Advancing the Rooftop Solar to Achieve Renewable Energy Targets in North Sumatra

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that renewable energy (RE) has made up the majority of capacity additions for the last eight years. Its progress is in line with the development of innovation and competition in RE technology, which makes the price of RE cheaper than fossil energy in 85% of countries in the world. Moreover, in the UN Climate Action Pathway for Energy, IRENA maps that in 2025 all coal mining in the world will experience a drastic decline because it is no longer economical compared to RE.

The massive movement of the transition of fossil energy to RE or known as this energy transition was also recognized by Harris Yahya, Director of Various New and Renewable Energy. He explained the development of RE, especially solar energy, in the online event Opening the Solar Roof Market in North Sumatra. This event was organized by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) in collaboration with the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (Asosiasi Energi Surya Indonesia-AESI) and the Indonesian Employers’ Association (Asosiasi Pengusaha Indonesia-APINDO) North Sumatra in continuing the campaign for the National Movement of One Million Roofs (Gerakan Nasional Sejuta Surya Atap – GNSSA) which turned three years in last September. Following Central Java, which has committed itself as a solar province, AESI is now encouraging North Sumatra to utilize the potential of RE to meet its energy needs.

Harris explained that Indonesia is working on achieving the 23% RE mix target by 2025, while the accomplishment has been only 10.9%.

“One possible way to reach up with the RE energy mix is ​​by implementing solar power plants. Thus, the domestic industry can sustain with the RE industry, especially solar power, and it can open up green job opportunities and reduce CO2 emissions, “he said.

Harris believes that after the president signed the draft of the Presidential Decree regarding RE, the solar power plant will expand extensively. The provision of solar power plants is not only for PLN as a utility-scale but also for replacing diesel generators.

“We plan to use RE to substitute diesel power plants of up to 2,600 MW, either with solar or biomass energy,” Harris explained.

Irwansyah Putra, General Manager of the North Sumatra Regional Main Unit PLN, who was also in the discussion, said that his party fully supports government policies that encourage the development of solar power plants in North Sumatra. 

“PLN supports the use of solar power plants in North Sumatra, both roof solar and communal solar power plants, both on-grid and off-grid. Both non-PLN customers, such as villages that have no electricity or existing PLN customers by referring to regulations that have been set by the government. ” 

Irwansyah said that the North Sumatra PLN also plans to evaluate the decentralization program for archipelagic areas (electrified villages) to use rooftop solar soon. 

On the same occasion, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, underlined the immense potential of solar energy in Indonesia based on the results of the IESR study. 

“Looking at the existing land capacity, the potential for installing solar power plants by utilizing ground mounting (open land) could reach 9,000 GWp with the potential to generate up to 13,000 TWh/year. With this huge potential, Indonesia can meet 100% of its energy needs from solar energy. The potential for rooftop solar in house buildings alone reaches 655 GWp, “he said. 

He also described the technical potential of rooftop solar in North Sumatra, specifically 10.2-34.6 GWp for house building. Meanwhile,  referring to the National Energy General Plan (RUEN), which encourages rooftop solar applications in government offices, regents, and mayors, North Sumatra has the potential to reach 9 MWp. 

The North Sumatra Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Office, represented by Karlo Purba, Head of the Electricity Sector, explained that his party has begun to implement a strategy for using rooftop solar as stated in the draft RUED-P (Provincial Regional Energy General Plan) by setting the regulation to utilize solar cells at a minimum of 30% of government buildings, and 25% for luxury housing complexes, and apartments. He hopes to increase the interest of the public and commercial and industrial groups as well. 

Meanwhile, in the same discussion, three rooftop solar developers, namely SUN Energy, PT Engie Indonesia, and PT ATW Solar Indonesia, offered various attractive payment models for installing solar panels. 

“The most favorite payment method is the performance-based rating scheme. Customers do not need to spend money on the initial investment in rooftop solar. The rooftop solar system will become fully owned by the customer after the contract ends, ”explained I Made Aditya Suryawidya, SUN Energy’s Head of Business Solutions. 

As of October 2020, there are 2,556 PLN customers using rooftop solar with a total installed capacity of 18.2 MW.

Watch the discussion again here:


Great Opportunity in Developing Renewable Energy Startups

Financing Sustainable Energy Startup to Promote Climate Justice

Jakarta, 11 November 2020-In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that is beating the world’s economies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that renewable energy (RE), especially in the electricity sector, continues to grow compared to other fossil energies. The IEA is optimistic that by 2025, renewable energy will become the largest source of electricity generation in the world by supplying one-third of the world’s electricity.

