Options for CFPP to Allow High Level of Renewable in Indonesia’s Energy System

The energy transition has become a global necessity as an effort to mitigate climate change. Fossil energy burning is proven to contribute greatly to the increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which causes an increase in the average global temperature. For countries whose energy systems are mostly supported by fossil energy, this requires special attention, because they also have to take the right steps amidst the available options to decarbonize the energy system which means ending the operational life of coal power plants.

Raditya Wiranegara, senior researcher at the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), during a webinar entitled “Financing Indonesia’s Coal Phase-Out: A Just and Accelerated Retirement Pathway to Net-Zero” Saturday, 19 November 2022, explained two scenarios that could be taken for coal-fired plant. These two scenarios aim to provide more space for renewable energy to enter the PLN grid.

The first option is to retire old CFPPs and are no longer operationally effective and efficient. To examine this option, IESR collaborated with the Center for Global Sustainability, University of Maryland, United States of America.

“Our research shows that there are 9.2 GW of coal-fired power plants that can be retired starting from 2022-2030,” said Raditya.

By retiring all coal plants, and building renewable energy-based plants, Indonesia can achieve net zero emission status by 2050 aligned with the Paris Agreement.

In addition, there are various socio-economic and environmental impacts that can be avoided. Until 2050 it is estimated that there will be 168,000 deaths that can be avoided with the retirement scenario of all coal power plants.

The second option is to operate the CFPP flexibly. Flexible CFPP operation means changing the pattern of CFPP operation from initially operating 24 hours a day to support the base load of the electricity system, to only supporting peak loads at certain hours.

“This flexible operating pattern allows the addition of renewable energy supplies, especially energy sources that depend on certain conditions such as solar and wind,” explained Raditya.

Raditya added, this flexible operating pattern is suitable for CFPPs that are still young, as there are many in Indonesia. In the study report “Flexible Thermal Power Plant: An Analysis of Operating Coal-fired Power Plant Flexibly to Enable the High-Level Variable Renewables in Indonesia’s Power System” it is explained that technically the CFPPs in the Sumatra, Java-Bali and Sulawesi can be operated flexibly. There will be differences in the level of efficiency, the amount of emissions, and the investment costs required from one unit to another depending on the age of the coal plant. A relatively young CFPP requires lower retrofit costs because the infrastructure is still relatively strong to support a flexible operational pattern.

For this reason, careful planning is needed to operate the Coal plants flexibly as well as to retire the coal plants and increase the capacity of renewable energy in the system. The government through PLN can also include a flexible coal plant operation pattern in the electricity supply planning document to provide regulatory certainty to investors.

An explanation of flexible PLTU operations can be watched via the following channel.

The Synergy of Central Java Provincial Government to Realize Low Carbon Development

Semarang, 8 December 2022 – The Provincial Government of Central Java has consistently strengthened their commitment, role and shared responsibility for implementing the energy transition to achieve sustainable and environmentally friendly development. Collaborating with the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), the Central Java Provincial Government held the “Central Java Stakeholders’ Gathering: Energy Transition for Low Carbon Regional Development” to share developments and good practices that have been carried out in Central Java.

Taj Yasin Maimoen, Deputy Governor of Central Java, said in his remarks that the energy transition is crucial to reduce CO2 emissions that cause climate disasters. For this reason, he said, it is necessary to promote a green economy as one of the main parts of the energy transition by developing industries in the field of new and renewable energy, sustainable natural resource management, developing environmentally friendly production processes.

“In developing the energy sector, the government of Central Java has issued Local Regulation no. 12/2018 Concerning Regional Energy General Plans. As a follow-up to this regulation, Governor Regulation number 29 of 2021 was stipulated, which contains instructions for its implementation. The governor’s regulation emphasizes community participation in the implementation of new renewable energy, for example, community participation in the development of new renewable energy in Central Java through the Energy Independent Village program,” said Taj Yasin. He added that the availability of energy on a community scale, if supported, would leverage economic growth.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, added that leadership, regional innovation and collaboration are the keys to driving green economic growth and energy transition.

“The community can be involved in driving their energy transition with their efforts and support from the government. This is called energy transition cooperation. The energy transition requires a large amount of effort and investment, so contributions from the community must also be accommodated. The practice so far carried out in Central Java can become a reference in many regions in developing renewable energy and encouraging low-carbon development,” said Fabby.

