Climate Emergency Should be the Main Consideration of Energy Policy

The race to address climate change is getting tighter and more challenging. Each country is demanded to revisit its energy policy on time basis and align it with the Paris Agreement i.e to limit global temperature to no more than 2 degrees Celsius in 2050. The energy sector, as one of the most polluting sectors, is under the spotlight to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, one of which is by choosing the most suitable less polluting power plant to supply energy needs. 

The nuclear power plant is in a debatable position related to its ability to provide clean energy. For years, countries like France, Germany, and Japan have relied on nuclear power to fulfill their  energy demand. However, there are haunting challenges such as the long construction period, relatively high cost, and the most alarming is the safety issue of the generator. The world notes at least two major nuclear accidents i.e Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima in 2011. Even the Chernobyl accident in 1986 still lingers in our mind as its impact is still happening today.

Commemorating the Chernobyl accident, on April 26th 2022,  Unika Soegijapranata and Masyarakat Rekso Bumi (Marem) hosted a webinar, titled “Reflection on Chernobyl Accident and Nuclear Option for Indonesia Power Sector”,  reflecting on the accident three decades ago and its correlation on Indonesia’s discourse to have nuclear power plant to provide reliable energy supply and to seize the net-zero emission target by 2060. 

Herman Darnel Ibrahim, a member of Indonesia’s National Energy Council, stated that Indonesia is still able to fulfill the net zero emissions target without having nuclear power plants. 

“By maximizing all kinds (variable) of renewable energy in Indonesia, especially solar and wind whose cost is continuously declining, we may not need nuclear to be net-zero,” Herman said.

Herman continued to explain that the global capacity of nuclear power keeps declining. New nuclear power plants coming online are fewer than those decommissioning. Besides that, there is also a concern about construction delays. 

“There are generally delays on construction of nuclear power plants up to 3 years, even more, this is, of course, adding up the construction cost and LCOE.”

The lengthy construction period became the concern of Mycle Schneider, an international nuclear consultant, who emphasized the time urgency in deciding the energy policy.

“Please keep in mind that the state we are in now is a climate emergency, which means it includes time pressure. To address this of course we need fast and relatively cheap solutions,” Mycle said.

Compared to other available options such as renewables or energy efficiency, nuclear power plant construction is considered the slowest option, which makes it irrelevant to address the provision of clean energy to align with the net-zero target.

Mycle added that even the nuclear industry cannot really forecast the future of the nuclear power plants. One in eight nuclear reactors that finished the construction never made it to the grid. 30 of 55 nuclear reactors currently under construction are behind schedule. In general, there is an increasing gap between nuclear perception and (nuclear) industrial reality. 

“In the coming years, decision making for energy policy should not be based on economics only, but should be based on feasibility and industrial reality,” Mycle concluded in his presentation.

Jateng Solar Series – Green Healthcare Forum: Central Java Encourages PLTS Adoption in Health Facilities

Jakarta, 26 April 2022- The Ministry of Health through The Directorate of Health Service Facilities, Directorate General of Health Services has issued Guidelines for Environmentally Friendly Hospitals (Green Hospitals) in Indonesia in 2018. Central Java has a high potential power output for solar energy. To that end, the development of policies, benefits, and financing schemes for rooftop solar power plants available for health facilities are discussed in the “Rooftop Solar Energy for Health Facilities Sector” Webinar. This activity was held in collaboration with the MEMR of Central Java Province and IESR which took place online.

Opening the discussion, Mustaba Ari Suryoko, Coordinator of Various NRE Services and Business Supervision, Directorate General of EBTKE, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources stated that Indonesia has at least 3 targets, namely 23% renewable energy in 2025, emission reduction in 2030, and net zero emission in 2060. According to him, The target for penetration of renewable energy, especially rooftop solar power plants, which is 3.6 GW until 2025 is quite high, but its implementation is still minimal. 

