Jakarta, 18 January 2022 – Entering 2022, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources shared Indonesia’s energy transition strategy in the “Press Conference on 2021 Performance Achievements and the 2022 Work Plan for Energy and Mineral Resources and the EBTKE Subsector”. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views that even though the direction of the energy transition is becoming more evident, it is crucial to speed up the energy transition to reduce GHG emissions and align with Paris Agreement pathways to limit the earth temperature well below 1.5 degree Celsius. Moreover, some overlapping strategies need to develop in a more focused roadmap, such as Dimethyl Ether (DME) utilization, gas grids, and induction cooktops to meet household energy needs.
In the 2021-2030 Energy Transition Roadmap, the government focuses on new and renewable energy power plants’ construction which reach 20.9 GW, while the solar rooftop is targeted at 3.6 GW. The solar rooftop construction will be massive in 2031-2050 with a total amount of 279.2 GW.
Based on the IESR study entitled “Deep Decarbonization of Indonesia’s Energy System”, the construction of renewable energy power plants should be accelerated in the 2021-2030 period to achieve the renewable energy mix target, and reach peak emissions in the electricity sector before 2030. In addition, there is a need for at least a 14-fold increase in the total renewable energy capacity in 2020, with around 117 GW coming from solar rooftops and 23 GW from other renewable energy plants.
The government’s report on the achievement of new and renewable energy power generation capacity until 2021 reaches 11,152 MW. Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, feels that the target for adding renewable energy generating capacity has always been below the government’s target since 2019 and is not on track with the renewable energy mix target of 24 GW by 2025.
“The reasons for the low obtainment of renewable energy plants are structural. For instance, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources No. 50/2017 makes renewable energy projects unbankable, PLN does not carry out the regular and on schedule basis of the procurement of renewable energy plants, the lack of competitive domestic financing support, and the delay in project realization due to the pandemic,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director IESR.
Highlighting the investment target for the new and renewable energy sector in 2022, the government has set an investment entry of USD 3.9 billion, up 2.6 times from the previous investment achievement of USD 1.51 billion in 2021. Deon Arinaldo, Program Manager of Energy Transformation, IESR, thought that although the target has almost tripled, it is a small amount to fund efforts to decarbonize Indonesia’s energy system.
“Based on the study of the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook 2022, investment in renewable energy for the electricity sector alone requires 11.1 billion USD per year for the next decade. Several renewable energy policies and regulations that should have been released last year, need to be finalized immediately to increase investor confidence and the renewable energy investment climate. Renewable energy investments outside of PLN’s RUPTL (National Electricity Supply Business Plan), such as solar rooftop, also need to be fully supported to attract investment from the beginning of this year, “added Deon.
Furthermore, the government’s strategy to maintain fossil energy subsidies will slow down the pace of energy transition in Indonesia. As well as increasing the burden on the state, it is also an easy trap for Indonesia to get into the fossil energy crisis.
“Reflecting on the coal energy crisis earlier this year, it can be seen that the use of fossil energy such as coal and subsidized support (in the form of DMO) also does not guarantee the country’s energy security, but instead creates distortions in the price of electricity generation. The price of electricity generation from coal-fired power plants looks cheaper than it should be and does not create a level playing field for renewable energy,” said Deon.
The government’s strategy to accelerate the national energy transition is constrained by the fact that the Minister of Finance has not yet approved the Draft Presidential Decree for the Purchase of Renewable Energy. Deon believes that there needs to be strategic coordination between ministries to support the acceleration of achieving the carbon-neutral target so that regulatory support that is considered critical should be issued immediately and run effectively.
“Apart from issuing regulations, effective implementation is important, but this is the opposite. For example, Ministerial Regulation 26/2021 regarding rooftop solar power plants, which should be able to support the achievement of the 900 MW rooftop solar power plant target in 2022 according to the MEMR target, however, was delayed earlier this year,” said Deon.
Besides the regulatory perspective, IESR sees the synergy of inter-ministerial carbon neutral targets as important. Reviewing the targets and realization of electric vehicles in 2022, the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook 2022 found two different targets in the two ministries. The Ministry of Industry plans to produce 750,000 units of LCEV (low carbon emission vehicle), consisting of electric cars and 2.45 million units of electric motorcycles by 2030. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) targets 2 million cars, electric vehicles and 13 million electric motorcycles by 2030. Different targets and roadmaps in the development of electric vehicles will make it difficult to see a coherent and consistent effort by the government to increase the penetration of electric vehicles in the country.
“An integrated and well-designed national electric vehicle roadmap must be created. Alignment between the electric vehicle (EV) roadmap of the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, for example, will increase the confidence of EV players. It also will maximize economic benefits for Indonesia in the form of an industrial value chain formed from the transition process from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs,” closed Deon.