Access to an affordable and reliable electricity supply is vital not only for economic development but also for citizens’ quality of life. Indonesia has made significant progress towards near-universal electrification, but this achievement masks vast disparities in household access
to electricity. Problems with affordability and reliability of supply are experienced even in Indonesia’s major cities but are far worse in remote areas and on the country’s many hundreds of inhabited small islands, which are not connected to a major grid. Drawing on Indonesian
government data and a survey of householders (N = 360), this article measures variations in the quantity and quality of electricity supply in different areas in Tanjung Pinang, the capital of Riau Islands province (Kepri). As this article demonstrates, interruptions in supply have a
serious impact on residents’ capacity to power a modern life.
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