Several efforts have been made by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to accelerate the use of solar energy, especially in the health sector, including the issuance of the Rooftop pv Regulation to accelerate the penetration of rooftop PV, increased socialization to the health sector, such as the construction of rooftop PV at the Bali Mandara Hospital 2020, with a capacity of 100 kWp. Ari informed that currently, around 15 hospitals in Indonesia have installed rooftop solar panels.

“Low carbon development has become a global agreement, and we are part of it. The health sector has a fairly large energy demand, and there are units that have to operate 24 hours a day. For that, energy efficiency is needed, not only saving, but also producing and using energy effectively and efficiently,” said Sujarwanto Dwiatmoko, Head of MEMR of Central Java Province.

Sujarwanto said that energy audits, replacement of energy-efficient lighting systems, as well as non-stop and stop electrical operation line separation needs to be done in the hospital. To support the green hospital, hospitals can use renewable energy, one of them is rooftop solar power. According to Sujarwanto, to optimize the use of rooftop PV, it is necessary to look at the electricity usage needs, such as what tools operate during the day or night and determine which PV system (offgrid/ongrid) will be used. Supporting the energy transition, MEMR of Central Java Province will issue special awards for energy saving and green building efforts. 

Adding, Romadona, Head of the Health Facilities Facilities Team Referrals from the Directorate of Health Service Facilities said that the principles of environmentally friendly hospitals include safe buildings and guarantee patient safety, paying attention to various patient conditions (such as disabled), adapting to medical science developments, saving energy and being environmentally friendly. Romadona explained that the environmentally friendly criteria themselves are divided into two types, namely design and construction, as well as operational criteria. Unfortunately, the application of the criteria was interrupted during the pandemic. 

On the other hand, Marlistya Citraningrum, Sustainable Energy Access Program Manager, IESR mentioned several advantages of solar energy such as its abundant potential and rooftop PV technology that is easily accessible, does not require land, is easy to maintain, and the size can be adjusted to the size of the house, legally on-grid and off-grid. Marlistya said that the average return on investment for rooftop solar power plants in Indonesia for small scale is 10-12 years. 

“Roof PV can last for 25-30 years, and after that it can still be used but with a slightly decreased power,” he said.

Marlistya explained that there are several rooftop PV financing schemes such as cash purchase, installments/credit, and performance-based renting. Marlistya informed that at the Semarang City Hall, the use of Rooftop Solar Power Plants was able to reduce the bill by almost 50% from Rp 13 million to Rp 6.5 million. On the other hand, for a small house, the savings can reach 60%.

The savings in electricity costs of Rp 810 million/year, as well as very easy and minimal PV maintenance is one of the testimonials for the use of 327.6 kWp rooftop PV at Pertamina Hospital Cilacap. Muhidi, Household Sector, Pertamina Cilacap Hospital, said that the installation of rooftop PV in his hospital is an effort of efficiency and savings as well as a form of support for the government to achieve a 23% energy mix by 2025.

Also supporting the development of PV mini-grid in Indonesia, UNDP is working on the Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) with a total incentive of rooftop PV of Rp 23 billion.

“The scheme is performance based; install it first before submitting an incentive request,” explained Verania Andria, UNDP’s Senior Advisor for Sustainable Energy.

Verania explained that the requirements for submitting incentives, namely PLN customers who have installed or are currently installing rooftop PV as of December 1, 2021, can only submit one application, does not apply to PV funded by the government through the APBN/APBD, and installation is not done alone because UNDP wants to guarantee quality. installation of installed roof PV mini-grid. In addition, capital applications can be accessed through the application and the online site https://isurya.mtre3.id. Furthermore, she stated that so far, incentives of Rp. 155 million have been distributed.

