Three Principles of Equity in Indonesia’s Energy Transformation

Marlistya Citraningrum, Manajer Program Akses Energi Berkelanjutan dalam Sustainability Media Academy pada Kamis (30/11).

Jakarta, November 30, 2023 – Indonesia, like many other countries, faces a critical turning point amid the global climate crisis. As a nation with abundant energy resources, the transition towards renewable energy is urgently necessary. However, this shift must prioritize fairness and equality for all. The energy transition must not solely focus on technical aspects but also consider the social, economic, and moral impacts on the affected communities. In Indonesia, this transition is not just a technical step, but also a moral obligation to ensure that every individual has equal rights in this change.

“We must examine three principles to achieve justice in the energy transition. The first principle is justice at the local level, where we need to take a closer look at which parties directly benefit from and are affected by the energy transition at the local level. For example, we need to assess whether the community around the mine is reaping any benefits from the energy transition,” said Marlistya Citraningrum,  Program Manager of Sustainable Energy Access, at the Sustainability Media Academy on Thursday (30/11).

Furthermore, Marlistya Citraningrum mentioned another principle from the authority perspective. This means that the community needs to see how the local government authority manages the transition. This includes the policies and regulations implemented to ensure fairness for all parties involved. Long-term justice must also be considered, which consists of the community’s participation in managing the future once the mining industry ends. During this time, the community’s welfare must be considered while ensuring the continuity of the economy.

During the energy transition process, it’s crucial to consider the availability of affordable, sustainable, and reliable energy. The instability in energy supply can hinder the achievement of sustainable development goals. Hence, it’s essential to establish a dependable energy system by investing in energy storage technologies, reliable distribution networks, and diversification of energy resources.

“To achieve a successful energy transition, it is crucial for the government, private sector, and communities to work together collaboratively. Education and community engagement programs can enhance people’s understanding of the significance of affordable, sustainable, and dependable energy. By enabling communities to participate in this transformation actively, positive outcomes can be experienced locally,” Marlistya said. 

Marlistya also emphasized that the government must involve more stakeholders, including indigenous peoples, women, youth, and other marginalized groups, in the planning and decision-making processes. This will ensure that all groups are treated equally and included in the opportunities created by the just transition. Social inclusion is also important to ensure that vulnerable groups have fair access to these opportunities.

“In addition to evidence-based policies, equitable energy principles should be applied through the GEDSI approach that emphasizes empathy and involvement in decision-making,” said Marlistya.

Indonesia’s Effort in Greening the Chemical Industry

Jakarta, 21 November 2023 – Chemical industry is considered as one that is heavy on emission. In Indonesia, various industries, including iron & steel, pulp & paper, cement, and textile interconnect with the chemical industry. The integration of the Indonesian chemical industry, especially ammonia, into the fertilizers industry, contributes to Indonesia’s position as the fifth largest ammonia producer in the world. Indonesia’s proactive measures to green its ammonia industry significantly impact the global ammonia landscape.

Faricha Hidayati, the project coordinator for industry decarbonization at the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) during the webinar titled “Greening the Chemical Industry: International Perspective and Insights” highlights the amount of emission released for every ton of ammonia produced. 

“For every ton of ammonia produced, its average direct emissions are 2.4 tons of CO2. It is two times higher than crude steel and four times that of cement,” Faricha said. 

Given that huge number of emissions, the ammonia industry accounts for 2% of global energy usage. Therefore, decarbonizing the industry is evidently crucial. Faricha further explained that IESR is currently proposing four pillars to decarbonize the ammonia industry in Indonesia: material efficiency, energy efficiency, green ammonia, and the utilization of CCS during the process. 

Faricha added that there is an opportunity to propel the ammonia industry in Indonesia as they are already aware of their emission and have the willingness to figure out a way to limit the emission.

“Another opportunity is Indonesia’s vast potential for green hydrogen projects, coupled with variable renewable energy up to 3,686 GW,” she said.

After assessing the current status quo, IESR urges the government to set a clear emission reduction target for the industrial sector. Though currently Indonesia already has a grand vision on achieving net zero emissions in 2060 or sooner, there is still no clear target and roadmap for the industry sector in contributing to the NZE goal.

Implementing the energy efficiency measures in the ammonia industry is considered as the low- hanging fruit to decarbonize the industry sector. This approach requires least initial investment and technology adoption, while advocating for the long-term strategies.

The full version of the webinar “Greening the Chemical Industry: International Perspective and Insights” can be watched here.

The ‘Just’ Principle in Financing Just Transition in Indonesia

Johor Bahru, Malaysia, 16 November 2023 – Leading up to COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, there is a growing focus on climate financing efforts. Climate financing has become a critical focus to support a fair transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon economy.