This promising development of renewable energy is in line with the spirit of the world in fulfilling the Paris Agreement to prevent the earth’s temperature from rising by more than 2oC. Seeing the trend of many countries in the world that have already made energy transitions from fossil energy to renewable energy, of course, this is increasingly opening up to start businesses in the RE sector.

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), in collaboration with Friedrich Naumann-Stiftung for Freedom (FNF), held a discussion entitled Financing Sustainable Energy Start-up to Promote Climate Justice to build networks for young people who are interested in developing RE businesses. 

Present as speakers were Khoiria Oktaviani, Communication Manager, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Aditya Mulya Pratama, Program Manager, New Energy Nexus, Yulia Safitri, Founder Pendulum, and Dodiet Prasetyo, CEO of Bumdesma Banyumas with Athariq Dias Muyasar, Vice President, Society of Renewable Energy (SRE) ITS as moderator of the discussion.

Khoiria Oktaviani revealed that Indonesia is committed to reducing greenhouse gases by 29% from business as usual (BAU) by 2030 and 41% with international support. Indonesia has an RE mix target of 23% in 2025. However, until today, it has only reached 9%.

She highlighted that the opportunity to develop a business in the RE field is numerous because Indonesia has majestic potential in RE. 

“Indonesia has the potential for RE up to 400 GW, but only 10 GW (2.5%) has been utilized,” she said. 

Khoiria invited the Indonesian youth generation to be involved in developing RE startups. She explained that since 2018, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has taken an active role as a hub for various stakeholders to encourage the application of RE.

“We provide access to ideas, innovations, pilot and semi-commercial projects, and connect startups with governments, associations, or funders or capacity building in the energy sector,” she explained.

She stated that currently, it is easier to gain business financing in the RE sector. If only, as Khoiria reminded, the startups ensure their products are not only innovative but also applicable to society. It will make the product stay sustainable fot it answers the issues in the community. Besides, she urged RE business pioneers to recognize the market and develop their products.

“Therefore, we do not stop at just one product. We should follow the pattern of community consumption. If it changes, then we must adapt as well. It is also important to promote our products and collaborate with various parties, ”Khoiria explained.

Dodiet experienced the importance of the collaboration to develop RE in his assisted village. As a provider of consolidation services for 25 Bumdes (village-owned enterprises)  in Banyumas, he felt that the networking in RE helped them to map the potential of river water by conducting a feasibility study for the development of RE electricity in the village.

Although Dodiet finds challenges in developing RE in the village, for example, such as laborious village contours or uneven sources of RE, he believes that rural communities can compete and innovate to be energy independent villages.

On the other hand, Aditya found that from his mentoring to RE startups, many startup projects are still ideas. Through New Energy Nexus, he assists them in moving forward by channeling startup groups with mentors, increasing their capacity in the fields of finance, promotion, or website development.

One of the assisted startups in New Energy Nexus, Yulia from Pendulum, shares her story when she built her business that focuses on wave power. It took her three years to make her idea into reality.

Yulia as an ITS graduate tries to solve the problem of bagan fishermen (light fishing)  in meeting their fuel needs while fishing on the sea. Bagan fishermen are fishermen who use nets and lights as a fishing instrument composed of bamboo, which is stuck into the seabed, while the upper container is equipped with a generator and gas to turn on the lights. The lamp is for drawing the fish into the net. These bagan fishermen need at least 4.5 kg of gas to keep the lights on. Besides the high price, they also have to queue to get the fuel. Moreover, they struggled to maintain electrical systems in the middle of the sea. 

The development of ocean wave energy will overcome their energy needs because it can be directly produced from the ocean waves. 

Yulia feels that nowadays, the opportunity is opening bigger for young people to start a startup because the ecosystem that supports the development of RE has been formed. The panelists agreed that to keep startups sustainable, it requires a binding agreement for everyone involved in building a startup as well as building a network with diversified expertise and policy support that benefits RE from the government.

Watch again the discussion here:

Presentation materials

201111 Bahan Paparan IESR_Climate Justice




Webinar_IESR_Bumdesma Banyumas.pptx



COVID19 Aftermath: The Energy Transition must start Now!

EU Climate Diplomacy Week: Green Recovery in Post COVID-19 Era 

Jakarta, 2 November 2020 — The COVID-19 pandemic brings significant shocks to the world economy and energy. The implementation of lockdown and large-scale social restrictions in a certain period of time has resulted in many industries going out of business and millions of people losing their jobs. The IMF predicts that the global economy will contract 4.4% this year before it is expected to recover positively again next year or post COVID19.