Ing. Eko Supriyanto, General Chair of the Indonesian Hospital Engineering Association who was present on the same occasion informed that green healthcare consists of various aspects; One of them is energy conservation and emission reduction. He said that digitizing hospitals was important to overcome several issues in hospitals such as building architecture, waste treatment methods, the use of energy that is not environmentally friendly, and the over-use of electrical energy. One example of digitization, explained Eko, is the Smart Integrated Electricity System, a digital system that can monitor planning and energy use in hospitals.

“The hospital is still looking at the economic side of installing rooftop solar panels. Hospitals also have service priorities that prioritize patients and health services, so the decision to use rooftop solar panels requires comprehensive consideration. With the technology and cost of rooftop PV, now is the time for hospitals to start considering installing rooftop PV” said Eko.

Boosting Confidence for Solar Investors in Indonesia

Jakarta, 7 April 2022 – Located on the equator, Indonesia is blessed with abundant yet (unfortunately) untapped solar energy potentials. The Institute for Essentials Services Reform’s study titled, “Beyond 207 Gigawatts: Unleashing Indonesia’s Solar Potential” shows that based on land suitability there are 3 – 20 TWp solar potentials that may generate power up to 4,7 – 27 TWh annually. The huge potential is sadly not followed by proper utilization. The MEMR noted that until the end of 2021 total PV capacity in Indonesia is only around 200 MW. 

Fabby Tumiwa, the Chairman of Indonesia Solar Energy Association and the Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform, during the South Korea Renewable Energy Investment Forum, said that the solar market outlook looks promising especially since the end of 2021 when PLN announced its recent Business Plan (RUPTL) in which it gives spacious slot for renewable energy.

“Solar becomes government focus in RUPTL to reach the 23% RUEN target in 2025 as well the net-zero emissions in 2060 or sooner. Approaches on various types of PV i.e floating, and rooftop need to be done through the regulation improvement,” Fabby said.

Eka Satria, CEO of Medco Power Indonesia, shares his perspective on the current energy transition happening in Indonesia. He believes that the success of energy transition should be driven by policy. 

“Energy transition needs a different environment. We cannot just leave it to the market mechanism where people choose what kind of energy they want to have. Especially in the beginning, policy-driven action is needed,” Eka explained.

Eka added that the best practice in countries that have started the energy transition early is always initiated by the Government that sets up a policy to drive both energy providers and energy consumers to shift to renewable energy.

Byeongwoo Jeon, Managing Director of Global Business Department KEPCO KDN, shares his appreciation that renewable energy development in Indonesia is gaining traction yet a set of challenges still follow. 

“Land acquisition is our number one challenge. In the area where energy demand is high, we usually experience land shortages to install solar PV,” he said.

Jeon also highlighted the complex process to get financing for renewable energy projects. The current regulation such as the required local content and the process to get PPA (power purchase agreement)happening in the lengthy process makes renewable projects hard to get financing.

Fabby Tumiwa added that besides the PPA process that should be shortened, consistent regulation is also important to give investors and the business sector confidence in planting their capital in Indonesia’s renewable energy projects. 

“PLN must also implement the recent Ministerial Regulation number 26/2021 about rooftop solar customers to accelerate rooftop PV adoption,” he said.

The current MEMR’s regulation no 26/2021 about rooftop solar PV contains some improvements from the previous MEMR regulation no 49/2018 such as the 1:1 export-import tariffs, a longer reset period, and a shorter period to obtain approval for construction, but is not yet implemented by PLN though it is officially released by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources as per January 2022.

Sticks with Biofuel Policy

In recent years, the government has been aggressively encouraging the use of biofuel as one of the main alternatives to fuel oil. However, many constraints and impacts on the economic, social, and environmental side arise in this biofuel use program.

The world’s biggest palm oil producer, and exporter, Indonesia, will push ahead with its ambitious biodiesel program even as prices of tropical oil have soared, which could increase the costs of producing biofuel. The B30 program stipulates fossil fuels must be blended with 30% palm oil. The mandate is aimed at soaking up bulging supplies in the top grower. But palm’s premium over gasoil has ballooned to record levels, driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that has tightened global cooking oil supplies.

