In response to the announcement that Bali is destined to suffer rotating power blackouts due to repairs on the Java-Bali power grid, we presented an editorial suggesting that a less painful solution to power shortfalls was readily available in the excess power capacity of generator-equipped hotels in Bali. [See: No Need for Bali to be Kept in the Dark]
That editorial prompted a large number of writers to send us an email, a sampling of which is presented below:
- Bill and Marcia in Bali wrote in with a comment and a suggestion:
If PLN knows that the major resorts and restaurants have 'back up power sources', wouldn't it make sense to have them use it instead of shutting down the more rural areas (like Candi Dasa?) that do not have back up? Also, publishing the black out schedule thru Bali Update sure would be handy for the areas to be impacted!!"
Our response: Good idea. Here's a link to the page at PLN’s website listing blackout areas over the coming few months [PLN List of Power Outages].
- Mark Taylor, based in Bali and working in the power generating sector, said:
Excellent suggestion regarding the hotels, Jack. Not only could the hotels generate the power they require for their own operation, they could grid tie and sell their excess power back into the PLN grid. The available generation capacity of the large hotels would conservatively be around 200 MW which is about half what Bali needs during the peak period which is 5pm till 11pm. Turning the lights off is a joke - shut down the electric water heaters and AC units - they are the prime consistent consumers."
- David Mendoza of Ubud, Bali had this to say:
"Patience regarding blackouts would be much more likely if PLN could issue a schedule of dates with locations of the blackouts so one could prepare. The frustration is when you are suddenly about to cook dinner and the power goes off. If one knows in advance you can have a nasi bungkus ready from the warung! or if a small shop owner, just plan to close for that evening.
I think the best incentive for hotels to follow this excellent suggestion would be for the government to offer access to LOWER prices on imported wines, liquors, and foods via reduced import duty, giving hotels an opportunity to recoup some of the cost of running their generators. I am not in the hotel/restaurant business so this is not on my behalf."
- Adrienne suggests:
"If the hotels just made sure that the air conditioning in unoccupied rooms was turned off, I'm sure that alone would reduce consumption by quite a lot."
- Brian Mullock contributed the following:
"What an excellent idea. And one which hotels may buy into if they can themselves benefit in some way. The politicians should jump at the chance to get private industry involved in helping public utilities. However, one question remains to be answered: why did it happen in the first place? Who was responsible and are they still in their job. If it was private industry in the West, the person would be looking for another job... probably in farming!
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