The shock from a pandemic leads to reduced emissions globally. The result is a sudden 8.8% reduction in global CO2 emissions in the first half of 2020. Although it seems in line with the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the earth’s temperature from rising above 2 degrees Celsius, this would not be the case if it is not immediately responded with the right policy. This is a good opportunity for every country in the world to immediately take strategic policies to restore their economy while at the same time making an energy transition by leaving fossil energy to renewable energy. 

Joining the EU to celebrate the Climate Diplomacy Week series, Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) conducted a webinar on Post-COVID-19 Green Recovery. Speaking at the event was Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, Thomas Capral Henriksen, Head of Energy Cooperation at the Embassy of Denmark to Indonesia, Lidia Wojtal, Project Leader, Agora Energiewende, Catrina Laura Godinho, Project Coordinator, Climate Transparency and Lourdes Sanchez, Leader and Senior Policy Advisor, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and responding was Ridha Yasser, Deputy Director of Energy Program and Investment, Directorate of Energy, Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment.

“Globally, data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) notes that demand for oil has decreased by 9%, while coal has also fallen by 6%. Indonesia itself has experienced a decline in coal exports reaching 11% by August this year, compared to last year. This equates to a loss in income of $ 2.2 billion. The demand for coal in the Indonesian market fell by 20%. On the bright side, the decline in demand for fossil fuels is actually an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition, if the country views it like that, “said Fabby Tumiwa opening the activity.

Fabby explained the fact that in 2018, Indonesia through President Joko Widodo had signed the Solidarity and Just Transition or Silesia Declaration. This declaration is an urge for Indonesia to undertake a low-carbon energy transition and economic transformation that is resilient to climate change in order to achieve sustainable development based on a “just transition”.

“The spirit and characteristics of this declaration must be integrated into Indonesia’s economy and post-pandemic development strategy. For example, the government needs to ensure that provinces who depend on coal for their revenues should have new revenue streams and job creation alternative economic activities that replace the extractive sector that is losing its charm. Unfortunately, we don’t have much time. The energy transition must start now, considering that coal exports continue to experience a sharp decline, “said Fabby.

IESR believes that by 2030, Rooftop Solar, both its power generator and battery storage, will be cheaper to build and run than Coal power plants.

 “IESR believes that the moratorium on coal-based power plants should be a serious consideration by Indonesia’s electricity and utility planners to avoid stranded assets that will burden taxpayers in the country going forward. The decisions we make today will determine our future and our record in history, “explained Fabby.

On the other hand, Thomas claims that the European Union is very ambitious to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. One of the mechanisms listed in the EU Green Deal is to ensure an equitable energy transition and to mobilize an investment of 1 trillion euros in renewable energy over the next 10 years.

“In Denmark, we haven’t decided on a new policy related to COVID-19 and energy. However, the Danish energy policy was quite ambitious in 2018. Currently, 50 percent of Denmark’s energy comes from wind power. We are targeting that by 2030, Denmark will already use 100 percent renewable energy. In 2050, Denmark will be free from fossil energy, “said Thomas.

Although 50 percent still rely on Windpower, Thomas guarantees that the security level of the electricity supply is close to one hundred percent. This is proven by the low level of electricity disruption of fewer than 20 minutes for the average electricity consumption every year.

The oil crisis and the high price of coal made Denmark begin to make an energy transition around 1979 or 1980. However, the development of renewable energy has been running rapidly over the last ten years.

“Green energy is very resilient to changing circumstances and fluctuations in fossil fuel prices. Not only that, investment in renewable energy will open up more jobs, considering that currently, many investors refuse to invest in coal mining,” he said.

He also points out that in 1990, since there was a 40 percent reduction in emissions there was a 60 percent increase in GDP in the Danish economy.

“This proves that economic growth will increase in line with the high ambition to reduce emissions,” concluded Thomas.

Lidia Wotjal said that positive developments in the field of renewable energy are also happening in Poland.

“In 2006, Poland relied on 90 percent of its electricity supply from coal. However, in 2018 coal use decreased to 78 percent and in 2019 it only became 73.6 percent,” she said.

She believes that this change is an implication of the European Union’s policy which requires reducing carbon emissions. Even though until now there are still coal mining activities, this industry has reduced the efficiency of coal costs as its Coal Power plants facilities age.

