Jakarta, February 23, 2024 – The Indonesian government has officially issued Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) Regulation No. 2 of 2024 concerning Rooftop Solar Power Plants Connected to the Electricity Network of Holders of Electricity Supply Business License for Public Interest, which is a revision of MEMR Regulation No. 26 of 2021.
In this new regulation, the net-metering scheme is abolished so that excess electrical energy or export of electrical power from users to State Electricity Company (PT PLN Persero) cannot be calculated as part of the reduction in electricity bills. The regulation also stipulates a quota mechanism for rooftop solar power systems in the electricity system of owners of Electricity Supply Business License for Public Interest (IUPTLU) for five years. In addition, this regulation stipulates the registration period twice a year and the compensation provided by the state to PLN if the cost of electricity supply is affected due to the penetration of rooftop solar PV.
The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) considers that the elimination of the net-metering scheme will make it difficult to achieve the National Strategic Project (PSN) target of 3.6 GW of rooftop solar PV by 2025 and the 23% renewable energy target in the same year. The impact of the elimination of this scheme is a decrease in the economic level of rooftop solar power plants, especially in the household segment, which generally experiences peak loads at night.
Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR said that household or small business customers will tend to delay the adoption of rooftop solar PV because their peak electricity demand occurs at night, while solar PV generates peak energy during the day. Without net-metering, rooftop solar PV investment becomes more expensive, particularly when users have to spend additional funds for battery energy storage.
“Net-metering is actually an incentive for household customers to use rooftop solar systems. With PLN’s controlled electricity tariffs, net-metering helps improve the economic viability of rooftop solar systems installed at a minimum capacity of 2 – 3 kWp for R1 category consumers. Without net-metering and the relatively high cost of batteries, this minimum capacity cannot be met, resulting in higher investment costs per kilowatt-peak unit. This will reduce the economics of rooftop solar systems,” said Fabby Tumiwa.
For rooftop solar PV with a capacity greater than 3 MW (three megawatts), this regulation requires users to provide weather forecast database settings that are integrated with the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system or distribution smart grid owned by the Holder of Electricity Supply Business License for Public Interest (IUPTLU).
“The regulation removes the obligation to pay parallel generation charges, i.e. capacity charges and emergency service charges previously applied to industry – equivalent to 5 hours per month. The elimination of this parallel charge adds to the attractiveness for industrial customers, but the obligation to provide weather forecasting for systems of more than 3 MW will also add to the installation cost component,” said Marlistya Citraningrum, Program Manager of Sustainable Energy Access, IESR.
Marlistya also highlighted the regulation of the term for submission of applications by prospective customers, which is carried out twice per year, namely every January and July.
“This arrangement and the determination of quotas per network system raise questions regarding the transparency of quota determination and approval, especially for industrial customers who want to install rooftop PLTS on a large scale, while the IUPTLU mechanism to add quotas when the system quota has run out is not clearly regulated in this regulation,” he continued.
This regulation guarantees that customers who have utilized rooftop solar power systems before this regulation is enacted, remain bound by the previous regulation, for the next 10 years. This includes still benefiting from the rooftop solar power export system.
“As an on-grid rooftop PV user, I actually have questions about this transitional rule – considering that during installation, rooftop PV exports are still calculated as equivalent to 0.65 of the electricity tariff based on Permen ESDM No. 49/2018, not 1:1 like Permen ESDM No. 26/2021. This transitional rule needs to be clearly informed to current rooftop solar power users,” said Marlistya.
IESR regrets that this regulation is too favorable to the interests of PLN, which can have an impact on hindering the participation of electricity consumers in supporting the government’s goal of accelerating Indonesia’s energy transition, efforts to reduce GHG emissions at low cost and not burdening the state because renewable energy investments are made by electricity consumers without the need for state subsidies.
Fabby Tumiwa hopes that this new regulation can be implemented by paying attention to the benefits obtained by the state if rooftop solar PV is allowed to grow rapidly, namely increasing renewable energy investment, growing the solar PV industry, creating jobs, and reducing GHG emissions. For this reason, IESR urges an evaluation after a year of the Ministerial Regulation’s implementation to determine its effectiveness in encouraging the utilization of renewable energy in Indonesia. The government needs to openly revise it in 2025 as the threat of electricity overcapacity faced by PLN in Java-Bali decreases.