Carefully Designing Indonesia’s Energy Policy Framework

Jakarta, March 28, 2024 – The National Energy Council (DEN) plans to adjust the renewable energy mix target. Currently in the draft Government Regulation on National Energy Policy (RPP KEN), DEN plans to reduce the national renewable energy mix target to 17-19 percent by 2025. Previously, the renewable energy mix target was 23 percent by 2025.

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) considers this a step back from the Indonesian government’s commitment to overseeing the energy transition.

Raditya Wiranegara, IESR Research Manager, in a hearing with the National Energy Board expressed his concern behind the setting of the renewable energy mix target.

“IESR has previously conducted modeling that has been published in our annual report, Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook (IETO). Our modeling results show differences with the modeling results that form the basis for the formulation of the KEN RPP. This is especially evident in the final energy growth, where in the modeling for IETO we used Bappenas’ GDP growth assumption for Indonesia Emas 2045,” Radit said.

This was clarified by Retno Gumilang Dewi, ITB’s modeling team, who assisted DEN in the modeling, that the figures currently circulating are adjusted figures.

“The model we produced can be said to be an ideal model. The modeling was then brought for FGD (focused group discussion) and received various inputs, so it was adjusted,” said Retno Gumilang.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR on the same occasion said that in preparing a country’s energy planning, it is important to ensure the choice of technology that is most relevant and tested with the latest technological developments.

“This step is important and crucial to avoid being locked-in by high-carbon technologies,” Fabby said.

Fabby added that if we are already trapped in the choice of high-carbon technology, it will require even greater investment to get out of the high-carbon technology. IESR also encourages the achievement of renewable energy targets that have been set in the RUPTL and national strategic projects as a driver of the growth of the domestic renewable energy industry.

Encouraging Industrial Decarbonization Starting from Consumer Lifestyle

Jakarta, 22 March 2024 – The increase of the earth’s temperature is an inevitable phenomenon as a result of various natural events and human activities and lifestyles which produce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as the cause of the rise in the earth’s temperature.

The invention of the steam engine in 1880 made monumental changes to human life with the beginning of industrialization. The development of industry has been accompanied by increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2022 recorded an increase in earth temperature of 1.1 degrees Celsius. This is a warning for humanity to immediately take steps to control temperature rise to prevent the temperature increase from reaching no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Faricha Hidayati, Coordinator of the Industrial Decarbonization Project, Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) explained that rising earth temperatures could trigger hydrometeorological disasters, one of which will be at an increasingly high frequency.

“Apart from environmental problems, another side impact is health costs which will rise along with the increase in disease, especially those that attack vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children and poor households,” explained Faricha.

Even though it is one of the sectors causing increased GHG emissions, the industrial sector has a significant economic contribution. So strategic steps and efforts are needed to decarbonize the industrial sector.

In 2021, industrial sector emissions will be the second largest emitting sector after electricity generation. If we continue to use the business as usual scheme without any intervention, the value of emissions in the industrial sector will double by 2050.

“The industrial sector contributes to emissions of more than 300 million tons of CO2 in 2021, with the highest source of emissions from the use of fossil fuels as an energy source,” added Faricha.

Even though there are regulations that encourage industry to practice sustainable principles, their implementation is not yet mandatory. Even for industries that independently have the initiative to implement sustainable principles, there is no incentive system for them.

Faricha continued, apart from through policy advocacy to the government, consumers can contribute, one of the ways is by choosing products that are produced with sustainable principles. Consumers can also demand that producers or industries start implementing sustainable principles in their production processes.

Embarking on the Decarbonization Journey of the Steel Industry

Jakarta, 20 March 2024 – The industrial sector is one of the important sectors for reducing emissions. The large energy consumption and its significant contribution to the economy in 2022 amounting to 16.48 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), are strong reasons to make this sector more sustainable. Industries with high energy needs, such as the iron and steel industry, require strategic preparation to carry out decarbonization.

Indonesia is one of the largest steel producing countries in Southeast Asia, and ranks number 15 steel producers in the world. In 2023, Indonesia’s steel production capacity will reach 16 million tonnes and is estimated to reach 33-35 million tonnes in 2030.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), in the webinar “Accelerating the Transformation of the Steel Industry in Southeast Asia: Indonesia Chapter” stated that Indonesian steel production still has high emissions.

“Indonesia’s projected steel demand is predicted to increase. If we don’t take serious decarbonization steps, emissions from the steel industry will also continue to increase,” said Fabby.