“The awareness to make an energy transition actually comes from energy producers and consumers. The need for clean air is a triggering factor for switching energy. Perhaps this is a shocking fact for other countries, but in Poland, as many as 50 percent of households use coal which results in dense air pollution in both urban and rural areas, ”said Lidia.

Seeing this problem, the Polish government decided to encourage the modernization of geothermal energy and subsidize the installation of photovoltaic (PV) two years ago. The community immediately responded to this very well. As a result, there was a two-fold increase in PV installations in just one year.

The Polish Government observed that the movement of investment will dominate renewable energy so that in September 2019, the Minister for Climate in Poland submitted a draft of energy strategy by targeting 11 percent of coal in the energy mix in 2040.

Only 3 Percent of Economic Recovery Package for Post COVID-19 Targeting the Renewable Energy Recovery 

Wondering how the economic conditions after COVID-19, especially in the G20 countries, Catrina Laura Godinho observes that the economic recovery package still focuses on fossil energy.

“The government should be able to use the COVID-19 pandemic to adjust its policies so that government spending is not only for immediate recovery response but also for long-term recovery. A recovery with concern to clean energy will be a good opportunity to ensure a healthy economy and increased employment, ”said Catrina.

“COVID-19 must be a trigger for the G20 countries to be more ambitious with their greenhouse emission reduction strategies, especially because these G20 countries produce more than two to three-quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to Catrina, the domino effect of setting a zero-emission target in 2050 is starting to be felt. Starting from several countries such as Japan, Canada, and China that have set policies to achieve these targets.

“It is also important for the G20 countries to update their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to comply with the Paris agreement so that we can see the sectoral targets until 2030. Because long-term ambition will also be meaningless if it is not accompanied by short-term decisions,” she said.

Lourdes Sanchez, whose organization focuses on monitoring the flow of public money in the energy sector, found that out of 7 million dollars in Indonesia’s recovery funds, only 3 percent was devoted to renewable energy, 97 percent of which went to SOEs.

“Because this is public money, the government should channel it by providing conditions. Thus, sustainable development in the field of renewable energy can take place. For example, the government provides assistance to PLN, the government must also ask for PLN’s commitment to developing Rooftop solar, ” she said.

Responding to the explanation from the speakers, Ridha Yasser revealed that making an energy transition in Indonesia is not an easy decision. He sees that many overlapping regulations in Indonesia make an investment in renewable energy difficult. The government’s policies, which always change along with the presidents or ministers replacement, make it natural that the development of renewable energy in Indonesia is not as fast as in other countries.

“Indonesia has good potential in renewable energy. But nowadays, many people use fossil energy. However, there are opportunities for the development of renewable energy which functions to back up fossil energy, “said Ridha.

Ridha thought that if the projected renewable energy shone in other countries in the world, especially in the European Union, his party would encourage similar investment in Indonesia.

“In my opinion, we have to follow where the money goes. If now investment is inclined towards renewable energy, the government must turn its head from fossil energy to green energy, renewable energy, “said Rida.

Responding to this, Thomas encouraged Indonesia to implement attractive policies, for example by opening an auction for international investors to participate in renewable energy development in Indonesia.

Watch the discussion again:

Presentation materials

CDW_IESR roundtable 2nd november




India Targeting 200 GW of Renewable Energy in 2022: Is Indonesia Following? 

Jakarta, September 16, 2020 – Since the 2000s, the Indian government has shown its seriousness in developing renewable energy to meet domestic energy needs. Determined, the Indian government is ambitiously targeting the development of the renewable energy plant of 200 GW or 42 percent of total electricity generation by 2022.

The Indian government has been formulating an ecosystem to support the achievement of renewable energy targets in its policies and programs, such as the development of solar parks and solar cities. As a result, India began to show its position as a country that only had 10 MW of solar power plants in 2010, now reaching 88 GW in 2020.

Indian government’s achievement in accelerating renewable energy is something worthies that the Indonesian government should follow. To more understand the successful recipe of solar power plant development in India, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) conducted an online seminar entitled Bringing Indonesia to the Gigawatt Club: India Made It, and So Can We. This seminar brought together solar energy industry professionals from India to share their experiences and lessons learned. Kanika Chawla, Director of the Center for Energy Finance CEEW, India, and Kushagra Nardan, Co-Founder & President of SunSource Energy, India, were the speakers, meanwhile, as the responders were Harris Yahya as Director of Various New and Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Cita Dewi, EVP of Renewable Energy at the State Electricity Company (PLN), Yohanes Bambang Sumaryo, Indonesian Solar Energy Association (Asosiasi Energi Solar Indonesia – AESI), and Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR.

