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Bali Governor Refuses Geothermal Project On Island, Quoting Religious Beliefs


Geothermal wells can offer tremendous energy quantities, yet there are people who, in the name of their religious beliefs, think geothermal as something evil and contrary to their lifestyle. Such a statement comes from Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika.

In 2006, then Bali governor Made Beratha was proposed to allow the building a geothermal energy facility on the island, but he refused it. When confr0nted one more time with the issue, the current governor, Pastika, said that he sees no reason to allow it now: “We remain committed to maintain the earlier refusal.”

He says that the boring into the bowels of the island touches deeply into the island’s natural and religious environment. He also says that the refusal is in no way linked to the “Bali crossing” agreement, which lets high power lines come across the straits all the way from Java.

It’s like having a deja-vu with Avatar, where locals wouldn’t allow the building of roads and modern infrastructures, guided by the fact that their nature is alive and that disturbing it wouldn’t happen without dangerous consequences. Aside from this, there were emotional attachments to their supporting nature rather than fears that it would tear them apart as a civilization.

Such can be the case in Bali. I am inclined to understand them to some extent because they tend to feel nature and have fears of not doing harm to it. With all its green kudos, though, geothermal power extracts heat from the Earth’s crust. This would in no case be dangerous if done to harness power from surface rervoirs, but I don’t know what could happen if extreme projects would dig deep enough to cause earthquakes like that from Switzerland a few years ago…

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