We also face international market demands to produce lower carbon steel. For example, the European Union has implemented the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which, effective in 2026, will have a negative effect on the exports of the Indonesian steel industry. For this reason, the steel industry needs to undergo transformation.

Farid Wijaya, Senior Analyst at IESR, explained that decarbonization for the steel industry will bring prospects for economic growth, although currently there are still quite a lot of challenges.

“Green industrial standards can be one way to encourage environmentally friendly industries. Green standards for steel have only recently been established and are still limited to sheet steel per layer. “Currently there is no steel industry that has received a green certificate due to implementation limitations,” said Farid.

Kajol, Program Manager for Climate Neutral Industry Southeast Asia, Agora Industry, added that currently almost 80% of steel production is carried out through blast furnace technology.

“We have to start thinking about better and modern technology to replace blast furnaces. “When the blast furnace facilities currently operating start to become less efficient in 2030-2040, we must replace them with more modern technology and no longer invest in blast furnaces,” she explained.

One of the technologies Kajol refers to is Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) which can produce primary steel using natural gas or clean hydrogen. Iron ore is reduced to produce DRI, which can then be melted in an electric arc furnace (EAF) to produce primary steel.

Viable strategies for decarbonizing the steel industry include direct and indirect use of renewable energy, resource efficiency and circular economy, and closing the carbon cycle.

Helenna Ariesty, Sustainability Manager of PT Gunung Raja Paksi (GRP) as an industry player emphasized the importance of regulatory certainty in encouraging industrial decarbonization.

“We face several challenges to navigate the inconsistent policy direction. Apart from that, access to funding is affordable considering the initial investment required is significant,” Helenna said.

Joseph Cordonnier, Industrial Policy Analyst, OECD agrees that policy and access to funding will be key framework components for building a supporting ecosystem for industrial decarbonization.

“As part of this framework we also have to really look at how to maximize the utilization of existing assets based on engineering variables, energy efficiency and emission reduction of these assets,” said Joseph.

Fausan Arif Darmaji, Infrastructure Development Analyst, Green Industry Center, Ministry of Industry said the government is aware of the need to reduce emissions from Indonesian steel production.

“The steel sector is also our current focus. “While we are waiting for the policy regulations that are currently being made, we are providing training on GHG calculations for the steel sector, as well as calculating the economic value of carbon,” said Fausan.

Deon Arinaldo, IESR Energy Transformation Program Manager closed this webinar by underlining the need for industrial decarbonization as an effort to remain relevant to the demands of industrial development.

“Currently decarbonization in the industrial sector is still considered a challenge. Not only in Indonesia, but also a global phenomenon. “We must anticipate this trend because decarbonization is inevitable,” said Deon.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Emissions are not Small

Dekarbonisasi emisi UKM

Jakarta, 14 March 2024 – The industrial sector has become the backbone of the Indonesian economy. Not only large industries, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are also the driving force of the national economy, including creating employment opportunities and contributing 60.5% to GDP.

However, this economic contribution figure is also accompanied by large, haunting emissions. Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform, in his opening remarks for the Webinar on Decarbonization Opportunities for Small and Medium Enterprises in Indonesia and Learning from Global Experience, said that currently emissions from the SME industrial sector in 2023 are 216 million tons of CO2e.

“This figure is equivalent to one third of national industrial sector emissions. So, we need to seriously strive to decarbonize the SMEs industry because by prioritizing the sustainability aspect, SMEs will level up,” said Fabby.

As much as 95% of the SME sector’s emissions come from burning fossil fuels, the remaining 5% from burning waste. Large economic contributions need to be anticipated as a result of emissions output. If significant steps are not taken to reduce SME sector emissions, there is a possibility that SME emissions will increase in the future.

Abyan Hilmy Yafi, IESR Energy Data Analyst, explained in a survey carried out by IESR on 1000 SMEs throughout Indonesia that to start decarbonizing the SME industry there are several approaches from increasing understanding to technical solutions such as switching technology.

“For cross-sectors, there is a need to increase the understanding of SMEs about energy consumption and the emissions they emit. Active outreach is also needed to promote renewable energy. By sectoral approach, there are several technical recommendations such as the use of electric boilers in the textile and apparel industry,” he explained.

Bo Shen, Energy Environmental Policy Research, LBNL explained that globally, challenges to decarbonizing the SME industry include gaps in the knowledge of SME owners or managers regarding emissions, energy, or furthermore climate change and its relevance to their business.