Kanika explained that one of the best practices of the Indian government is to establish a renewable energy market by profiling in detail its long-term targets. It has attracted many investors, both domestic and international, to participate because they can project their industries in the next five or ten years. Moreover, many investors are interested in involving, making price negotiations more competitive and cheaper.

“Solar and wind tariffs have seen an aggressive decline around the world but also in India more specifically, and more steeply, I would say it is very much based on the large market, the market design. If at first India was a price taker, now it is a price maker,” she said.

However, Kanika explains that along the way, the market identified various risks, such as the offtake risk (payment delays), curtailment risks where the grid unable to absorb the amount of energy produced, foreign currency exchange, land acquisition, and construction, and policies inconsistencies or changes in in-laws.

Kushagra added that the Indian government mitigated these risks by implementing clear and consistent policies, both in terms of the scale of utility to net metering. Responding to the conducive environment of renewable energy in India, his company has installed rooftop solar power plants in commercial buildings such as 10 MW in textile factories in northern India, floating solar in the oil company, and rooftop solar project at the Airport in New Delhi.

Furthermore, Kushagra also shared several steps that the Indian government has taken to realize the target of renewable energy development, for example, the existence of a specialized government body to achieve the National Solar Mission with Solar Energy Corporation Of India Limited (SECI) at the national level and various agencies at the state level.

Reviewing again, Fabby Tumiwa emphasized some important notes that deserve the attention of the Indonesian government to achieve the renewable energy mix target of 23 percent with 6.5 GW coming from solar power plants by 2025.

“Indonesia needs the support of legislation and regulations in implementing renewable energy targets into more concrete programs and projects. As in India, with its Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) stipulated in the Act, each state is required to set renewable energy targets as a priority to be achieved. Besides, the Indian government provides supporting funding through the National Clean Energy and Environmental Fund (NCEEF) and financial assistance to project developers and optimization of public funds. Also, they create various schemes for on-grid and off-grid solar. The bidding process has also become more competitive in the format of a large-scale reverse auction, which is effective and can attract low solar price bids,” he emphasized.

The procurement process in the form of a reverse auction that is well designed, carried out efficiently and transparently, and on a large scale is one of the supporting factors in driving the competitiveness of solar power generation and results in a much lower generation price compared to fossil energy. Also, Fabby explained that the role of state governments in India is essential in the acquisition of land for the solar park scheme. The Indian government is acting directly to provide the area and build complementary infrastructure. In Indonesia, the provision of land is often constrained by permits and inadequate location, which then causes land acquisition consuming a large portion of the capital expenditure for solar power plant development.

“Regulations related to renewable energy in the form of presidential regulations are being processed. No government body specifically deals with renewable energy. Of course, there is no RPO policy in Indonesia. I think this policy is good to emulate, ” he explained.

Concerning the funding and investment issues of solar power plants, the Indonesian government is also establishing communication with international organizations. Harris also sees the problem of land acquisition as an ongoing problem in Indonesia. He hopes that in the future, he can discuss with the ministries and organizations in Indonesia, so it will be easier for investors to develop their solar power plant business. Meanwhile, both Cita and Yumarno expressed their appreciation for India’s success in managing the various risks that exist and providing proper solutions for achieving its renewable energy targets. Cita said that PLN is open to conduct deeper discussions with India in adopting learning steps for Indonesia’s progress in the field of renewable energy.

Presentation materials

KC - India's energy transition IESR -15Sep20


Kushagra Nandan- SunSource Energy


The government ought to Prepare a Strategy to Accelerate Energy Transitions


Reviewing the National Energy Plan 2017, is it still relevant in the energy transition era?

Jakarta, Tuesday, September 28, 2020 – “Climate change is becoming a real threat, and escalates quickly, with the rapid technological developments, especially in the field of renewable energy technology, is an important factor for countries in the world starting their energy transition,” explained Fabby Tumiwa, Director of the Institute for Essential. Services Reform (IESR) during the opening of the online launch of the Indonesian Energy Transition Roadmap Study Series report. Participating at the event as a panelist, Sugeng Mujiyanto, Head of the Bureau of Energy Policy Facilitation and National Energy Council Trial (DEN) and Saleh Abdurrahman, Expert Staff for Environment and Spatial Planning, Secretariat General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

 “The use of renewable energy, which has become a priority for the development and utilization of national energy in the National Energy Policy (KEN), has not been reflected in the achievement of the National Energy General Plan (RUEN) until 2020. Apart from ambitious targets, several indicators and assumptions used to model the supply and demand energy in RUEN were built based on data and information in 2015. In fact, in the last five years, indicators and assumptions from socio-economic, techno-economic experiencing significant development, “he said.