The transformation towards a low-carbon economy and financing for a just transition requires government leadership. Governments can seize opportunities in funding energy transition by ensuring the fair execution and accountability of energy transition. For instance, the funding from the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) supported by developed countries aims to expedite the energy transition. The ‘just’ aspect must take precedence in every energy transition funding agreement.

Wira Agung Swadana, the Green Economy Program Manager at the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), stated that the energy transition is not solely about closing coal-fired power plants and shifting towards renewable energy plants. Instead, a broader perspective is needed to understand the impacts that will arise from the energy transition.

“The funding for the energy transition is not solely confined to infrastructure development; rather, every aspect of a just transition should also be taken into consideration. Just transition itself is not only about the affected workforce but also involves the broader community surrounding coal mining areas,” Wira expressed during the Asia-Pacific Climate Week 2023.

Furthermore, Wira also assesses that the funding for JETP is still very limited and insufficient to meet the set targets. This funding source is still predominantly dominated by loan-based financing.

“IESR is part of the technical working group with the JETP Secretariat. JETP funding still heavily relies on loans, and some of these are not new commitments from donor countries. Only about 1.62% of what we receive comes in the form of grants for a fair transition. There’s still a shortfall in funds, which I find quite ironic. Grants need to be increased rather than relying solely on loans,” he emphasized.

The funding for energy transition should encompass a comprehensive approach, including the early retirement of coal-fired power plants, addressing coal-producing regions, increasing the use of renewable energy, and managing transitions in mining locations. Wira believes that JETP still lacks a comprehensive and holistic approach.

“The funding for energy transition should ideally serve as the starting point. Currently, Indonesia is in the process of implementing the National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN), utilizing domestic commitments and striving to align it with JETP and the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). The Indonesian government needs to address various challenges at the domestic, national, and international levels,” added Wira.

Tiza Mafira, Director of the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), revealed that there are debates within some financial institutions regarding financing for a just transition.

“The issue lies in debates within financial institutions about whether financing for a just transition is part of financing for energy transition. When we discuss the ‘just’ aspect, we’re talking about several critical projects within the energy transition. It’s not just a few projects but an overall significant change in the economy. If not managed properly, this will have a significant impact on a large scale,” explained Tiza.

Telling Energy Stories Through Comedy

Jakarta, 16 November 2023 – Effective communication is important to change the paradigm and spread the energy transition narrative. Quite complex and cross-sectoral issues make energy transition communication challenging. For this reason, it is necessary to look for alternative forms of communication to pave the way for spreading the energy transition narrative.

The Clean, Affordable, and Secure Energy (CASE) for Southeast Asia program carries out standup comedy performances to promote the energy transition narrative in a less formal way wrapped in comedy. The event, entitled “Talking about Energy Using Comedy”, featured five stand-up comedians from various backgrounds.

During the program introduction session, CASE Project Manager, Agus Tampubolon explained that this initiative was inspired by science slams such as in Germany.

“The goal is for science to be dissected in language that is easy to understand and linked to everyday topics,” said Agus.

This is in line with the view of Rahmat Mardiana, Director of Electricity, Telecommunications and Information, Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, namely that special efforts are needed to encourage communication on energy transition issues in Indonesia.

“This (energy) transition is quite complex, in which we need to reduce dependence on fossil energy. It is complex because it is closely related to human and mineral resources as well as financial availability, so communicative activities are needed so that this understanding becomes more widespread,” said Rahmat.

Deputy for Facilities and Infrastructure, Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, Ervan Maksum, added that the narrative of the energy transition and the urgency to maintain the global temperature no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius may already be an understanding for some people. However, for certain groups, real examples and language that are easier to comprehend are needed.

“The public and perhaps even local governments need more concrete relevant topics such as the duration and increasingly chaotic patterns of seasons to understand the climate crisis and energy transition. So this activity is very good because even though the comics may not be presenting energy transition material per se or not be funny when performing, at least during the preparation they (comics-ed) will definitely read or learn about energy transitions so that the learning process continues,” he said.

This event featured Byan Yukadar (1st Runner Up Porseni Stand-Up Comedy Bappenas), Muhammad Fadhil (2nd Runner Up Porseni Stand-Up Comedy Bappenas), Irvan S. Kartawiria, (Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Swiss German University (SGU) 2018 Period -2022), Hery Sutanto (Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Life Sciences, Swiss German University (SGU) and Pandji Pragiwaksono (CEO of COMIKA & Stand-up Comedian Indonesia).

Stocktaking the Climate Action in Southeast Asia

Johor Bahru, 15 November 2023 – In achieving the agenda of global energy transition, the Southeast Asia region is taking measures to climate action including its non-state actors. Meaningful participation from non-state actors is crucial in observing the currently running policies and providing input for future improvements.