“When SMEs already have sufficient knowledge and awareness to carry out decarbonization or reduce emissions from their business, finance becomes the next obstacle. The current upfront costs for, for example, looking for technology vendors or energy service providers (Energy Service Company – ESCO), are still quite high for the financial scale of SMEs,” explained Bo Shen.

Each country will use a different approach to encourage the decarbonization of their SMEs. In the United States, for example, governments are collaborating with universities to build industrial assessment centers.

“Apart from being useful for decarbonizing the SMEs industry, this approach also prepares skilled workers who have direct training opportunities in the SME industry,” explained Bo Shen.

Bo also added an interesting case from China which formed an initiative called Green Growth Together (GGT). This initiative encourages decarbonization of SMEs that are part of established product supply chains.

The established brands they supply require their entire supply chain network to implement emission reduction or decarbonization practices. This demand also comes with required financial assistance or technical assistance.

Ahmad Taufik from the Green Industry Center of the Ministry of Industry (Kemenperin) stated that Indonesian is currently experiencing challenges in the industrial sector. The contribution of the industrial sector to GDP continues to decline.

“Structurally, we are still continuing to improve various things, from industrial development, SME development, to ensuring the availability of environmentally friendly jobs (green jobs) and professional staff (green professionals),” said Taufik.

Reviewing Indonesia’s Renewable Energy Investment Needs

Investasi energi terbarukan

Jakarta, March 8th, 2024 – Indonesia’s energy transition commitment officially began three years ago when the State Electricity Company (PLN) issued the 2021-2030 Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) which targets increasing renewable energy capacity as one of the prerequisites for achieving net zero Indonesia’s emissions in 2060, specifically the electricity sector in 2050.

During the Market Review session, Friday 8 March 2024, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) stated that the development of renewable energy is a necessity. The government, through a number of policies such as RUPTL 2021, and Presidential Decree 112/2022 has announced additional renewable energy capacity as well as a commitment to no longer build new PLTUs except those already in the contract process.

“These commitments must be translated to executable technical and economic plans. Therefore, the RUKN and RUPTL revision process which is currently underway is very important,” said Fabby.

In the 2024 – 2040 RUPTL, PLN plans to increase its renewable energy generation capacity by up to 80 GW. This plan will have the consequence of a significant increase in renewable energy from currently around 9 GW to 70 GW.

Fabby added that this enthusiasm and ambition needs to be monitored by the public considering that the government’s record for increasing renewable energy capacity is always below the target. In pursuing the target of a 23 percent renewable energy mix by 2025, Indonesia has not shown the expected progress. Until 2023, the renewable energy mix will only be 13 percent. This makes the remaining two years a challenge for accelerating renewable energy.

The required cost for building renewable energy plants, which reaches USD 152 billion (equivalent to 2,300 trillion rupiah) by 2040, is in the spotlight. This figure is considered a realistic figure by Fabby, considering that this figure represents investment needs including the need for building renewable energy plants as well as building transmission and distribution networks.

“The figure of USD 152 billion is a realistic figure at this time. We also have to understand that technology continues to develop, it is very possible that in the future this investment need will gradually decrease according to technological developments,” explained Fabby.

Fabby highlighted the government’s intention to involve the private sector more. To invite greater private investment, regulatory improvements are needed, including the National Energy Policy in line with the electricity sector’s net zero emission target in 2050, a review of electricity purchase prices from renewable energy generators, and a review of the current electricity tariffs.

Encouraging the Energy Transition in the Industrial Sector in South Sumatra

Jelajah Energi Sumatera Selatan

Palembang, 26 February 2024 – Energy is a basic need for individuals and communities with various purposes. Even though energy is something crucial in human life, not many people know or are critical of the energy sources (such as electricity) that they use every day.

On a larger scale such as the industrial sector, energy needs will be directly proportional to the productivity and economic contribution of the products produced. Somewhat different from energy use on a household scale, energy use in the industrial sector is relatively well monitored. In terms of awareness of energy sources, industry tends to better understand the energy sources they choose.

In an effort to promote the use of renewable energy, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) collaborates with the South Sumatra Province Energy and Mineral Resources Office to organize the South Sumatra Energy Exploration (Jelajah Energi Sumatera Selatan) activity for one week starting from Monday, February 26th, 2024 to Friday March 1st, 2024. This activity also embraces journalists as strategic partners in increasing public literacy regarding the energy transition.