“We haven’t discussed the evaluated B30 program because it is still running as planned,” Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) said. However, he said that the government could monitor crude palm oil and petroleum prices closely and will prepare options to anticipate any development without elaborating on those plans.

He continued that the problem arises because there are B40 mandates that have been postponed many times, rumors of the B40 loans, and others are skeptical if it is possible to launch B40 mandates in the current situation. But the biofuel strategy must go on because it’s also part of Indonesia energy’s strategy.

Indonesia’s efforts to increase the palm content in biofuel to 40% by 2021 were put on hold due to cheaper fuel costs and record-high palm prices. In addition, raising the blending rate would require the government to provide a significant incentive through the money it collects from palm oil export levies. As a result, road tests for vehicles powered by 40% palm biofuel may be delayed, but discussions on B40 are ongoing.

“Indonesia has several issues in launching the B40 because of the pandemic era. First, in 2020, the oil demands declined. As a result, CPO is lowered, significantly affecting the financial crisis. In 2021, there was uncertainty about the price, and the government didn’t want to give subsidies. The second problem is infrastructure. For example, part of the strategy for increasing biofuel is a refinery prepared by Pertamina in Balongan Refinery, and it’s still in development. But if these problems are solved, all the essential elements of starting the B40 this year make sense,” Fabby said.

 

The B40 plan was delayed again on high CPO prices, but Indonesia is optimistic about the year 2023 being implemented

Doubts have emerged over Indonesia’s plan to roll out B40-type biofuel this early year as the high price of CPO renders such fuel uneconomical. As a result, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has announced a delay in implementing a mandatory 40 percent palm oil-based biodiesel (B40) policy to “prioritize stability” amid rising CPO prices. 

Based on The Jakarta Post’s1 articles on March 29, 2022, Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif said that the government would continue its B30 policy – of 30% palm oil-based biodiesel – in 2022 and devise solutions to maintain the price gap between CPO and biofuel prices. He said that technically B40 is ready to be implemented and is still reviewing whether they’re prepared to produce more CPO. 

“As we know that the B40 program was slated for implementation in July 2021 following the success of the B30 program in 2019, but it was delayed by a year as high CPO prices had made the fuel uneconomical and because of the pandemic condition, but the government had planned to conduct the B40 trial on this year and we optimistic it will be implemented on 2023,” stated Fabby.

Fabby said the government was still committed to escalating the biofuel policy and developing the development plan. As of 28 March 2022, CPO prices had risen 27.5% Year To Date (YTD). The government hopes that increasing the proportion of processed CPO in biofuel would help limit petroleum imports. Indonesia has long been one of the world’s largest crude oil and gasoline fuel importers.

In 2021, the B30 program reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 25 million tons, and the government studied the technological, economic, regulatory, and supporting industry aspects of implementing B40. Fabby suggested that the government begin implementing the mandatory B40 policy in 2023.

 

The Future of Biofuel Strategy

The use of biofuel continues to be increased by optimizing the production of domestic biofuels (BBN). With this policy, it is hoped that by 2027 Indonesia will no longer import fuel to save foreign exchange and improve the welfare of oil palm farmers through the mandatory biofuel program.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) stated that the implementation of biofuel has been successful for 15 years. However, even in biofuel with a blending rate of 30 percent, some time ago, bioavtur was tested on flights from Bandung to Jakarta and vice versa. It turns out that the results are entirely satisfactory, so it can continue to be improved.

Biofuel would act as the main substitute for petroleum fuel, especially in the transportation sector. However, based on IESR’s study, the future potential of biofuel is highly uncertain due to the rapid development of alternative technologies, especially electric vehicles. The government needs to be prudent in developing the long-term plan for biofuel and putting it under the broader energy transition plan. Increasing the biofuel mandate too aggressively could risk the infrastructure becoming stranded assets. 

