks. The business model under analysis employs a franchise system of
business development whereby fishermen buy kits to build backyard mariculture tanks
capable of raising marine species for export and also for local consumption. While
developers have observed success with local adoption and with species rearing, one
major challenge remains. The mariculture systems require a constant energy supply
to run the pumps but 47% of the country does not have access to electricity. This
hurdle poses a significant challenge for the success of the mariculture program but
also for other economic development initiatives that often rely on electricity access.
The purpose of this Masters Project was to investigate energy alternatives for rural
regions of Indonesia, calculate the costs and feasibility of energy development and
evaluate the efficacy of the mariculture business model after inclusion of full energy
costs. This was accomplished over a five month period through extensive data collection
in the field. NGOs, private firms and government agencies were interviewed and documents
were obtained. Results of the data collection were analyzed using the Homer Energy
Modeling System and other Excel based tools. The results of this study indicate that
the costs of energy development in Indonesia are prohibitive for mariculture entrepreneurs.
A series of hurdles including geographic isolation, government mandated price ceilings
for rate payers and limited wind resource availability pose significant barriers.
The results suggest that alternative economic development on island regions of Indonesia
should focus on industries that do not require a constant and steady energy supply.
Businesses that can take advantage of a short duration of electricity supply or one
that is unpredictable will be more cost effective and appropriate to local income