The series of events began with an introductory workshop to provide participants with a basic understanding of energy and the energy landscape of South Sumatra, which acts as an “energy barn”. However, the dominant energy used is fossil energy i.e coal. Meanwhile, apart from fossil energy sources, South Sumatra Province also has a technical potential for renewable energy reaching 21,032 MW, yet only around 4.7% or 989 MW has been utilized.

Rizqi M. Prasetyo, IESR Sub-National Project Coordinator, explained that with the renewable energy potential of South Sumatra, projects can be utilized to bring benefits to the community.

“One of the (good practices, ed) that has been carried out in South Sumatra is the CSR initiative to use solar PV to drive land irrigation water pumps,” said Risky.

Secretary of the South Sumatra Province ESDM Service, Ahmad Gufran, said that his party was open to various ideas for greater use of renewable energy.

“We will continue to contribute to the development of the renewable energy sector to obtain clean, environmentally friendly energy. In the future, we hope that the use of clean energy can expand to all levels of society,” said Ahmad Gufan.

After receiving a general introductory workshop, the Energy Exploration journey began by visiting PT Pupuk Sriwidjaja (PUSRI). PT PUSRI is the first fertilizer producer in Indonesia and has been operating since the 1970s. Considering that the company’s operational period is quite long, production assets have also entered a period of revitalization. This moment is also used to switch to a cleaner type of technology for future operational periods.

VP of Environment at PUSRI Palembang, Yusuf Riza, explained that in an effort to be in line with the government’s agenda to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, PT PUSRI is taking a number of steps, including implementing energy efficiency practices, using electric vehicles as operational vehicles in factory environments, and installing on-grid rooftop PV for office operations.

“Currently we have installed a rooftop PV of 110 kWp as an energy source in office buildings, and this year (2024, ed) we plan to increase our (PV) capacity by 100 kWp. So in total we will have around 210 kWp PV capacity,” said Yusuf.

Between Low Renewable Energy Target and High Economic Growth Ambitions

Jakarta, 20 February 2024 – Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) assesses the steps taken by the National Energy Council (DEN) to adjust the renewable energy mix target in the Draft of Government Regulation on National Energy Policy (RPP KEN)  from the original 23 percent to 17-19 percent 2030 is a backward step because it is not in line with the stated goal of reducing emissions and achieving Indonesia’s net-zero emissions target by 2060 or sooner.

Fabby also highlighted the energy transition agenda carried by each pair of presidential candidates in the 2024 election, which includes a number of renewable energy mix targets until 2030 in an interview with the Squawk Box program.

According to him, each candidate has an energy transition agenda, one of which is the desire to pursue the same renewable energy mix target as the current National Energy Policy, ranging from 27-30 percent by 2030. Apart from that, each candidate also has a commitment to limit the operation of coal power plants.

“For candidate number 02, what is clearly visible is the increase in the use of biofuel to replace or reduce fuel subsidies as stated during the campaign,” said Fabby. They (presidential and vice-presidential candidates’ number two) are targeting a biofuel blend percentage of 50 percent by 2029, as well as ethanol utilization of 10-20 percent.

Furthermore, Fabby emphasized that for the electricity sector, the aim of ending coal plant operations early must be accompanied by adding a larger portion of renewable energy. Apart from replacing the electrical power that was initially supplied by coal-fired power plants, renewable energy generation must also meet the projected electricity growth needs in the future. Moreover, Indonesia has the ambition to pursue economic growth of up to, for example, 6-7 percent, so electricity demand is projected to grow even greater.

“Based on IESR’s calculations, to achieve these various targets, the renewable energy mix in 2030 must reach 40 percent, this is somewhat different from the target adjustments made by DEN currently,” explained Fabby.

Fabby added that the new government’s homework related to the energy sector will be to accelerate the development of renewable energy, especially in the electricity and liquid fuel sub-sectors.

Mangroves for the Community

Cirebon, 26 January 2024 – South Kesunean is one of the coastal areas in the Kasepuhan Village area, Lemahwungkuk District, Cirebon City. Located on the coast, the South Kesunean area experiences threats in the form of abrasion or tidal flooding. Realizing this, people of Kesunean Selatan started planting mangroves to prevent this abrasion.

The need to maintain mangroves is not running smoothly considering that some of the local people have a habit of piling up rubbish and turning it into waste land. Emerging land is a phenomenon where residents deliberately collect rubbish, then pile it up on the coast until it becomes solid and forms new land to be used as a residential area.

