Energy is fundamental to the quality of life in the earth. Meeting the growing demand for energy sustainably is one of the major challenges of the 21st century. Indonesia is a developing country and the world's fourth most populous nation. Total annual energy consumption increased from 300,147 GWh in 1980, 625,500 GWh in 1990, 1,123,928 in 2000 and to 1,490,892 in 2009 at an average annual increase of 2.9%. Presently, fossil-fuel-based energies are the major sources of energy in Indonesia. During the last 12 years, Indonesia has recorded the most severe reduction in fossil fuel supplies in the entire Asia-Pacific region. This reduction has stimulated promoting the usage of renewable energy resources capable of simultaneously balancing economic and social development with environmental protection. Biodiesel is an alternative and environmentally friendly fuel that will participate in increasing renewable energy supply. Jatropha curcas is one of biodiesel resources that offer immediate and sustained greenhouse gas advantages over other biodiesel resources. Globally, J. curcas has created an interest for researchers because it is non-edible oil, does not create a food versus fuel conflict and can be used to produce biodiesel with same or better performance results when testing in diesel engines.
The present study is concerned with the prospect of biodiesel produced from J. curcas in Indonesia. The first part gives a summary and overview of energy resources and consumption in the country, second part discusses the potential of biodiesel as a powerful renewable energy resource and third part investigates the potential of J. curcas as a feedstock for biodiesel in Indonesia. The final part discusses the development of biodiesel market in Indonesia. The paper found out that the production of biodiesel from J. curcas offers many social, economical and environmental benefits for the country and can play a great role to solve the problem of energy crisis in Indonesia.