CNBC | Airlangga Said Solar Power Plant will be Reliable, But the Regulation Stuck

“As for now, the solar capacity that has been built only reach 200,1 megawatt hence, this becomes one of the alternatives that will be pushed and give a positive result, especially to diversify energy,” said coordinator minister Airlangga in Indonesia Solar Summit 2022 that held by Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Tuesday (19/04).

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Kompas | Solar Energy Development Still Face Obstacles

Executive Director of Essential Services Reform (IESR) Fabby Tumiwa in the workshop “Indonesia Solar Summit 2022”, Wednesday (20/4/2022), said, to achieve gigawatt order, solar energy development must be carried out within large scale.

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The Russia-Ukraine Conflict and Its Impact on Indonesia’s Energy Sector

Jakarta, April 14, 2022 – The military conflict involving Russia and Ukraine is still ongoing. A number of direct and indirect impacts have begun to be felt by a number of countries, especially European countries because Russia is one of the main suppliers of gas and oil for a number of European countries.

Russia’s political attitude which continues to carry out military action has put the ‘customers’ of Russian oil and gas in a dilemma. If they continue to buy oil and gas from Russia, they are indirectly contributing to the financing of the war. If they don’t buy the oil and gas, their energy security is threatened. Gas and oil currently available have also increased in price, which means higher costs.

Will the Russia-Ukraine war situation have an impact on Indonesia? The Clean, Affordable, and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) project held a public discussion entitled “The Geopolitics of Energy Transition” to examine the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the global energy system and lessons learned for Indonesia’s energy transition.

Fabian Hein, analyst of energy statistics and scenarios, Agora Energiewende explained that currently European Union countries such as Germany, are trying to reduce dependency on fossil energy, especially gas.

“There are two approaches to dealing with this crisis. The first is a short-term approach by replacing gas with coal and oil. Second is a long-term strategic plan by increasing the capacity of renewable energy in the energy system,” Fabian explained.

Dependence on fossil energy does not only occur in Germany, or the European Union countries. Indonesia also has a large dependence on fossil energy for both electricity generation and fuel for the transportation sector.

Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, a lecturer at SBM ITB, warned Indonesia to be careful in viewing and responding to this geopolitical issue.

“The issue of the current energy crisis is not only an imbalance between supply-demand, but there are other factors, namely war, so that energy commodity prices fluctuate and in the Indonesian context the government is in a difficult choice between providing more subsidies or increasing energy prices such as fuel,” Widhyawan explained. .

The choice of the Indonesian government to maintain the share of fossil energy and even provide subsidies through various policies is increasingly irrelevant in these times. The Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform, Fabby Tumiwa, stated that the lesson that can be drawn from the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict mainly on European countries is that dependence on one commodity is a threat to the energy security of a region.

“The IEA also criticized that European countries failed to implement the first principle of energy security, namely supply variation. Apart from depending on one type of commodity, Europe is also very dependent on one country as a supplier, this is vulnerable to the security of energy supply there,” he said.

Fabby continued, that the Russia-Ukraine conflict had a significant global impact on energy development. Renewable energy is more resilient in terms of price and supply due to its local nature. So developing renewable energy in Indonesia is increasingly becoming a necessity in the future to ensure energy security.

Solar Power Plants Technology is Increasingly Advanced and Competitive to Drive Indonesia’s Use of Solar Energy

Jakarta, 21 April 2022 – The Indonesian government has set a national strategic project to install 3.6 GW of rooftop solar power plants by 2025 to achieve the renewable energy mix target of 23%. The availability of solar power plants or pembangkit listrik tenaga surya (PLTS) technology, affordable solar power plant financing mechanisms, and the development of rooftop solar power plants, floating solar power plants, and large-scale solar power plants will support the achievement of these targets.

The average selling price of solar modules has decreased significantly from around US$ 4.12/W in 2008 to US$ 0.17/W in 2020. The International Energy Agency reports that solar power plants are currently the cheapest source of electricity in most countries. Even in Indonesia, the results of solar power plants auctions in For example, in Indonesia, the last solar power plants auction results resulted in electricity costs of USD 0.04/kWh, lower than the average coal power plant, which costs USD 0.05-0.07/kWh.

IESR, in collaboration with CASE, GIZ, and the Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, held a Solar Energy Technologies workshop attended by several experts, namely Professor Martin Green, Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, and Director of the Australian Center for Advanced Photovoltaics; Noor Titan Putri Hartono, Postdoctoral Researcher at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin Department of Active Materials and Stable Perovskite Solar; Beny Adi Purwanto Representative from the Directorate General of Metal, Machinery, Transportation Equipment and Electronics Industry, Ministry of Industry of the Republic of Indonesia; and Jen Tan, CEO of Sembcorp Energy for Indonesia.