Considering its location on the coast, a number of residents who are members of the RW 09 Kesunean Selatan mangrove Working Group (Pokja) have made various efforts, including educating local residents not to pile up rubbish and make land emerge again in the area around the mangrove forest. Even though public awareness is starting to awaken to no longer hoarding rubbish, there are still people who cut down mangrove trees for firewood, and step on small mangrove trees when going to sea.

Pepep Nurhadi, Chair of RW 09 South Kesunean and administrator of the Kesunean Mangrove Working Group, hopes that the South Kesunean mangrove forest can survive and even develop further.

“We hope that this mangrove can develop into a kind of ecotourism site so that the surrounding community can directly benefit socio-economically,” said Pepep.

For this reason, the South Kesunean Mangrove Working Group is open to collaboration and assistance from various parties. Since 2023, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) through the Generasi Energi Bersih (GEB) community has carried out collaborative observations and assessments that can be carried out with the residents of South Kesunean.

After discussions with the local community, several things were identified, namely planting mangrove seedlings and caring for them, making a mangrove track (a kind of bridge) so that fishermen going to sea no longer step on mangrove seedlings, as well as increasing the capacity of local residents through training in ecoprint batik with dyes, mainly natural mangroves resourced.

To invite the involvement of more people, the Generasi Energi Bersih community is opening donations for the development of the South Kesunean mangrove area to become an ecotourism area via the following page.

Building a Framework for Understanding Mutual Cooperation on Renewable Energy

Bekasi, 23 January 2024 – Human life cannot be separated from various types of energy use. Starting from the household scale for cooking, to the utility scale such as power plants with a capacity of hundreds of megawatts. Even though energy utilization activities are carried out every day, understanding and literacy about energy still needs to be built, especially regarding the use of renewable and cleaner energy sources.

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) actively collaborates with various parties to continue to build understanding and capacity regarding the energy transition, one of which is through the Jelajah Energi program. Jelajah Energi is initiated by IESR, as an effort to document various good practices for using renewable energy in society and in the industrial sector.

Deon Arinaldo, IESR Energy Transformation Program Manager, in the introductory workshop on Jelajah Energi Jawa Barat (Jelajah Energi chapter West Java), stated that a deep understanding of the energy transition and its benefits for the environment as well as socio-economic benefits is the motivation to drive community participation in the energy transition process.

“It is hoped that proper public understanding of the use of renewable energy can provide full support in implementing clean energy-based solutions,” said Deon.

In the same forum, the Head of the West Java Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Office, Ai Saadiyah Dwidaningsih, said that the Jelajah Energi Jawa Barat activity was a relevant relevant to the current situation in West Java which had recorded 23.41% of renewable energy mix by 2023.

“West Java has a renewable energy potential of 192 GW, ranging from solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro and wind. However, of this 192 GW potential, only 3.41 GW or still around 2% has been utilized,” said Ai.

Ai added that the activity will provide an experience to understand and know the development of this energy transition in Indonesia, especially in West Java, so it is hoped that cross-sector collaborative initiatives or input will emerge after.

After the introductory workshop, the Jelajah Energi trip began with a visit to the Bantar Gebang Waste Power Plant (PLTSa) unit. PLTSa Bantar Gebang is located at the Bantar Gebang Integrated Waste Disposal Site (TPST) and is one of the largest waste disposal sites in the world.

The Bantar Gebang PLTSa unit is a pilot project belonging to the DKI Jakarta Regional Government. Currently PLTSa Bantar Gebang produces around 750 kWh of electricity per day. The electricity produced is used for the operations of PLTSa and Bantar Gebang TPST, and uses around 300-450 kWh.

Harun Al Rasyid, Deputy Operations Manager for PLTSa Bantar Gebang, stated that there is a lot of excess power so it is necessary to think about options for using this excess power.

“Because we are not connected to the grid, now excess power is wasted,” explained Harun.

Apart from being used as PLTSa fuel, waste from the Bantar Gebang TPST is also used as refuse derived fuel (RDF). Ari Prihantono from the Nathabumi PT Solusi Bangun Indonesia Tbk team, said that RDF is a cost-effective alternative fuel.

“Waste sorting is the biggest challenge in the RDF supply chain process. Improving this sorting process is the key to improving the RDF supply chain. If we can sort from the start, we can cut the costs of centralized sorting,” said Ari.

PLTSa Bantar Gebang also produces paving blocks from Fly Ash Bottom Ash (FABA), the combustion residue from PLTSa. From 100 tons of waste per day, 10 tons of usable FABA can be produced.