Solar Panel Bali & Lombok:
This Solar Panel Bali & Lombok Guide is created for anyone in Bali and Lombok who are looking to install a solar system. Whether you own a home, villa, resort, or a different type of business you will benefit from this guide.
We will cover everything you need to know before purchasing solar panels in Bali or Lombok from how it works, how to design and pick the best system, how much does a system cost, and more.
Click on the subject that interests you best, or simply scroll down to read the entire guide (which we highly recommend)!
Introduction to solar panels in Bali & Lombok
How solar panels work
Let’s start from the beginning.
The way a solar panel works is quite simple. Solar panels consist of many smaller cells, called photovoltaic cells. Your solar panels capture photons, particles of light from the sun, which are in turn transformed into DC (direct current) electricity.
This is where solar inverters come into play and convert DC electricity into AC (alternating current) as most appliances use AC.
In short, a solar system typically consists of 3 to 4 main elements: solar panels, an inverter (or several), a net meter (if you’re connected to the grid), and/or batteries (for hybrid and off-grid solar systems, which will be covered below).
Solar panel output in Bali & Lombok
By using solar panels in Bali, Lombok, and the islands east Indonesia you will benefit from a great sun exposure year-round, with some areas better than others. On average, 1kW of solar PV (photovoltaic) system in Bali produces 4.2 kW-hours worth of electricity per day, year-round.
Coastal areas like Bukit and South Lombok, as well as the islands such as Lembongan or the Gilis, generally have more sunshine and higher PV output, while areas higher up the mountainsides, like Ubud, will have less due to more cloud cover.
The darker the color, the higher the PV potential.
As you can see the color of the coastal areas are darker.
The same goes for Lombok with East and South Lombok benefiting
from a higher PV potential.
Solar power in cloudy days and nighttime
Be it in Bali, Lombok or other areas, solar panels will still generate some electricity even when it’s cloudy or raining, but significantly less—up to 90% less in heavy cloud cover.
It is important to note that solar panels do not store any electricity. That is what batteries do and you can opt to add them to your system. As such, a standard solar system without batteries will not generate any electricity at night. We will explore this further in Part III: Types of Solar Systems.
A 14 kWp hybrid solar system in Kuta, Lombok.
This chart shows the PV output (orange) of a 2 kW solar system in Kuta, Lombok as well as its electricity consumption (green). As you can see, there are drops of output throughout the day which typically means that there is a heavy cloud cover at that time. When the output drops to zero it can also mean that there is a PLN power outage
which automatically turns off your solar system.
Why use solar energy in Bali & Lombok
Apart from the fact that Bali and Lombok offer a massive solar PV potential, there are a few main reasons for going solar:
1. Reduce CO2 emissions
Solar energy is one of the most affordable and accessible clean and sustainable energy sources there is.
Indonesia depends mainly on fossil fuel-based energy, especially coal, which emits a lot of CO2 and other nasty and toxic fumes.
The government is slowly planning to build more solar farms in Indonesia, but installing solar systems at your place of business or home could really speed up the process of switching to a greener and more sustainable source of energy.
2. Save on monthly electricity bill
By having a properly-sized grid-tied solar system, you can expect a monthly electricity bill reduction of over 90%.
When your solar panels are producing electricity during the day, your electricity is practically free, and the surplus of electricity produced by your panels will automatically be fed back into the grid at a 100% value of the tariff.
January 2022 Update: This new tariff was issued in 2021 and is finally being implemented in 2022 as announced on the official website of Kementrian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (ESDM).
3. Enjoy great payback and ROI
Unlike years ago, solar panels and rooftop PV systems in Bali, Lombok, and other areas in Indonesia, are now quite affordable and make great financial sense.
Most solar panels offer at least a lifespan of 20 to 25 years (while ours offer 30 years, by the way) and you can get a solar system for around USD 1,000 - 1,500 per kWp (kilowatt peak) installed.
The price will depend on the size of your solar power system. The larger it is, the cheaper it will be. You will also find it more affordable in Indonesia than in Western countries. We will explore this further in Part V: Solar Panel Prices & ROI.
4. Provide electricity in remote areas or areas with unreliable electricity supply
PLN is quite reliable in Bali, but there are certain areas where the connection can be patchy and rather expensive to install such as in Lembongan.
