Renewable Energy in the Franciscan Parish in Kurubhoko, Flores

Nowadays, the issue of renewable and sustainable energy sources is widely discussed. It indeed departs from the fact of the threat of scarcity of fossil energy sources and their impact on the environment and human life. This paper does not want to discuss the above matters. This article is a small story about the application of renewable energy in our parish in Flores, Eastern Indonesia.

The Parish of St. Mary, the Queen of Angels of Kurubhoko, is one of the smaller parishes on the mainland of Flores (East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia). There are two renewable energy sources that we apply in this small parish.

1. Electricity from Solar panel

We know that electricity plays an essential role in human life today. It is not only functions for night lighting but also various human activities. But for people in rural villages, such as Kurubhoko, the first function of electricity for night lighting. Generally, the power used by the state comes from fossil fuels. In Kurubhoko, night lighting depended on the state electricity company. Unfortunately, this electricity is more extinct than light. It has an impact on life in the parish priest’s house. Facing this lighting problem, I chose solar energy as a solution because the temperature of this region is quite hot. Besides, solar power functions economically and ecologically.  I submitted a proposal to the Bank Rakyat Indonesia office in Jakarta. And they granted my request, even on a small scale. This solar energy is sufficient for lighting in the Church and around. 

Solar power for artificial wells

A challenging issue in Kurubhoko besides lighting is water. This region consists of dry grassland that can only be cultivated for agriculture in the rainy season. In the dry season, people must bathe and wash in the river. Seeing this reality, I tried to find a solution as a parish priest. I submitted a proposal to the local government. Thanks to God, they granted my proposal. Until now, water from these wells can be used by the community both for household needs and for vegetable crops in the yard.

2. Biogas

In addition to solar power, we also develop biogas from pig dung for the rectory kitchen needs. This is an example project for parishioners about the use of livestock manure. The majority of people have pigs. Unfortunately, they do not build permanent pens so that their dung cannot be used. Biogas is very beneficial both economically and ecologically. Economically, biogas can reduce the purchase of kerosene for cooking. Every household here generally consumes 5 liters of kerosene every week. The price of kerosene on the market is Rp.7,000 per liter. that means every week every household spends Rp. 35,000 and one month around Rp. 150,000, then one year reaches Rp. 1,800,000. So by using biogas, we have saved Rp. 1,800,000 every year.

Ecologically, biogas can reduce pollution caused by methane gas released by the manure.  Other benefits that are no less important are liquid fertilizer produced by fermenting digester and solid fertilizer left over from fermentation. We use this fertilizer to fertilize organic vegetable plants.

We have used the two renewable energy sources from 2018 until now. Some parishioners also began to use the same energy, especially biogas from livestock manure. We hope that more people will use it in the next year.

 

Br. Thobias Harman, OFM
Parish priest, St. Mary, the Queen of Angels Parish
Kurubhoko, Indonesia

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Posted on

25 June 2020

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