Energy Conservation Actions Still Become Homework for Indonesia’s Decarbonization

Jakarta, 12 October 2023 – Energy conservation is one of the decarbonization efforts that can be carried out with minimal costs and relatively less effort than building new power plants. Unfortunately, this effort is still the second priority in Indonesia’s decarbonization agenda.

In order to encourage the acceleration of energy conservation actions, the government issued Government Regulation no. 33 of 2023 which regulates energy conservation in various sectors. Tavip Rubiyanto, Head of ESDM Subdivision, Directorate of Synchronization of Regional Government Affairs I, Directorate General of Regional Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, explained that Indonesia’s energy needs will continue to increase along with the increase in population and per capita economic growth.

According to him, the Indonesian government has made an international commitment to limit the release of greenhouse gasses and continue to increase renewable energy capacity. However, this plan is still hampered by the large initial investment.

“In PP 33/2023, we give a mandate to local governments, business entities, communities and the private sector to take part in energy conservation actions,” said Tavip in a focused group discussion held by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) on Thursday, October 12th 2023.

Tavip added that the regulation of authority for regional governments is expected to provide sufficient space for regional governments to propose and implement energy conservation programs.

Coordinator of the Technical Guidance and Energy Conservation Cooperation Group, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Hendro Gunawan, explained that it is important for an entity to carry out energy management.

“For the private and industrial sectors, we have even reached certification such as ISO 50001 (industrial management) because apart from improving branding, it is also a kind of requirement to continue to exist in the industry,” said Hendro.

Regarding the basis for implementing energy management which is still voluntary, Iwan Prijanto, chairperson of the Green Building Council Indonesia (GBCI), emphasized the importance of incentive schemes for building owners who will carry out green building certification. Especially for office building owners as the highest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

“I actually feel sad, because the first building was certified in 2011, and additions are very slow. “The absence of incentives or disincentives for building owners is one of the reasons for the slow growth of green buildings,” explained Iwan.

Dyah Perwitasari, Junior Planner at the Ministry of Bappenas, who was present at the discussion, also highlighted the standards for successful energy conservation that need to be considered together.

“Apart from achieving standards that we need to think about again, communication or outreach about energy savings to the public is also very important, for example energy saving label indicators on electronic devices used in the household,” he said.

Grounding the Energy Transition Narrative

Jakarta, 13 October 2023 – As Indonesia’s ambition to realize a Golden Indonesia by 2045 and achieve net zero emission (NZE) by 2060 becomes clear, the government and related parties need to work together to strengthen public understanding of the energy transition, as one of the efforts to achieve these targets.

Agus Tampubolon, Project Manager of Clean, Affordable, and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE), Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), mentioned that the perspective on nature and the use of renewable energy in Indonesia should be ingrained in every individual’s mindset and life.

“Every person has an innate tendency to safeguard their belongings. Therefore, collectively acknowledging the value of nature, forests, oceans, and the environment as crucial components can inspire us to take more eco-friendly actions,” Agus said at Indonesia Sustainable Energy Week (ISEW) 2023.

The relevance of the energy transition issue to people’s lives will also increase understanding of the transition to renewable energy and encourage changes in behavior to become more environmentally friendly; it also promotes increased action to encourage policies that support the adoption of renewable energy.

“The energy transition is multidimensional, not only technical but also social. Everyone must be involved and contribute to an equitable transition,” Agus said. 

On the other hand, efforts to raise public awareness of the energy transition should promote a positive attitude towards Indonesia that can achieve emission-free targets according to the Paris Agreement. Providing reliable data support will help dispel pessimism and encourage support for renewable energy initiatives.

“Pessimism can come from an attitude of helplessness and the view that getting out of the centuries-old fossil energy trap is impossible and expensive. If we stick to this polluting energy, the country will incur much more expensive costs, accelerating global temperatures that exacerbate the climate crisis,” he said.

The availability of data related to the potential of renewable energy potential in the country, studies showing that Indonesia can achieve zero emissions faster, actionable recommendations that can be implemented and measured, and collaborative advocacy efforts involving various community groups are several ways to spread optimism and encourage the acceleration of energy transition for Indonesia to achieve zero emissions faster.