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Indonesia minister defends coal: 'We need to develop'

Lower-income economies should be allowed to tap cheap energy source, says Tasrif

A truck carries coal at a mine on Kalimantan island, Indonesia, the world's biggest exporter of the resource.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The transition from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy will take time, and coal provides a low-cost source of power for economic development until that happens, Indonesia's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif told Nikkei.

Fossil fuels including coal "produce a very competitive price of electricity," Tasrif said in a recent interview here. "I don't think [the transition is] as fast as maybe other people predict."

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