Furthermore, the Head of the Central Java Provincial Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) Office, Sujarwanto Dwiatmoko, explained that the Regional Energy General Plan (RUED) would later be integrated into the Low Carbon Development Action Plan (RAPRK) and the Regional Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMD). Thus, the Central Java RPJMD already contains a commitment to building environmentally friendly energy to achieve the goals of food and energy sovereignty. The office of EMR Central Java builds cooperation with various parties to achieve this goal, one of which is with IESR.

“In collaboration with IESR, in 2019, the Central Java Provincial Government has made a big commitment to the Central Java Solar Province. Since then, the capacity of rooftop PLTS in Central Java has increased from 0.1 MWp in 2019 to 22 MWp in 2022,” said Sujarwanto.

This progress has made other agencies such as the Environment and Forestry Service of Central Java Province, the Office of Industry and Trade (Disperindag) of Central Java Province, and the Regional Owned Enterprise (BUMD) PT Jateng Petro Energi (JPEN) join hands with IESR in glossing the energy transition and development low carbon in Central Java Province.

Widi Hartanto, Head of the Environment and Forestry Service for Central Java Province, said that waste generated by industry and society can be processed into an energy source. For this reason, his party is working with IESR, among others, to carry out studies on reducing emissions through managing waste and waste into renewable energy, building capacity for stakeholders regarding reducing greenhouse gas emissions through waste and waste management and utilizing renewable energy.

“We have fostered the climate village program (Proklim), around 525 Proklim have received certificates from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and we are trying to collaborate with Energy Independent Village,” added Widi.

As a contributor to 34% of economic growth in Central Java, the Head of the Central Java Provincial Office of Industry and Trade, M. Arif Sambodo, acknowledged that the industrial sector is also responsible for producing carbon emissions. In collaboration with IESR, the Department of Industry and Trade is preparing a Map for the Development of Renewable Energy Utilization in the Industrial Sector and Industrial Areas. Moreover, his party will initiate a Partnership Network between Metal Small and Medium Industries (IKM) in Central Java and the Solar Panel Industry so that they can become part of the supply chain and increase Local content requirements (TKDN).

“Regarding the substitution of imported products, we need to increase domestic components. Central Java has metal potential, which has become tier 2 as a major automotive supply chain supplier in Indonesia,” Arif explained.

PT Jateng Petro Energi, through M. Iqbal, Main Director of JPEN, in collaboration with IESR and other partners, will carry out three big strategies to encourage energy transition efforts with solar power and clean mobility, namely strengthening ecosystem institutions, solopreneurship or creating green jobs and capacity building.

“We will socialize solar panels for Regional Apparatus Work Unit (SKPD) in Central Java province and provide Public Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (SPKLU) to support the acceleration of the use of battery-based electric vehicles,” he said.

Questioning the relatively small regional authority over the renewable energy sub-affairs related to the energy transition Tavip Rubiyanto, Head of Sub-department of ESDM Directorate of Synchronization of Regional Government Affairs I, Directorate General of Development and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, said that his party was preparing a Presidential Decree as a follow-up to Law No. 23/2014 on Regional Government. This is done so that the authority of the local government in carrying out the energy transition is more flexible. 

“Anticipating the dynamics of development at the national and regional levels, it can be further regulated in a Presidential Decree for the division of functions so that it can strengthen regional authority so that it can play a bigger role in achieving the energy transition target,” Tavip explained.

In addition to presentations from the four institutions, the “Central Java Stakeholders’ Gathering: Energy Transition for Low Carbon Regional Development” also presented a dialogue with Achmad Husein, Banyumas Regent, Djoko Siswanto, Secretary General of the National Energy Council (DEN), Tavip Rubiyanto, Head of Sub-department of ESDM Directorate of Synchronization of Regional Government Affairs I, Directorate General of Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, M. Firdauz Muttaqin, Deputy Head of Bank Indonesia Representative for Central Java Province, and Ignatius Iswanto Santoso, General Manager Engineering, PT Djarum OASIS Kretek Factory.

In the dialogue, generally, the speakers underlined the need to carry out an energy transition in cooperation with the community, accompanied by support from the local government by issuing regional regulations which can become the basis for investors in the development of renewable energy in the regions, the application of green financing from financial institutions and implementation of sustainable practices in the industrial and commercial sectors.