This becomes the background for IESR to conduct further studies summarized in the Study Series Report on the Roadmap for Indonesia’s Energy Transition. The aim is to encourage Indonesia to be more prepared, not left behind, so many sectors such as economic, social, and even environmental fields do not have to suffer in the long run. 

This report contains five thematic studies on the road map for Indonesia’s energy transition, which begins with National Energy Plan (RUEN): Existing Plan, Current Policies Implication, and Energy Transition Scenario written by Agus Praditya Tampubolon.

Agus reviewed the 2017’s RUEN through three scenarios (realization scenario, current policy, and energy transition) to evaluate and project the initial RUEN targets’ achievements.

“The 2017 RUEN uses 2000-2015 data to project 2016-2050 data. The findings are in the realization scenario; it turns out that primary energy consumption is lower than RUEN. The electricity consumption is also smaller, RUEN targets 2500 KWh per capita in 2025, while what will happen is only 1582 kWh per capita, “Agus explained.

Agus continued that with this pattern, RUEN’s renewable energy target of 45.2 GW in 2025 would not be achieved, but only 22.65 GW instead.

He combines several policies, such as identifying city networks, electric vehicles, and biodiesel, to project RUEN targets in the latest policy scenario. As a result, RUEN’s primary energy mix in 2025, which was initially 15%, increased to 18%.

“And in 2050, the increase will be even more drastic, not 23% but 40.3%. This is far from the target scenario RUEN and the projection target of the realization scenario, “he said.

Furthermore, Agus explained that he uses the parameter of limiting the construction of coal-fired power plants in the energy transition scenario. As a result, the share of renewable energy in RUEN’s prime energy mix is 18%, increasing to 20% in 2025.

“There will be an increase around 66-69%, by the year 2050,” he explained.

Starting from the findings he dissected, IESR recommended three crucial points for the government. First, reviewing the parameters and assumptions of RUEN 2015-2050. Second, increasing the share of renewable energy in line with reducing fossil energy. One of the ways is by reducing coal power plants. Third, propose a study on developing alternative scenarios in the national energy supply plan that integrates a larger portion of renewable energy.

Responding to the IESR reports and recommendations results, Sugeng thought that although his party always reviewed the RUEN every year, a re-review of the RUEN would be carried out if there were urgent conditions.

“For example, we saw on TV recently, as a result of COVID-19, the President Director of Pertamina stated that the demand for fuel decreased by around 25-26%. This is significant. If this happens continuously, we must also examine (RUEN), “he explained.

Meanwhile, Saleh said he was interested in IESR’s recommendations regarding alternative energy transition scenarios.

“The IESR energy transition scenario is undoubtedly a useful input. We don’t want to depend on fossil energy all the time, so I think there is still enough time to prepare. I want IESR to continue to enrich us in our ways so that the energy transition can also produce a sustainable economic transition with higher added value, “he said.

Download the full report of the study here:


Inaugurates the Largest Solar Roof Power Plant in Central Java: Energy Transition is Inevitable 

One Year Reflection of Central Java Solar ProvinceSolar

Klaten, 6 October 2020 – A year since the declaration of Central Java Solar Province (the pioneer province in Indonesia utilizing solar energy in their energy mix) on 17 September 2019 by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) of Central Java Province, in collaboration with the Institute of Essential Services Reform (IESR) and supported by the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), the development of the use of rooftop Solar Power Plants in Central Java is increasing. 

Central Java Province itself has the potential for solar energy radiation of 4.05 kWh/kWp per day, slightly above Indonesia’s average (3.75 kWh / kWp). The installation of rooftops solar can help the Central Java Provincial Government achieve the renewable energy mix target in the 2020 Regional Energy Plan (RUED) of 11.60%.

The initiation of Central Java Solar Province is in line with PT Tirta Investama (Danone-AQUA) efforts to use renewable energy electricity. On October 6, 2020, Danone AQUA inaugurated its Solar Roof installation of 2.9 MWp at its factory in Klaten. The Solar Roof installed at the AQUA factory in Klaten consists of 8,340 modules solar panels in four roof buildings covering an area of ​​16,550m2. This power plant can generate energy for 2500 housing units with an installed power of 900 VA.