The energy strategy tried to integrate biofuel planning with electric vehicle adoption and petroleum refinery development. In addition, to reduce the risk of stranded assets, investment in biofuel could be directed to retrofitting existing plants for co-processing or developing biofuel refineries that are more flexible in product portfolio and transformable to other products.

 

Source: 

  1. B40 biodiesel plan delayed again on high CPO prices, 29 March 2022
  2. Critical Review on the Biofuel Development Policy in Indonesia
  3. Energy Intelligent Interview with Fabby Tumiwa 

 

Russia’s Invasion May Affect Energy Transition in ASEAN

Jakarta, 5 April 2022 – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the past month has been steering up the global reaction, especially on energy security issues. Russia is known for its oil and gas global exporter, with the invasion going on, global leaders are taking stands in giving sanctions not to buy gas from Russia. Is this good or bad? We may need a longer time to see the impact, but one thing’s for sure, Russia’s sanction has become one of the triggers for European Union Countries to accelerate their energy transition and  seal emergency securities as well as reduce their reliance on fossil fuels.

Fabby Tumiwa, the Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), said that EU action to ensure their energy security is accelerating the transition.

“EU countries try to reduce their reliance on fossil fuel by developing technology such as green hydrogen to ensure their energy security. This is such good news for the EU region yet it has a spillover effect as countries like Germany commit to supporting energy transition in emerging countries like Indonesia. The current situation may affect the speed and funding for the energy transition in emerging economy countries,” he explained.

Sufficient funding is crucial for decarbonizing the whole energy system. Enough funding means the government will be able to build modern low-carbon energy infrastructure. As most of the emerging countries lie in the Southeast Asia region, this area has become the hotspot for decarbonization. As one of the most populated regions, Southeast Asia’s energy demand is constantly growing. Ensuring the region has sufficient funding to transform its energy system into a cleaner one will be one of the determining factors of global decarbonization.

Consisting of ten countries, ASEAN has different characteristics in developing its energy transition mechanism based on the national priorities of each country. The various situations create different opportunities, one thing in common is that renewable energy sources, especially solar, are available abundantly in the region. Fabby added that soon solar energy will be a commodity just like oil and gas at the moment. 

“Therefore, it is important for ASEAN to have its manufacturing facility (for solar panels). To make sure the operation of the manufacturing facilities technology transfer from the main producer is a must,” Fabby said.

Sara Jane Ahmed, Founder, Financial Futures Center Advisor, Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers, added that partnership will be the key for ASEAN countries in accelerating the energy transition.

“In this time, China can actually play a bigger role by providing funds and transferring its technology to ASEAN countries,” she said.

Just Energy Transition Highly Required Attractive Policy, Regulation and Finance Access

Jakarta, 29 March 2022 – Just energy transition becomes one of the priority issues of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency 2022. Zooming in on a just energy transition issue, Yudo Dwinanda Priaadi, chair of the Energy Transition Working Group, explains that there are three issues related to energy transition to be accelerated i.e access, technology, and financing. 

The energy transition is about changing the whole system of energy from fossil fuel-based to renewables-based. It involves multi-sector reform to get there. Ensuring energy access is provided at an affordable cost and way is important as it is mentioned in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7 i.e affordable and clean energy. Therefore providing infrastructure of clean energy as the first step of the energy transition becomes crucial.

Technology transfer needs to be taken care of, as in Indonesia’s context, all the technology of clean energy right now was developed by other countries. To avoid Indonesia becoming only the market for other countries ‘selling’ their technology, we need the knowledge of technology and even have to be able to produce the technology by ourselves.

Fabby Tumiwa, the Executive Director of IESR, believes that the most important issue of energy transition currently is financing.

“If we have sufficient financing, we can access the technology and build the infrastructure of clean energy. At the same time we will also create a low carbon economy system in the country,” he said.

