One of the attractions of natural-energy generation is the cleanliness of operation; there is none of the belching smoke associated with coal-fired plants, for instance. As with wind and wave generation, the power of nature is relatively simply harnessed to turn turbines and produce electricity, of which this island is starved, relying on neighbouring Java for much of its supply.
Steaming subterranean streams would be tapped into in Bdugul, and initial exploration forays have shown there is ample such available energy. Concerns of the governor and local religious leaders are that the placement of a power-generation plant in Bedugul would not be in line with the harmonious nature of Hinduism concerning the surrounding environment. We heard the same fears expressed further south, when a flyover was considered to try to alleviate Kuta’s chronic traffic problems. Hindu leaders said that in accordance with prevailing beliefs, no person should travel above the head of another. But what of flying?
In the end the holy men conceded that a flyover would not go against Hinduism; however, the plan was shelved in favour of other traffic-alleviating solutions, including a toll road, now under construction.
We believe that given Bali’s dearth of electricity supply, which continues to cause blackouts, all options must be fully explored to bolster supply. That includes reconsidering generation in places where there are abundant natural resources. Religious concerns must be alleviated by devising draft construction plans that do not despoil the surroundings and show that indeed it is possible to operate in a low-key fashion that benefits everyone.