Accelerating climate crisis mitigation actions is very important for sustainable energy development. Prof. Martin-Green explained that the choice of renewable energy technology, especially solar energy, is available to be developed to achieve Indonesia’s decarbonization.

“Solar cell technology is developing very rapidly. So if we want to start building solar power plant component factories, there are recommendations for solar cell technology according to the industry in Indonesia. However, the main challenge is choosing where the solar power plants will be installed, which requires high radiation to be absorbed by the solar panels,” said Martin.

In addition to silicon as one of the main materials for solar cells, Perovskite Solar Cells (PSC) is a promising choice for PV mini-grid technology. Noor Titana revealed that as the second-largest tin producer, Indonesia has the opportunity to develop Perovskite Solar Cells (PSC). PSCs have high energy absorption efficiency above 20%, for example, Perovskite, CIGS, and CdTe. Interest in using PSCs continues to grow due to their more competitive nature and costs. Techno-economic analysis in 2017 showed that PSC is cheaper, assuming the same degradation rate as crystalline silicon with a lifespan of up to 20-25 years.

Noor said some of the challenges faced in the development of PSCs.

“Some of the challenges to realizing PSCs are that perovskite is unstable and has a short lifespan compared to silicon. In addition, high-performance PSCs contain toxic and water-soluble wastes. However, as the 2nd largest tin producer, Indonesia still has the opportunity to develop PSC in the future,” Noor added.

In addition to technology, affordable PV mini-grid financing mechanisms are also developing. However, limited financing options often hinder public interest in installing rooftop solar power plants. Various parties are trying to provide access to communal solar power plant funding to overcome this.

“The trend in solar modules is also the most widely used domestically with a capacity below 450 Wp. On the other hand, solar power plants require solar modules above 500 Wp with higher efficiency solar cells (M6 type solar cells). The production of solar modules with capacities above 500 Wp requires the most up-to-date equipment, so incentives and market guarantees are needed for investment. In the short term, solar module capacity below 450 Wp will be maximized for small-scale solar power plants projects (de-dieselization) and rooftop solar power plants,” said Beny Adi Purwanto, Representative from the Indonesian Ministry of Industry.

In addition to rooftop PV mini-grid, Indonesia needs the development of large-scale PV mini-grid or floating PV mini-grid to achieve the renewable energy mix target by 2025. Furthermore, solar energy investment opportunities at various scales need to encourage more competitive PV mini-grid and improvements in financing quality. Technological innovations also continue to enable PV mini-grid to produce higher energy efficiency. Jen Tan stated this.

“For future sustainability, several important factors need to be considered when installing large-scale solar power plants. One of them is that we must care about the environment because solar power plants could be placed in solar fields or local water catchment areas filled with flora and fauna. In managing large-scale PV mini-grid, tools are also needed for the monitoring process, one of which is related to data acquisition. An incumbent metering service is required through an application programming interface (API) that includes map navigation, global asset display, alarm aggregation, and sustainability statistics,” said Jen Tan.***

Showing Leadership in G20, Indonesia Needs to Increase Solar PV Development

JAKARTA, 20 April 2022 – Carrying the energy transition as the main topic of Indonesia’s presidency at the G20, Indonesia needs to show its leadership in pursuing a more massive renewable energy capacity, especially solar energy. Indonesia can also learn from the experiences of the G20 countries in encouraging the growth of solar energy and accelerating the spread of solar energy.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia and the Institute of Essential Services Reform (IESR), in collaboration with BloombergNEF and the International Solar Alliance (ISA), held a workshop to take lessons from G20 countries in encouraging the application of solar power relevant to developing countries. The workshops were also not limited to policy frameworks, fiscal and financial instruments, market readiness, and human resource development.

Ali Izadi – Najafabadi, Head of Research APAC, BloombergNEF, expressed his optimism that Indonesia has the potential to accelerate the energy transition.

“Some analysts say Indonesia lags behind other G20 countries in renewable energy, especially solar power, but I believe Indonesia can catch up. Indonesia has many opportunities to reform policies or special regulatory measures focusing on improving the energy economy and the environment,” said Ali.

In line with Ali, Rohit Garde, Senior Associate for Solar Energy Financing at BloombergNEF, said that BloombergNEF measures state policies in the electricity sector and carbon policies. For example, Germany and England have 84% and 83%, respectively, which indicates that both countries have good procedures for PV mini-grid. Meanwhile, the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of PV mini-grid in India, China, UAE, and Chile is the lowest due to high levels of solar radiation and large-scale PV mini-grid development. Meanwhile, the LCOE of PV mini-grid in Indonesia is the highest due to its small scale and high cost of capital.