Luiz de Mello, Director of Economics Department OECD, added that there is an opportunity to make progress in a low carbon economy as the world tries to get out of the pandemic situation. According to him, there are at least three things the government should do, including mobilizing investment for low carbon infrastructure, making regulations and standards, as well as managing labor investment including training and retraining for those previously working in the fossil industry.

“On an international level we also need policy coordination as we are addressing a global issue, we need a global solution,” Luiz added.

The government also must provide a predictable regulation and framework to attract investors to invest in renewable projects. Frank Jotzo, Head of Energy, Institute for Climate Energy and Disaster Solutions, Australia National University, emphasized the importance of providing a de-risking instrument to accelerate the energy transition. 

“We realize that the investment needed (for energy transition) is enormous, yet there are a couple of things to do to figure out the way to finance the transition. For the note, it is a productive investment where most of the money goes for the upfront cost, and later we can enjoy the clean energy without too many costs needed,” Frank explained.

As the G20 President, Indonesia becomes the spotlight of its energy transition process. Masyita Crystallin, Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance on Macroeconomic and Fiscal Policy Ministry of Finance Indonesia, shares that the Indonesian Government strives for a just energy transition.

“Of course we aim for a just energy transition, meaning that stranded assets must be taken care of and the laborers who used to work in the fossil or mining industry are protected,” she explains.

Masyita also emphasized that the global policy mechanism should be ready as well to support the transition that happened per country.

Indonesia’s Dream on National Electric Vehicle Must be Realized

Jakarta, March 2, 2022 – Indonesia has quite ambitious electric vehicle production targets. The Indonesian government is targeting 2 million electric cars and 3 million electric motorcycles by 2030. The Ministry of Industry has set a more ambitious target of 13 million two-wheeled vehicles and 2 million four-wheeled vehicles by 2030. However, until September 2021, electric vehicles will operate only 654 units.

Responding to the gap between this target and realization, the Institute for Essential Services Reform, Thamrin School of Climate Change and Sustainability, and the Committee for the Elimination of Leaded Gasoline (KPBB) held a discussion to identify obstacles and opportunities for the development of national electric vehicles.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR emphasized the importance of developing an ecosystem that supports electric vehicles. Especially if it is associated with an agenda to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. The lack of an ecosystem that supports electric vehicles, such as public charging stations, raises consumer doubts about switching to electric vehicles. From an industrial perspective, it is important for Indonesia to develop its own battery industry to reduce the price of electric vehicles.

“In addition to reducing the cost of electric vehicles, it is also to pursue the fulfillment of local content requirements (TKDN). Batteries, which are one of the main components of electric vehicles, can meet 30-40% TKDN, “explained Fabby.

Ahmad Safrudin, Executive Director of KPBB, explained that Indonesia’s fuel subsidies have burdened the Indonesian state budget. Data for 2019 shows Indonesia’s consumption of fuel oil reaches more than 68 billion Kilo Liters. The government itself has tried several ways, such as the use of CPO biodiesel starting in 2015 to reduce dependence on imported fuel. Not only from a fiscal perspective, the high consumption of fuel also affects the level of emissions produced by the transportation sector.

“For example, in Jakarta, for the last 10 years (2011 – 2020) the air quality based on the content of PM10, PM2.5, O3, and SOx as the dominant parameter has exceeded the recommended quality standards,” explained Ahmad Safrudin.

The LTS-LCCR document which is the compass for emission reduction in Indonesia has not been reduced to a more ‘down-to-earth’ regulation, especially the transportation sub-sector as one of the major emitters in Indonesia.

“The current policy is still leaning towards ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicles or conventional vehicles,” said Ahmad.

Ahmad emphasized that efforts to reduce emissions in the transportation sector must be integrated from upstream to downstream, including clean energy, clean technology, industrial and transportation management, emission standards, and most importantly in terms of law enforcement or how the implementation of the rules that have been made runs properly.