Lombok, on the other hand, experiences quite a lot of power outages.
Since your solar system gets switched off by PLN during a blackout for safety reasons, you can opt for a hybrid solar system to solve this issue.
This system pairs your solar panels with backup storage batteries that will supply electricity during outages.
As for completely remote off-the-grid areas outside Bali and Lombok, such as Sumba and many other islands in Indonesia, using solar energy and batteries just makes a lot of sense.
A solar system with lithium batteries will provide clean energy that is more affordable per kWh than a fuel-derived generator that can cost IDR 4.000 - 10.000 per kWh to fuel.
8.6 kWp grid-tied solar system at The Elementum hotel in Bingin, South Bali. For business owners, going solar is also great from a marketing perspective as it will appeal to eco-conscious customers
Types of solar energy systems
There are three main systems of solar power: on-grid or grid-tied solar system, off-grid solar system, and hybrid solar system. Let’s find out what they mean, and which one suits you best for your Bali or Lombok property.
1. On-grid solar system
Simply put, this means that your electrical system will stay connected to the PLN grid, and will benefit from net metering with your surplus electricity fed back automatically into the grid at a 100% value of the tariff.
This is the most affordable and popular option among home and business owners in Bali and Lombok.
When your solar panels do not generate enough electricity to meet your demands, your appliances will automatically draw energy from PLN
Most households and places of business in areas with reliable PLN, such as South Bali.
The most affordable way to use solar energy
Excellent payback of 5-7 years and ROI of up to >800%
Can not be used during power outages
2. Off-grid solar system
As the name suggests, this system means that your solar panels and system are disconnected from the PLN grid. It is a great solution for areas where PLN is not available.
By using an off-grid solar system with lithium batteries, you can move away from using noisy fuel-based generators that require plenty of maintenance and are costly to operate.
Moreover, our lithium batteries have an impressive lifetime of 6,000 cycles or >16 years even if discharged every day! With our batteries, you also get a 10-year product warranty. You will also only pay once as opposed to conventional generators that require constant refueling and maintenance costs.
Our lithium batteries from SolaX. Greener, generate no noise and exhaust fumes, and do not require a penny to run and maintain unlike conventional fuel-based generators.
This system can indeed be quite costly. However, you can reduce the initial investment cost by pairing it with a small conventional generator that will only run during the worst-case scenario with no
sunshine for days, which usually happens only a few days per year.
Remote areas with no PLN, or extremely unstable electricity supply. As PLN is rather reliable in Bali and pretty much available everywhere in both Bali and Lombok we don’t recommend it for these areas, but would rather recommend going with a hybrid solar system that provides backup during power outages only.
No maintenance, unlike generators and lead-acid batteries
Save on generator fuel cost
Clean, green, and not noisy compared to generators
Smart monitoring system to preserve battery lifetime
Cheaper per kWh than generators
Requires a large system to provide energy when there is no sunshine for several days - but this can be solved by adding a generator for the worst-case scenario
Requires a considerable upfront cost
3. Hybrid solar system
This is the system that we highly recommend to anticipate for power outages in Bali, Lombok, and pretty much anywhere else in Indonesia.
Since you are still connected to the grid, you will benefit from net metering which allows you to save on your electricity bill and feeds surplus energy to the grid, just like with an on-grid system.
Similar to an off-grid solar panel system, pairing solar panels with storage batteries will allow you to move away from conventional generators or lead-acid batteries.
The longer lifetime of lithium batteries and the fact that it doesn’t require any maintenance cost also makes it an excellent choice from a financial standpoint.
Contact us to have a cost-efficient hybrid solar system designed specifically for you.
Choosing solar panels & designing your system
Of course, you can just contact us to design the best solar panel system for you in Bali, Lombok, or wherever you are in Indonesia.
However, in case you’re wondering, these are the things that you need to keep in mind for coming up with the best system:
1. Determining the size or capacity of your solar panel system
We can determine the most optimal solar system size with these key considerations:
PLN capacity. If you’re connected to the grid, you are required by law to install no more solar system kWp than your current PLN capacity.
Electricity bill. We can also determine the size of the solar system you actually need by looking at your monthly electricity bill and dividing it by the latest PLN tariff per kWh
Space. Of course, the number of panels we can install could be limited by the space you have. Consider that shaded areas (under trees, shaded by large cables or other buildings) and steep pitched roofs are not ideal. The best orientation is north-facing at a 10-30 degree pitch.