As part of RE100, the Danone group is globally committed to using 100% renewable energy for its operations by 2030. The roof-top PV installation is part of meeting this target. With the inauguration in Klaten, until 2020, Danone-AQUA has operated 5.67 MWp PLTS in its four factories.   

To install PLTS Roof, PT Tirta Investama is collaborating with Total Solar. Total Solar itself was originally an oil and gas company from France. The company is starting to switch to diversification to develop renewable energy. Total Solar has installed PLTS in three AQUA factories in the Java region. 

Fabby Tumiwa, Director of IESR, the respondent at this launch event, appreciated PT Tirta Investama’s steps in utilizing renewable energy that can reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions, according to Indonesia’s commitment (NDC) to achieving the Paris Agreement target. The Rooftop solar also contributes to Central Java’s commitment to realizing the Central Java Solar Province program

He also highlighted the involvement of Total Solar as a multinational company initially involved in the oil and gas sector, which is currently switching to the renewable energy sector.

“The investment in Rooftop solar by Danone-AQUA is an interesting phenomenon because it brings together two multinational companies that work together to encourage the global energy transition to ensure that global temperature increases do not exceed 2 degrees,” he explained.

According to Fabby, the energy transition is necessary to see that many industrial players have set targets to use clean electricity through the use of renewable energy technology. 

Fabby also reiterates if PT Tirta Investama’s investment shows that solar technology has now become more affordable, and the price of electricity is competitive. Following the fact that the cost of modules has fallen 90 percent in the last decade, the price of electricity from solar PV is getting cheaper and can match fossil plants such as PLTU. The widespread use of Rooftop solar also shows that intermittent renewable energy is not an insurmountable obstacle. This debunked the myth that has been circulating so far that PLTS is not reliable and expensive. 

Questioning the government’s target for a 23 percent renewable energy mix by 2025, Harris Yahya, Director of EBTKE, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, explained that there is still a large gap between targets and planning must be addressed immediately. 

“Currently, our projection is still at 15 percent from 23 percent,” he said.

Harris explained that the government had taken several actions to meet the target of the 8 percent difference.

“The government has issued a Ministerial Regulation (Permen) number 49 of 2018, which has undergone improvements to Permen number 13 of 2019 and number 16 of 2019. This effort is to make Rooftop solar more attractive in the home industry and in all commercial buildings. , “He added.

Ganjar Pranowo, Governor of Central Java, praised the industry’s steps for implementing environmentally friendly energy. Ganjar emphasized the importance of behavior transformation in entering this energy transition era.

“There are solar-powered lights for street lighting that broken because they are not maintained, or the battery is missing. Maintenance funds from the central government are not available, but local governments can do something like this. Therefore, it is necessary to have an umbrella of cooperation between government agencies, training to maintain it and the great involvement of various parties so that the technology can be used sustainably, “he said.

Ganjar believes that Indonesia can move forward in the Rooftop solar sector because of the availability of the basic material for making solar cells. Therefore, Indonesia needs to build a solar cell industry and other supporters. 

“In collaboration with universities in Indonesia, we can certainly make battery technology (Rooftop solar) so that it can be mass-produced for households,” concluded Ganjar (US, FT). 

500 Tons of Carbon Emissions in 2050 Potentially could be prevented, if the Government Take Serious Action in Preparing a Road Map for Low Carbon Transportation 

Event Report: A Transition Toward Low Carbon Transportation

Jakarta, Tuesday, October 6, 2020 – With economic development, transportation has become a necessity that is inseparable from our everyday life. If its carbon wastes have not been handled carefully by the government and various parties, the earth’s temperature will be compromised, which endangers human life. It also means that Indonesia will fail to meet its promise in the Paris Agreement with zero emissions by 2050. This urgency was discussed by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) in the launch of its second series of five reports on the Indonesian Energy Transition Roadmap entitled A Transition Towards Low Carbon Transport in Indonesia: A Technological Perspective. Conducted online this event was attended by Firdaus Komarno, Head of the Center for Sustainable Transportation Management of the Ministry of Transportation, and Faela Sufa, Southeast Asia Director of the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP), to respond to the findings and recommendations of the report written by Julius Christian Adiatma.

Julius explained that as the largest fuel consumers, transportation contributed around 150 million tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) in 2017. If the energy consumption pattern remains the same, in 2050, it will produce 500 tons of carbon emissions. He offers three approaches to reduce the use of fossil fuels and mitigate the impact of the energy transition in the transportation sector, namely Avoid, Shift, and Improve (ASI).