“To encourage the development of electric vehicles, what the government has to do is set emission standards, then implement a feebate/rebate scheme; namely providing incentives for industries that meet the standards and imposing fines for vehicle manufacturers who cannot meet the standards that have been set,” Ahmad explained.

Both Ahmad and Fabby also emphasized the importance of governance aspects for battery waste treatment. Reflecting on Indonesia’s experience in dealing with battery waste, the government needs firmness to treat battery waste to make rules for recycling used batteries and implement them and take firm action if there are violators.

Video on demand of this event can be accessed via the following link Mimpi Produksi Kendaraan Listrik Nasional – YouTube

Indonesia Needs to Ramp Up Renewable Energy Installations up to 10 times to achieve Net Zero Emissions

Jakarta, 22 March 2022 – Indonesia through its LTS-LCCR (Long Term Strategy Low Carbon Climate Resilience) document states that it will achieve carbon neutral status in 2060 or sooner. The capacity of fossil energy in Indonesia’s energy system, especially electricity, is highlighted because with the aim of becoming carbon neutral, Indonesia must immediately retire most of its coal-fired power plants.

At the A Just Energy Transition: Matching Learning Curves from Germany and Indonesia Symposium held online on March 22, 2022, Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, explained that in order to achieve the emission reduction target of the Paris Agreement, the Southeast Asia region must reduce coal capacity by 60% within this decade.

“Coal absorbs a large portion of our carbon budget, to maintain our carbon budget reserves, we have to significantly reduce the current coal capacity,” said Ottmar.

Holding the G20 Presidency, Indonesia has made a just energy transition one of its priority issues. Just like Indonesia in the G20-presidency, Germany, which holds the G7 presidency at this time, has also made the energy transition one of the main topics. The similarity of the main agenda of the two alliances of countries with the highest economic growth in the world must be an accelerator of the global energy transition in general, especially in Indonesia.

Patrick Graichen, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, sees this common vision as a good thing, but also needs to be coupled with efforts to bring it down into action.

“We need strong leadership, a clear carbon-neutral vision in a country, and policy and financial support to quickly reach our carbon-neutral targets,” he explained.

The Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Fabby Tumiwa, on the same occasion said that currently Indonesia needs to reconsider its relationship with coal. Dominating Indonesia’s electricity sector for more than 60%, coal retirement is one of Indonesia’s key decarbonization strategies as well as the key to achieving the Paris Agreement targets for Indonesia.

“Indonesia’s emission reduction actions referring to the LTS-LCCR document are not sufficient to meet the Paris Agreement targets, we need even more ambitious efforts,” explained Fabby.

Fabby explained that currently one of the issues facing Indonesia is related to electricity infrastructure which is designed for coal-fired power plants. PLN itself still has an obligation to build a coal power plant which has entered the contract period as part of the 35 GW project launched by the government in 2015. One of the impacts of this mega-project is that several CFPP units are still relatively new, which results in higher retirement costs.

“The current situation for PLN itself is quite difficult, but we have to start anyway. With the support of the right policies, we can do it,” explained Fabby.

Energy transition is one of the main issues in global forums, one of which is the G20. If the G20 countries are serious about pushing for an energy transition, this must also be accompanied by policy support. It is important to provide a comprehensive energy transition package to ensure that the transition is fair and just and does not leave any party in trouble as a result of this transition. Stefan Schurig, Secretary General of F20, also highlighted the role of the G20 countries which is still not optimal in encouraging the energy transition.

“Keeping the temperature rise at 1.5 degrees is still an option for us right now, and we can still work on it together,” Stefan said.

