It's a geological bonanza for clean energy investors, yet no one's talking about it.

With its population spread out over more than 17,000 islands, many Indonesians live in cities, yet some are in areas so remote that electricity access is almost zero.

Power generation from renewable sources such as wind turbines, solar cells and biomass plays a small but important part in satisfying total electricity demand around the world, and is growing at an exponential rate thanks to generous public subsidies and government support.

Australia's government will spend A$4.5 billion (US$3.4 billion) in partnership with private investors to build up to eight commercial power stations testing clean coal and solar technologies, Treasurer Wayne Swan said on Tuesday.

The Irrigation and Water Management Ministry in collaboration with the Power and Energy Ministry will construct a large scale hydro electricity plant in Wellawaya to generate 300 GWH. This plant will be able to generate power and add 300 GWH to the National Grid, the Irrigation and Water Management Ministry said.

National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Electricity and Port yesterday demanded the government to solve the electricity, gas and coal problems.

The committee made the demand from a procession at Mohammadpur in the city yesterday.

Bangladesh and Russia might sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday on installation of a nuclear power plant, officials said on Monday.

Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina provisionally approved the draft MoU, officials said last week.

A high-powered Russian delegation is expected to arrive in Dhaka on Tuesday to sign the deal.

Energy experts believe Sri Lanka should now tap all possible renewable energy sources to cut down on the use of fossil fuels which comes to the country at a high price.

"Our economy will fall behind if we continue spending on foreign oil and coal every year," said Executive Director Energy Forum Ashoka Abeygunawardane at a recent workshop in Colombo.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has launched its first project in Turkey, providing a 45 million euro (US$29 million) loan to build the country's largest wind farm, the bank said on Monday.

MIRZA, May 11

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