Stocktaking becomes a crucial activity to track the current progress of climate mitigation and action. The results of the assessment then can be utilized to design robust policy recommendations. Non-state actors can enrich the nuance of the global stocktake  by convening and aligning climate action with the interest of the global community. 

Wira Agung Swadana, the green economy program manager at the Institute for Essentials Services Reform (IESR) highlighted the key takeaways from the first global stocktake during the Asia Pacific Climate Week 2023 in the session “Integrating the role of NSAs focused on the thematic areas–Adaptation, Finance, and Mitigation”. The imbalance in growth of global emissions compared to the climate mitigation plan leads to issues such as the urgency to have systemic transformation.

“We need more ambition in action and support during the implementation of the mitigative action in the region,” he said.

Wira added that achieving net-zero emissions requires systemic transformation across all sectors, and we need to tap into every opportunity to achieve higher output. The business and commercial sector is an important factor in accelerating energy transition as they consume massive amounts of energy. Besides, some of the industries (especially those involved in multinational-scale supply chains), have the obligation to green their business process.

“What the government can do for business (to decarbonize their operations) is to provide an enabling environment if they want to shift to more sustainable business process. For instance, the government can give incentive and disincentive based on the choice of energy resource used to power the businesses,” Wira concluded.

Jingjing Gao, from the UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre, added that the private sector-led initiative is worth noting. Yet, there is still a gap in data incorporation from the private sector.

Awaiting Regulatory Certainty for Solar Energy Adoption

Fabby Tumiwa dalam konferensi pers Smart Transportation and Energy di Indonesia pada Kamis (9/11/2023)

Jakarta, November 9, 2023 – Solar power has the potential to accelerate renewable energy in Indonesia’s primary energy mix. However, developing the country’s solar power plants has proved challenging. The Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Fabby Tumiwa, explained that Indonesia has the highest potential in solar energy. An IESR study shows that solar power in Indonesia could reach a technical potential and land suitability of 3,000-20,000 GWp. Despite this potential, there are regulatory challenges to developing solar energy in the country, particularly regarding solar PV. In 2022, the realized installed capacity of solar PV was only 271.6 MW, which was far below the planned capacity of 893.3 MW, based on data from the Directorate General of EBTKE of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

“Solar PV utilization is currently limited to around 10-15% of its capacity, which makes the economics of solar PV low and unattractive. In 2021-2022, the growth of rooftop solar PV has stagnated. However, since the beginning of this year, there have been efforts to revise the regulations to prevent uncertainty. The revision process is long and has even been discussed at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham). Unfortunately, the process has not been completed yet and still requires further coordination between Ministries and Institutions,” said Fabby Tumiwa at Thursday’s Smart Transportation and Energy in Indonesia press conference (9/11/2023).


Fabby Tumiwa mentioned the uncertainty must be resolved immediately with strong leadership from President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). Additionally, on Thursday (9/11/2023), Indonesia unveiled the Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant, which has a capacity of 192 MWp, making it the biggest floating solar power plant in Southeast Asia.

“The inauguration of the Cirata Floating Solar Power Plant signifies the Indonesian Government’s commitment to developing solar energy. This project could not have been completed without the use of advanced technology and innovation from China, the world’s largest producer of solar energy technology. Considering Indonesia’s plan to increase the usage of renewable energy, we anticipate a significant demand for solar power plants in the coming years,” explained Fabby Tumiwa.

Indonesia’s Energy Transformation to Zero Emission

Fabby Tumiwa dalam acara Green Press Community 2023 pada Rabu (8/11/2023).

Jakarta, November 8, 2023 – The global climate crisis is humanity’s biggest challenge in the 21st century. The increase in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gas emissions is causing severe impacts such as extreme weather, increased extreme temperatures, rising sea levels, and harm to ecosystems. Indonesia, as one of the signatories of the Paris Agreement, has committed to reducing emissions. Indonesia has also submitted an Enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) document by increasing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target by about 2%. Previously in the Updated NDC, the unconditional emission reduction target was 29% to 31.89% by 2030, and with international assistance (conditional) it rose from 41% to 43.2%.

Reflecting on Indonesia’s latest ENDC, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Fabby Tumiwa, explained that Indonesia’s climate target is not compatible with the ambition of the Paris Agreement to maintain the earth’s temperature rise at a level of 1.5C, and does not reflect the urgency of avoiding climate change whose impacts are now sweeping across the world.

“Based on the assessment conducted by Climate Action Tracker (CAT), Indonesia’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target is considered highly insufficient, leading to 2.4ºC. To be compatible, Indonesia’s GHG emissions must reach 850 MtCO2 in 2030 and NZE in 2050-2060. To do this, we need to reduce emissions in the energy sector more ambitiously,” explained Fabby Tumiwa at the Green Press Community 2023 event on Wednesday (8/11/2023). 


