등록: 2011.11.09 수정: 2014.11.12

Tri Mumpuni, the one of the 2011 Magsaysay Awardees, has been proposing an innovative model, the hybrid model, to solve Asia's pertaining issues such as poverty, energy, environment and natural disasters. HERI interviewed her via email and here goes the full text of the contents.

Congratulations on winning Magsaysay Award. Could you explain how and why you won this great opportunity?

I was surely did not know that I will be awarded with Magsaysay.  The people who came to make assessment to my works and my activities came to me as researchers (in fact they were pretending).  They came to see the power plant we built, they talk to people who get the benefit of my works and they talked to staff and many others to make sure that I was deserved to have this prestigious award.  And they went back to Manila without any news.  But last July when I was in Paris, someone sent me an e-mail want to talk to me and I was very busy at that time and I was saying to my staff to help her if she wants to do intern in our organization.  She insisted want to talk to me, finally when I was in Vienna, I had a chance to finally connected to her (the director of the Magsaysay Foundation), she told me that I was awarded The Magsaysay Award.

The Magsaysay award was given to me for my effort of providing and opening access of electricity for the poor and creating income improvement in the community level.

You are well-known pioneer in deploying micro-hydro power system in rural area where the national grid does not reach. How did you get into this field? Why micro-hydro? Why not other alternative energies, such as solar, wind or biomass?

The micro hydro was started by my husband in early 1990s, and at that time our thought micro hydro that give benefit to local people, its primary energy is close to the people and is the very easy technology to be implemented, locally manufactured and the water which abundance in all over Indonesia. The availability of the water and geographical condition in Indonesia is very suitable to be used as micro hydropower. Micro hydro is high technology but environmentally friendly, it does not take the water physically but only taking the energy and put the water back in the river. This is run off system so do not need to make dam.

As far as I know, the Cinta Mekar project is known as one of the most successful ones. What were the key success factors on this project? Were there any difficulties in processing this project? How things are going in Cintar Mekar these days?

The key success factors of Cinta Mekar project is socially prepared project, every single person in the community was approached by conducting village meeting, talk and discussion very intensively with local community. Environmental condition is also very supportive, meaning water availability is sustainable every year in a quantity which could generate power. Bringing many other parties into the project, including government, utilities and the community, is also very helpful.

When we want to start the project, the fund availability is only 50%, so we talked to local private who wants to put their money and invested in the community projects. A joint venture, equally owned by the community and the local private company, was build. In this case the hybrid model, we called, here is giving benefit to both parties; the community and the private company equally share the profits.

The most difficult part of this project is convincing the community and local government that this model is a breakthrough model, so the community and the private can share benefit and the power is sustainable due to the private who has the technology capability will closely look to give technical assistance.

The condition in Cinta Mekar right now is progressing, the community has the capability to send the poor children to school by giving the scholarship, the community can get the free healthcare, there is salary for local village committee (normally they are working on volunteer basis), the community can built their own village clinic healthcare, have fund to improve their infrastructure, having community radio, free telephone, etc.

You are building sound relationship with many governments not only with Indonesian, but also with Japanese, Netherland and USA. Given that the government officials are the most difficult to negotiate, there must be some secret of your own to setup and maintain such win-win relationships with them? What are your secrets?

Showing the best practice and convince them that our job is to fill the gap that the government cannot fulfill due to the very wide area of work coverage. Government officers who work based on the per diem cannot replace our fulltime commitment stay with the local community.

But I also show great intention of cooperating with government to solve the universal problem by providing electricity for the poor in rural area, and creating more opportunity to improve community income at the local level. I show them that our work is small but the impact is huge.

Korea has many mountains, valleys and islands around. Do you think micro-hydro power plant is also applicable to Korea? Korea is one of the world’s largest energy consuming nation, and, recently, we are experiencing sudden blackouts here and there due to a surge in electricity consumption. Korean government is claiming that nuclear power is the only solution. What is your comment on this?

If there is enough water and geographical condition is appropriate to develop the hydro power plant, of course it is better to develop hydro power first, run off river and environmentally friendly technology.

Korea is one of developed country, which electricity is a must and the reason of having nuclear is to fulfill the demand of its nation needs. But the need has to be calculated properly. If I were Korean, I will choose to develop all renewable potential first before going to nuclear, nuclear is the last options.

What would be the impact on the Indonesia of Ibeka’s effort? What would be the impact on the entire world?

Ibeka’s impact is giving electricity for community to be able to fulfill their needs of energy and also creating their income by processing their agriculture products.  With the community based approach, Ibeka can support government of Indonesia to reduce poverty amongst the poor people in the villages and also creating awareness at the community level if micro hydro is implemented since the micro hydro is the technology that need the constant of water supply so the community has to take care the forest in order to get the constant water supply.

The Indonesian will gain forest conservation as well as clean energy if micro hydro is implemented.  The subsidy of fossil fuel to generate electricity can be reduced. Indonesian will also reducing their number of poor people since micro hydro is utilizing local resources to the benefit for the local people at first. And the community can sell its electricity as an access power to the gird to get some income for the local people.

The world will benefit to have clean atmosphere since there is no CO2 emission if micro hydro is generated.

What is your vision in 10 years for yourself and for Ibeka?

I would like to share the model of community based electricity power supply to the rest of the world, creating sustainability and connecting the local community to their own local resources in order to reduce the number of poor people, conserving the environment and reducing the CO2 emission by implemented more and more community based model of electricity provision for local community, not just with micro hydro but other renewable energy resources such as micro geothermal, gas methane, solar chips power, etc. I will help many people to gain access of electricity by influencing the policy level to speed up the access of electricity for the poor.  Finally I will write a book to make it easier of other people in knowing the model I developed.

Ibeka will always share the knowledge to the rest of the world; the team will create more and more people to have an institution like Ibeka who always have a place for community to work with at the community level. And Ibeka will try to contribute electrifying 10 million people in the next ten years.

e team will create more and more people to have an institution like Ibeka who always have a place for community to work with at the community level. And Ibeka will try to contribute electrifying 10 million people in the next ten years.

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