“Indonesia must increase its ambitions by revising regulations and removing development barriers,” added Rohit Garde.

One of the important issues in Indonesia’s leadership in the G20 is the energy transition. Yudo Dwinanda Priadi, Expert Staff to the Minister for Strategic Planning at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said that the power plant plan already has an Electric Power Supply Business Plan Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) 2021-2030. A greener RUPTL is a cornerstone of achieving zero carbon by 2060.

“Solar Power Plants (PLTS) have the largest optimization in Indonesia and will reach 4,680 MW by 2030. Therefore, solar energy has the most abundant potential. In addition, the cost continues to decline, and the rapid development of PV mini-grid technology has made solar power generation a priority. The development of rooftop PV mini-grid also includes better implementation and incentives for people who want to install rooftop PV mini-grid. The government has issued the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources No.26/2021, and the rooftop PV roadmap is in the process as a National Strategic Program (PSN),” said Yudo.

On the other hand, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR and General Chair of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), said solar energy development in Indonesia is relatively slow with several obstacles.

“In 2021, only 0.001 percent of its technical potential will be implemented. However, rooftop solar power generation has continued to increase in the last three years, and that is due to the support from government regulations. RUPTL 2021 is a signal to increase five times to 4.7 MW, and there are also other projects such as exports to Singapore, Riau Islands, and Batam. Therefore, this project has the potential for massive solar energy development,” said Fabby Tumiwa.

Fabby also added several reasons for the obstacles to the energy transition in Indonesia, such as the Domestic Component Level (TKDN).

“Problems in project development such as land and regulations on the Domestic Component Level (TKDN); existing projects require solar module devices from 40% to 60%, and this has not been met by industry in Indonesia and has not received financial assistance from the state; negotiations are quite long while other countries tend to be faster. The Vietnamese government has strong political will and commitment, regulation, implementation, and incentives for tariff policies related to net metering. What is also important is the policy certainty and transmission of the State Electricity Company (PLN),” said Fabby.

Kanaka Arifcandang Winoto, the Senior Business Developer from Mainstream Renewable Power, explained how Indonesia needs to accelerate to meet the renewable energy mix target of 23% in 2025.

“Indonesia is the largest energy consumer in ASEAN, accounting for almost 40 percent of ASEAN’s total energy use. With the significant potential of solar, geothermal, wind and hydropower resources, Indonesia is well-positioned to develop in a low-carbon energy system,” he said.

According to Kanaka, Indonesia is a key player in achieving 1.5℃, so cooperation with all stakeholders is needed to identify a national roadmap for realizing economic growth and climate security.

Dyah Roro Esti, Member of the DPR, Commission VII, explained that his party is open to public input, especially on renewable energy policies that are being discussed in the DPR RI.

 “Data from DEN, Indonesia must optimize 2.5 GW, and each area has potential, both solar and wind. Therefore, it is necessary to have the motivation and political will to cooperate with local governments in optimizing and realizing this potential. The House of Representatives (DPR) is working on the New Renewable Energy (EBT) Bill and will be open to suggestions. However, the EBT Bill (RUU) is still under discussion,” explained Dyah Roro.

On the other hand, regarding policies at the regional level, Ngurah Pasek, Head of the Sub-Division of Environment and Regional Development, Bappedalitbang Bali Province, added that Bali has implemented Perda 29 of 2020 concerning the General Plan of Regional Energy (RUED) whose derivative is Pergub 45 of 2019 about Bali Clean Energy.

“Installation to regencies and cities in Bali Province, which currently has reached 8.5 MW. The target of the Bali Provincial Government regarding budget refocusing is how the installation of solar rooftop solar panels in offices or companies can run well,” he said.

The development of rooftop solar power plants is also happening in Central Java. Nathan Setyawan, Sub-Coordinator of Natural Resources and Environment, Central Java Regional Development Planning Agency, explained some progress in supporting renewable energy in his area.

“Central Java is the only province that has developed and integrated economic recovery and the use of renewable energy. In 2021, we will encourage not only provincial governments but also regents and mayors and the private sector to implement rooftop solar power plants.”

He emphasized that increasing public awareness and support from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources would encourage the use of communal solar power plants in remote areas. In addition, Nathan hopes that the availability of affordable clean energy supporting technology will help develop the local renewable energy industry.

“Hopefully, there will be a mini silicon valley to develop new renewable energy-oriented industries,” he added.***