Batteries. Shall you decide to add batteries to your system, we will need to make sure that your solar system’s size is sufficient to charge your batteries also.
2. Choosing the right solar panel type
There are two main types of solar panels: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Without going too much into details, monocrystalline panels offer higher efficiency rates and are more uniform in appearance as opposed to polycrystalline panels.
Higher efficiency means that they produce more power per square meter than their polycrystalline counterparts. Monocrystalline panels also perform better and offer a longer lifetime.
Left: monocrystalline solar panel. Right: polycrystalline solar panel. You can easily tell them apart by looking at the colors. A polycrystalline panel has various different shades on its surface, while a monocrystalline panel only has one.
Apart from that, solar panels also come in different colors, shapes and sizes, such as the following elegant all-black solar panel:
Most business and home owners in Bali and Lombok opt for our standard or all-black panels as they are the most affordable and efficient for most houses and buildings.
However, we also offer a range of other types such as transparent solar roof and flexible solar panels, should you be interested in integrating a more unique-looking solar array into your structure.
You can see our full range of solar panels on our Solar Panel Indonesia page.
3. Solar power array placement
Rooftop solar panels are the most common for most buildings in Bali and Lombok. You can place your solar array pretty much on any type of roof, except for certain types of roofs such as thatched alang alang roofs.
That aside, in order to get the most optimal output from your solar panels, here are the things that you need to keep in mind:
As Bali and Lombok are located in the Southern Hemisphere, the best orientation for your solar array would be north-facing.
West and eastward placement are indeed possible as long as your roof area gets enough direct sunlight exposure. Any roof that is south-facing is not as ideal but it is still possible to put your array there.
The most ideal roof pitch for solar panel installation in Bali and Lombok would be anywhere between 10-30 degrees. Flat roofs are also great because it’s easy to create a pitched aluminum structure to support your panels.
It is possible to install your solar array on a steeper roof but your solar panels’ output will slightly decrease.
Our standard 450-watt solar panels are about 2 sqm equalling 4.5 sqm for every kilowatt installed. Needless to say, the number of panels we can install will depend on the size of your roof.
ROOF STRENGTH & MATERIAL
This is typically not an issue as solar panels are quite light—only 12kg/sqm in our case—but it never hurts to make sure that your roof structure is strong enough and the roof material is suitable for solar panels.
For instance, thatched alang-alang roofs, which are quite common in Bali and Lombok are not suitable.
The easier it is to access your array, the better. To keep your solar array working at its best, your panels will need to be cleaned regularly to keep them free of dust, debris, leaves, and so on.
What if your roof is unsuitable for solar power? We can remedy this by building a shed-type structure on your carport or somewhere in your garden. Ground-mounting is another possible solution provided that you have enough open space for a ground-mounted array.
4. Battery or no battery?
As mentioned in Part III: Types of Solar Systems, grid-tied solar systems do not necessarily require a battery.
In most of Bali, PLN has been quite stable and power outages do not happen very often. However, if you plan to have a power backup generator at your building, you could consider switching to a lithium battery system.
Lithium batteries have a very long lifetime—6,000 cycles in our case, equalling more than 16 years even if discharged every day.
They also require no maintenance, generate no noise, and of course, you get to move away from using fossil fuels and reduce your CO2 emissions.
As for Lombok, we always recommend adding batteries for private and commercial buildings alike, as power outages happen very often and for hours at a time.
If you want to have a backup battery system, we can help you design the most efficient and optimized hybrid solar system for your needs. Ask us how.
Left: One of our battery types: the G4 battery system. Looks elegant and can be placed outdoors to provide power backup and to charge your e-vehicles!
5. Product quality & warranties
Like any electronics, not all solar panels are alike. Solar panels are a long-term investment. Therefore, you would want to choose a reputable brand and professional solar installation company.
AE Solar is an award-winning Tier 1 German solar panel manufacturer that offers not only an impressive 30-year performance guarantee but also a product warranty of 12 years.
For the inverters use several reputable brands with warranties of 5 to up to 20 years
Solar panel prices & return on investment (ROI)
On to the million-dollar questions: how much should you expect to pay for a solar system, and is it worth it?
How much does a solar panel system cost in Bali and Lombok?