Strengthen Indonesia’s Commitment to Climate Change


Jakarta, December 6, 2022 – Nowadays, climate change in the world affects increasing the intensity of climate disasters and threatens human life and biodiversity. Thus, government commitment and concrete targets are needed to reduce emissions, like setting a more ambitious target in the Enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) document, which Indonesia submitted in September 2022. Its document contains an increase in the target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by around 2%.

Based on the latest NDC document, Indonesia will reduce emissions with an unconditional scenario of 31.8% and international assistance (conditional) of 43.2% in 2030. However, based on an assessment of Indonesia’s climate targets and ambitions by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) which is a member of the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), a consortium of three think tanks that monitors and assesses climate change policies in 39 countries and the European Union. IESR and CAT estimate that Indonesia’s NDC has not been linear, with a target of 1.5°C. It’s more robust numerically but still not driving further climate action. Indonesia is likely to achieve its targets (except forestry) without additional effort, while its emissions are almost double today. For this reason, Indonesia needs to update the Business-As-Usual Scenario (BAU) so that it is linear with more vital targets.

“Indonesia contributes to global warming. We need a more ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target. The later we block GHG, the greater the risk of climate disaster. For example, floods and tornadoes indicate that the costs to deal with these situations are also higher, and an appropriate solution is needed. For this reason, we need to calculate the environmental costs for climate change mitigation and adaptation,” explained the Executive Director of IESR, Fabby Tumiwa, at the launch of the results of the CAT assessment of Indonesia’s climate action and policies.

Shahnaz Nur Firdausi, Energy, and Climate Researcher, IESR, stated renewable energy only account for 13.5% of the power generation mix in 2021. Indonesia needs to make substantial progress in meeting the 23% renewable energy target by 2025. Several studies have shown how Indonesia can increase its renewable energy potential far beyond current plans and supply 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

“Although coal still plays a major role in Indonesia’s electricity system, the government has planned to discontinue the PLTU. However, to meet the temperature limit of 1.5°C, coal use in Indonesia must decrease by 10% by 2030 and be phased out by 2040. Indonesia will need significant financial support to plan for the retirement of PLTU under the Paris Agreement,” Shanaz explained.

Deputy Director for Environmental Law Enforcement at National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), Erik Armundito, emphasized that his party has a low-carbon development policy. It’s integrated with the national priorities of the 2020-2024 RPJMN, complemented by strategy indicators and clear targets every year.

“The macro indicators mean percentage of potential GHG reduction with a target of 27.3% in 2024 and the percentage of reduction in GHG intensity with 31.6% in 2024. Setting this target is Indonesia’s step forward in environmental preservation. In addition, Bappenas has the AKSARA application for monitoring, evaluating, and controlling the reduction of GHG emissions resulting from low-carbon development,” explained Erik.

Madani Foundation Executive Director Nadia Hadad said collaboration between various parties is needed to encourage the achievement of the 1.5°C targets. Various parties must have a role and contribute.

“We all have a role. This CAT report is not to criticize but to encourage better steps. Everything we have done to save the earth; for this, we need accountability and transparency,” said Nadia Hadad.

Mahawan Karuniasa, Chair of the Indonesian Network of Climate Change and Forestry Experts (APIKI), said carbon emissions produced by all countries in the world are projected to be no more than 33 gigatonnes in 2030 to keep the earth’s temperature no more than 1.5°C. However, the estimated carbon emissions produced reach 58 gigatonnes.

“If there is NDC implementation in all countries, then the estimated emissions can decrease to 53-56 gigatonnes in 2030. It means there is still a huge gap between 20-23 gigatonnes. When all countries, including Indonesia, cannot fill this gap, we can reach above 1.5°C,” said Mahawan.

Sonny Mumbunan, an economist and researcher from the Research Center for Climate Change at the University of Indonesia, believes it is also necessary to discuss the climate finance section in depth in the Climate Action Tracker report.

“When Indonesia became a member of the G20 with the narrative of having high economic growth, this became a dilemma for Indonesia. Remember, Indonesia also still needs funds from other countries. It also affects how we approach the energy sector, the land-based sector as well as the loss and damage sector. It seems that Indonesia needs a different approach based on its profile, which is between developed and developing countries,” said Sonny.

Climate Action Tracker is an independent scientific analysis initiative that tracks countries’ climate actions and measures them against the globally agreed Paris Agreement goal of holding warming well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C. CAT has provided an independent analysis of around 40 countries since 2009. CAT members include Climate Analytics, the New Climate Institute, and the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), which joined as partners in 2022.