IESR and Ford Foundation Call for Centering Justice on Energy Transition Partnership

press release

Jakarta, September 19, 2023 – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) and Ford Foundation in Indonesia are calling on the government of Indonesia to emphasize the significance of centering justice in energy transition in Indonesia, especially through the Just Energy Transition Partnership or JETP. 

The JETP is an innovative financing mechanism intended to accelerate country-led energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. A JETP essentially links the financial package of concessional finance and grants from donor countries with energy transition initiatives in the global South.

In a report digitally launched today by IESR and Ford Foundation, it is mentioned that the pledged JETP funding is not sufficient to cover the cost of the whole transition process. Instead, it serves as an initial source of funding to catalyze and mobilize other funding sources. 

The report highlights the results and recommendations from the JETP Convening, Exchange and Learning event for South Africa, Indonesia, and Vietnam that was held on 25-28 June 2023 in Jakarta. The event was collaboratively hosted by IESR, Ford Foundation, and African Climate Foundation (ACF).

“Since the initial JETP funding is time-limited, it is crucial to set reasonable and achievable milestones and projects within the agreed period and develop a strategy to leverage other funding sources to cover the costs of meeting the 2030’s target,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director for IESR. 

Fabby also added that financing instruments such as concessional loans, commercial loans, equity, guarantee funds, grants, and any other instrument must be assessed carefully to hinder the ‘debt trap’ in the future. 

“Governments must continue to advocate the greater demand of grants and concessional finance  in order to achieve the agreed target without adding burden to the recipient countries,“ says Fabby.

This was confirmed by Edo Mahendra, Head of JETP Indonesia Secretariat when he served  as speaker in a panel discussion on ‘Safeguarding the “Just” in Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP) and Other Emerging Climate Finance Models’ on September 18, 2023, during the Climate Week event in New York, United States.  

“The highest component of the funding will still derive from commercial loans and investments that carry non-concessionary interest rates. Consequently, it is essential to build partnerships and collaborations between governments, philanthropic organizations, and the private sector, “ said Edo.  

Philanthropies have a critical role in supporting the just principle both through the government and  directly to the impacted communities. Their capital can act faster than the government and bridge the gap between the government and the community. Philanthropy could also support human resource development by giving technical assistance, capacity building, training, and knowledge exchange.

The just principle should also be applied to mitigate the impacts of energy transition on the communities. It is essential to support alternative socio-economic initiatives in these areas to adequately wrestle with the idea of justice for who? This includes providing skill improvements to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, educating and assisting local governments to adapt their economic development strategy and plan for the long-term, as well as creating funding dedicated to address the impacts of transitioning away from coal.

The transition from fossil fuels to low-carbon resources may affect  not only the economy at the local level but also at the regional or even national level. People who live in regions dependent on fossil fuel will have to adapt to the new environment, as well as adjust their skills and knowledge that might be difficult to do in a short period of time.

Alexander Irwan, Regional Director of the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, said that the JETP implementation should meet the basic principles of the ‘justice’ element.

“Social justice elements should be included in the discussion and transition plans. The concept of fairness has to be at the center, ensuring the just transition is inclusive for all groups or communities, particularly to workers, children, women and local communities who are very reliant on fossil fuel supply chains,” said Alex.

Kontan | Be Cautious of Debt Traps, Bambang Brodjonegoro Provides Input for the Implementation of JETP

Chairman of the Indonesia Clean Energy Forum (ICEF), Bambang Brodjonegoro, stated that Indonesia needs to negotiate with the parties involved in the fair energy transition cooperation scheme (Just Energy Transition Partnership/JETP). This pertains particularly to the funding composition, which is still predominantly in the form of loans because the grant amount is still quite minimal.

Read more on Kontan.

Kata Data | Simultaneously Developing LFP, the New Prima Donna of Electric Vehicle Batteries

At the beginning of last week, on Monday (11/9), South Korea’s leading battery and materials manufacturer, LG Energy Solution, announced its readiness to compete with China in the rechargeable battery market for lithium iron phosphate (LFP) electric vehicles. LG Energy Solution Co.’s Chief Technology Officer, Shin Youngjoon, stated that China’s penetration into the rechargeable battery market is increasing, especially in the LFP battery segment.

Read more on Kata Data.

Koran Jakarta | Triggering Various Diseases, Air Pollution in Jakarta is Becoming More Concerning

Residents in the Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, and Bekasi (Jabodetabek) areas are urged to be vigilant about the dangers of pollution as it has the potential to cause various diseases. Jakarta itself has consistently been the most polluted city in the world recently due to the presence of coal-fired power plants and uncontrolled motor vehicle emissions.

Read more on Koran Jakarta.

Integration of Larger Renewable Energy Capacities Requires Energy System Reform

press release

Jakarta, September 19, 2023 – The Indonesia Clean Energy Forum (ICEF) and the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) are urging Indonesia to reform its electricity system to accommodate the integration of larger capacities of renewable energy, particularly solar and wind, also known as variable renewable energy (VRE). This would involve flexible operation of the electricity system, strengthening VRE forecasting capabilities, and revitalizing the network infrastructure.