For a standard rooftop solar system installation in Bali, you can expect around IDR 15 - 21 million (+/- USD 1,000 - 1,500) per kWp (kilowatt peak) installed.
This price typically includes solar panels, inverter, and everything else you need to get a working on-grid solar system installation.
Additional costs that may occur include:
PLN net metering application. This is mandatory if you are connected to the PLN grid and costs on average IDR 2 - 8 million.
Batteries, shall you decide to add them to your system
Additional logistics costs, depending on where you are located. Extra costs may incur if you are located outside major cities
Additional installation costs, in case your system requires additional reinforcements, extra cabling, and so on.
Solar power financial benefits & ROI in Bali & Lombok
Bali and Lombok are blessed with abundant sunshine year-round, hence the break-even period and return on investment for a solar system are very attractive.
Let's take a look at some examples* from our past clients:
*Please note that the following financial simulations assume 100% self-consumption of the produced solar power and a consistent increase of electricity price throughout the system's lifetime.
Mr. X in Jimbaran, South Bali.
With an investment of IDR 186 million (approx. USD 13,000) Mr. X will be able to achieve break-even in 5 years on a panel lifetime of 30 years.
He can also save on average IDR 2.4 million per month on his electricity bill throughout the first year. A 12.8 kW system is a pretty big system and may not be needed for a standard 2-3 bedroom villa in Bali. Villas around this size might find a 3-7 kW solar system sufficient.
Here is another example from a medium-sized 3 bedroom villa in Umalas, South Bali.
Mrs. Y in Umalas, South Bali
With an investment of around IDR 121 million (approx. USD 8,500) Mrs. Y can enjoy an average monthly saving of IDR 1.4 million throughout the first year, which covers about 70% of her usual electricity bill. How awesome is that?
What about Lombok?
Like most business and home owners in Lombok, Mr. Y decided to go for a solar energy system with batteries, a.k.a. a hybrid system, so that he can still power his house sufficiently during power cuts
Mr. Z in Serangan, South Lombok
The initial investment for a hybrid solar panel system such as this might look rather high at IDR 446 million (approx. USD 31,000).
However, this investment makes a lot of sense for an area with frequent outages such as Lombok.
As previously mentioned, our batteries come with a whooping lifetime of > 16 years even if discharged every day.
Not only is the lifespan much more superior to a conventional fuel-based generator, but you also won’t have to go through the hassle and additional costs of maintaining and refueling a genset which can cost over IDR 10,000 per Kwh to fuel in some areas in Indonesia.
Solar power installation process
Ready to embark on your solar journey? Here are the next steps:
1. Getting a quote
When requesting a quote, you will typically need to provide the following information:
Photos or drawings of your roof, including roof orientation, pitch, and measurements
Current PLN size and system (1 or 3 phase)
Desired solar system size in kWp (kilowatt peak)
Whether you would like batteries or not
You can fill out this form or click on one of the buttons below:
2. Solar panel installation
The installation of the solar system equipment itself is actually quite straightforward and can take anywhere between 1 day to 2 weeks, depending on the size and level of difficulty of the installation.
3. Solar net metering application
Unless you opt for an off-grid system, you are required by law to apply to PLN for solar net metering. This process may take anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks.
They will come twice to first check that the solar system installation is up to their standards, and the second time to either install or reconfigure the digital meter which will calculate how much power your solar system feeds into the grid, and how much electricity you draw from PLN.
Note that you will need to have a regular PLN meter first prior to applying for net metering, even if your building is new, and your meter will have to be postpaid.
4. Sit back, relax, and harness energy from the sun!
That’s it! You’re officially solar-powered. Once your system is up and running you will be able to monitor your PV output as well as electricity consumption through an online monitoring tool.
What about maintenance? It’s quite simple, you just need to clean your panels regularly, to ensure that they’re free of debris, tree leaves, etc. We can also provide you with biannual maintenance which includes cleaning and system checkups.
Bali, Lombok, and areas in Indonesia east of these two islands possess some of the highest solar radiation in the world. Whether you own a private house, a villa, a hotel, or a business, a solar system will give you the benefits of reducing both your CO2 emissions and electricity bills.
Let’s harness this beautiful country’s immense photovoltaic potential and start your solar journey with us!
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Guide to Solar Energy: Bali & Lombok Edition
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