Women’s Groups and Farmers’ Groups on the NRE Bill “Not New Renewable Energy but Clean Energy”

Jakarta, March 4, 2022- The House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia (DPR RI) has submitted the Draft  Bill on New and Renewable Energy (RUU NRE) to the Legislation Agency (Baleg) for harmonization. However, the aspirations and needs of the community such as women’s groups (and also communities in the 3T area-Frontier, Outermost, Disadvantaged) as well as the gender approach have not been reflected in the existing draft of the NRE Bill. Therefore, the Indonesian Women’s Coalition (KPI) in collaboration with the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) held a webinar entitled “The NRE Bill: A Further Look at Gender Perspectives Accommodated in Energy Policy”.

Energy plays an essential part in women’s lives, which are closely related to household activities. The use of this type of energy will affect the productivity and lives of women. The type of energy that is full of emissions and pollution will harm women’s health and the environment, especially in 3T areas in Indonesia. Besides, women have only been positioned as energy consumers, even though there should be opportunities for the general public, including at home, to produce energy and use it themselves.

Addressing women’s need for energy, KPI encourages the DPR RI and the government to see women as energy producers. Moreover, in terms of energy policy, KPI urges to develop clean affordable renewable energy that can be found locally instead of relying on fossil and nuclear energy.

Dian Aryani, National Presidium of the Indonesian Women’s Coalition of  Farmer Families speaks on her concern that women are often not involved and trained in NRE energy development. She also views the NRE terminology as inappropriate. She said instead of developing new energy, it is better to focus on utilizing clean energy that does not contain pollutants and renewable energy. The existence of an article that regulates the protection of community initiatives in building, developing, and utilizing renewable clean energy is crucial, especially for the household scale and non-commercial community scale.

“Furthermore, the government needs to implement gender mainstreaming in policies, planning, implementation,  and evaluation of NRE development,” she added.

Maftuh Muhtadi, Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (KPPPA) in his presentation acknowledged that women are still seen as the main consumers of electrical energy.

“So far, energy management has always been attached to women’s responsibilities regarding their domestic roles. Energy consumption tends to be inefficient and the role of women is important to improve the efficiency of energy use and management,” he explained.

Highlighting that there is still a portion of fossil energy in the NRE Bill in the form of coal downstream, Maftuh cannot one hundred percent refuse fossil energy. He stated that the most important thing is to ensure that the production, distribution, and consumption of energy have few negative effects.

On the other hand, Mohamad Yadi Sofyan Noor, Head of the Mainstay Farmers and Fishermen Contact (KTNA) views that including nuclear energy in the NRE Bill is not a wise action. His party objects to the construction of nuclear power plants because it has the potential to harm the economy of farmers and fishermen.

“The construction of nuclear power plants increases the risk for farmers and fishermen because it absorbs large funds that are possible to be allocated to other programs such as food security. The required land for building nuclear power is large enough to threaten the access and economic activities of farmers and fishermen. The risk of a nuclear power plant accident is borne directly by the farmers and fishermen who are around the nuclear power plant,” he concluded.

Rinaldy Dalimi, the Expert Council of the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society (METI) said that the presence of nuclear energy in the NRE Bill would complicate the development and exploitation of renewable energy.

“The NRE Bill, if studied in more depth, will not be passed soon because at least the central government should consider building 5 new institutions, and must provide various incentives and radioactive waste disposal sites,” he added.

Rinaldy believes that in the future there will be a time when everyone can produce their energy, it won’t be a concern to the government.  Energy will become a household matter. Thus, the role of women will be crucial in managing the energy sector.

Sugeng Suparwoto, Chairman of Commission VII DPR RI on the same event informed that the NRE Bill in the next 3 months can already be ratified. He also stated the development of renewable energy is a must. However, he admitted some challenges in developing NRE, such as the big political power still leaning towards fossil energy.

Sugeng explained that in the process of drafting the NRE Bill, the participation of all stakeholders, including the involvement of women, had been carried out. Responding to the nuclear issue in the NRE Bill, although he stated that he was open to any suggestions and input, he repeatedly explained that nuclear is one of the technology options with minimal emissions.