There are at least three key considerations. Firstly, incentives for players involved in operating a flexible electricity system. Secondly, transparency in the procurement processes for renewable energy generation and network infrastructure. Thirdly, regulatory reforms to accommodate flexible electricity system operation and encourage greater adoption of renewable energy.

The opportunity to reform Indonesia’s electricity system with a larger share of renewable energy capacity requires substantial investment support. Hasyim Daeng Barang, Director of Mineral and Coal Downstream at the Ministry of Investment and BKPM RI, stated that investor interest in renewable energy development in Indonesia is growing. The ministry is committed to facilitating investor needs, especially regarding the initiation of new renewable energy projects, by coordinating and connecting investors with relevant stakeholders.

“The Ministry of Investment/BKPM is also working to provide comprehensive information to investors through the preparation of Investment Projects Ready to Offer, including pre-feasibility study documents for strategic projects in various regions,” explained Hasyim during the second day of the Indonesia Energy Transition Dialogue 2023 on Tuesday (9/19/23).

Furthermore, BKPM emphasizes that alongside promoting investment in potential/priority sectors, sustainability remains the responsibility of the entire economy.

In his presentation, Michael Waldron, Senior Advisor Program Manager at the International Energy Agency (IEA), introduced six stages of VRE integration into the electricity system. According to Michael, Indonesia, with its current VRE mix still below 1%, is in the first stage of VRE integration. This means that VRE operation has a very minor impact on the electricity system. However, future planning should significantly consider a higher VRE mix as the cost of VRE generation has been declining over the past decade.

Regarding the electricity system’s prices and investment costs in Indonesia, Michael believes they are still above international market rates. This makes renewable energy development economically less attractive in Indonesia. He encourages Indonesia to reduce costs through contract and operational reforms within the electricity system to attract more investments. Inter-island electricity network integration connects renewable energy sources with demand centers. He added that contract and operational reforms should also target conventional power plants, such as coal-fired, which can play a role in flexible electricity system operation.

He believes that progress in interconnection within ASEAN and flexible energy system operation in Indonesia will accelerate emissions reduction and cost savings.

“Indonesia’s energy system can prepare for a larger share of renewable energy through new contracts, providing incentives for investments in the electricity network, developing system flexibility strategies, and adapting network planning and operation to maximize the share of variable renewable energy and establish a vision for a smart grid,” Waldron expressed.

Munawwar Furqan, General Manager of PLN Unit Induk Pusat Pengatur Beban Jawa, Madura, and Bali (PLN UIP2B Jamali), mentioned that renewable energy generation with variable energy variations is currently located in Sulawesi, consisting of 5 renewable energy generators with a total capacity of 170 MW, including Likupang SPP (15 MW), Sumulata SPP (2 MW), Sidrap WPP (77 MW), and Tolo (Jeneponto) (66 MW). However, Munawwar pointed out that they have identified several challenges in operating an energy system accommodating variable renewable energy, including the intermittent nature of renewable energy affecting the system, changing reliability, and frequency.

“Several strategies are being implemented to control the intermittency of variable renewable energy, such as revising the grid code for network users, forecasting and load curtailment for system stability, and installing battery energy storage systems. Forecasting capacity is essential for operating generators with variable renewable energy to manage variability and anticipate it,” he explained.

Deon Arinaldo, Energy Transformation Program Manager at IESR, suggested that relevant parties should inventory weather forecast data to make more accurate forecasting and more efficient renewable energy generation investment planning.


“Collaboration with other parties like BMKG for weather forecasts is important and potential. Actual weather conditions in each location must be considered. The availability of weather forecast data on solar radiation for the public is crucial as it will benefit many parties. Accurate data forms the basis for system flexibility, allowing us to assess battery needs, variable renewable energy variations, and more,” Deon stated.

Highlighting energy storage to support renewable energy integration, Indonesia, through the Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC), is increasingly concerned about Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) plans or technology for storing electrical energy using specialized batteries. BESS will store excess energy from renewable energy systems to supply loads when renewable energy sources cannot generate power.

“Several factors contribute to the success of BESS projects, including technology, competitiveness, price, innovation, and market growth. Battery prices continue to decline and are expected to fall below $200/kWh, so we are optimistic that BESS development is the right moment for Indonesia’s future,” said Bayu Yudhi Hermawan, VP Business Development at Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC).

IBC is building an integrated industry from upstream to downstream to produce battery cells for electric vehicles, including cars and motorcycles. Indonesia has significant potential as the world’s largest nickel producer, the primary raw material for electric vehicle batteries.

“Therefore, IBC is currently working on nickel-based projects, primarily for the downstream ecosystem of electric vehicles and batteries. Concerning capability investments, we believe we can compete with other countries. Our resources are number one globally regarding reserves and nickel production,” Bayu stated.