Fabby said that accelerating the use of renewable energy plays a key role in reducing GHG emissions. Based on an IESR study titled Beyond 443 GW Indonesia’s Infinite Renewable Energy Potentials, the technical potential of renewable energy in Indonesia reaches nearly 8,000 GW, with solar energy having the largest potential of around 6,700-7,700 GW. However, the energy transition requires regulatory, techno-economic, investment, and social support.


“This huge potential, if utilized optimally, will be able to meet all energy needs in Indonesia. IESR has projected that the country will require 1600 GW of energy capacity by 2050. However, this requirement can be met through 100% renewable energy sources, ultimately leading to zero emissions by 2050,” said Fabby Tumiwa. 


The energy transition can increase renewable energy capacity and create new opportunities and an equitable and inclusive energy transformation. Moreover, decarbonization and renewable energy technologies have become cheaper and more affordable. For this reason, Fabby encourages the government to immediately make a more ambitious plan to prevent the climate crisis in Indonesia.

Message to Global Leaders for COP 28

Jakarta, 3 November 2023 – The Conference of the Parties (COP 28) will soon be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. One of the agendas for this annual meeting is to see the progress of global actions to deal with the climate crisis. In a public discussion held by the Foreign Policy Community Indonesia (FPCI) on Friday 3 November 2023, Marlistya Citraningrum, Sustainable Energy Access Program Manager, Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), explained that in anticipation of this annual meeting of world leaders, the new Indonesian Government just released the Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP) document and plan to announce the investment plan officially at the COP 28.

“Bluntly speaking, this document is quite disappointing because even though it promises a list of renewable energy projects, it is still very focused on large-scale renewable energy (base-load renewables) such as hydro and geothermal. Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) such as solar and wind is considered a high-risk project,” explained Citra.

Apart from the lack of support for VRE, Citra also highlighted the low commitment to early retirement of coal power plants. In the CIPP document, which is currently in the public consultation process, IPG countries are only willing to facilitate early retirement of 1.7 GW coal. In a draft document last year, the United States and Japan were initially willing to finance 5 GW of early retirement coal-fired power plants.

“In fact, to achieve the net zero emission target, Indonesia needs to retire around 8 GW of coal,” emphasized Citra.

The Director of the Environment at the Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, agreed on the importance of increasing climate commitment and action, not only as climate action but also as part of development.

“In the draft RPJPN which is currently progressing, we are targeting our emission reduction target to increase to 55.5% in 2030 and 80% in 2045. This is a necessity to increase climate targets and ambitions,” said Medril.

Towards COP-28: Indonesia Needs to Speak Out for Concrete Action in Addressing the Climate Crisis

Jakarta, November 2, 2023 -The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP-28) is scheduled to take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 30 to December 12, 2023. Guntur, a policy analyst from the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment, has stated that the COP-28 meeting will include the first-ever global stocktake (GST) to evaluate the progress made in implementing the Paris Agreement.


“The GST is a crucial turning point for taking climate action in this critical decade, where the global community is aware that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is currently off track. For this reason, collaboration between various parties is needed in course-correcting efforts and improving solutions that are reflected in the results of the negotiations as well as in the COP28 Presidential Actions Agenda,” he explained at the Pijar Foundation Policy Playground event on Thursday (2/11/2023).


Guntur mentioned that COP28 is focused on several issues to fulfill the pillars of the Paris Agreement, particularly related to energy transition, especially renewable energy. Indonesia also continues to prepare the pavilion as soft diplomacy or diplomacy with a socio-cultural approach. This is also an effort to convey to the world the concrete steps and concrete actions that Indonesia has taken in reducing emissions and addressing climate change. In addition, Indonesia took the theme of climate action to be held in the Indonesian pavilion during the implementation of COP28. 


Arief Rosadi, Coordinator of Climate Diplomacy Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), said the climate crisis harms the world. Based on the UNFCCC report in 2022, global emissions will increase by almost 14% throughout this decade. The UNFCCC’s 2023 data shows that current policies will result in a temperature rise of 2.8°C by the end of the century.


“For this reason, Indonesia must take real action to address the climate crisis, and collective efforts are needed to address and deal with it by emphasizing the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC). There are currently various opportunities for young people to participate in international conventions despite possible challenges, such as closed processes and limited financial, regulatory, and logistical support. Citing data from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, most Indonesians feel morally obligated to protect the environment,” Arief said. 


Based on the agenda, Arief said, the delegation of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) will pay more attention to three global crises. These three crises, also known as the triple planetary crisis, include climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss. These are significant global challenges that require bilateral and multilateral collaboration and cooperation to ensure that the Earth remains habitable for the future.