“The Avoid approach means that as much as possible, we reduce the number of trips and the number of transportation needs through better urban planning. Meanwhile, the Shift is shifting to a mode of transportation that is more energy-efficient or less carbon-intensive. Improving means increasing the efficiency of the vehicle or the carbon intensity of the vehicles,” he explained.

Discussing energy-efficient modes of transportation, Julius suggested the development of light vehicle electrification. However, this requires careful planning by taking into account the electrical system in Indonesia, which still uses coal, and the lack of supporting infrastructure such as electric vehicle chargers. 

“The point is, whether we like it or not, the energy transition is inevitable. Of course, it causes some side effects, for instance, infrastructure unpreparedness or technology choice errors. A decrease in economic activity or the occurrence of stranded assets, “he added. 

Julius also mentioned the goal of the Ministry of Transportation’s road maps, based on his study, is not comprehending the Paris Agreement.

“If we look at the roadmap of the automotive industry until 2034, if I am not mistaken, only 30 percent of vehicle production is in the form of solar energy vehicles or fuel cells. If so, then the projection in 2020, only 30 percent of electric vehicles will be on the roads, ”he explained. 

He stated that the energy transition road map in the transportation sector must contain infrastructure development that is in line with technological developments, anticipate the economic-social impact of the transition along with its mitigation plans, as well as research and development of alternative low-carbon transportation technologies. Besides, the government must have a plan and ensure that this transition process is successfully implemented while reducing the risks from the transition process that occurs, especially to the stakeholders involved (including industry players, workers, and affected communities). 

Responding to Julius’ explanation, Faela agreed that the government must be more proactive in addressing the need for low-carbon transportation, not only at the national level and even at the regional level. 

“There is a need for road maps and targets at the regional level to switch to public transportation with renewable energy so that it is not only about electricity,” she said. 

She also suggested that the Ministry of Transportation could encourage non-fiscal intensive policies in local governments, such as lower parking tickets for low-carbon vehicles. 

Responding to this, Firdaus Komarno generally agreed on Indonesia’s need to make an energy transition. Through his presentation, Firdaus revealed that the government has issued various policies to encourage energy transition in the transportation sector. However, he admitted that it was not well integrated. 

“Hopefully, in the future, especially the three Ministries, such as Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), Transportation and Industry work together, integrate to guard this low-carbon development,” he hoped. 

Firdaus has the same view regarding the challenges of the energy transition in Indonesia. In addition to what Julius has mentioned, one of the obstacles the government faces is the absence of a stipulation of electricity rates, so it does not provide certainty for electric vehicle manufacturers. Moreover, the government has not issued a policy of providing incentives for users of low-carbon vehicles. Furthermore, Firdaus feels happy and open if there is an opportunity for discussion for his party, IESR, or other organizations that have the same vision to achieve low carbon transportation in Indonesia.

Materi paparan

A Transition Towards Low Carbon Transport in Indonesia_ a technological perspective


Bahan Webinar IESR 061020


GNSSA: An effort to Create a Solar-rooftop friendly Ecosystem

Sunsational GNSSA: Reflections on Three Years of National Movement of One Million Rooftop solar

Jakarta, 24 September 2020

Third-year after the National Movement for One Million Rooftop Solar (GNSSA) launched, declarators, energy observers, and rooftop solar costumers gathered online to celebrate various achievements and review the challenges, and reaffirm our shared commitment to encourage the use of rooftop solar in Indonesia.

Reminiscing, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reforms (IESR) who is also one of the declarators, said that GNSSA’s ideas and targets were initially spontaneous gesture but became very impactful, as it is involved many discussions and initiations from various energy experts in it.

Hence until this year, the target of one million rooftop solar users has not been achieved yet. Still, he appreciates every effort in making it happen, including a total of 11.5 MW of installation with 7.5 MW of total PLN customers, the issuance of Ministerial Regulation (Permen) No. 49 of 2018, and the public’s attractiveness to the rooftop solar increased.

The declarators generally gave similar responses. Surya Dharma, Chairperson of the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society (METI), admitted that the rooftop solar plants’ socialization was relatively successful.

“This spirit must be carry on. I want us to echo this again so that it becomes a movement that brings success, “he said enthusiastically.

In line with the community’s increasing interest or local government to install a rooftop solar in their homes, several challenges have emerged. Tommy, one of the solar PV adopters, revealed, “In Semarang at the end of 2018 when Permen No. 49 just came out, the net meter is still difficult, but thankfully, for now, the net meter in Semarang is very easy and smooth. “

He also said that another obstacle was applying regulations that were not uniform so that the price of rooftop solar products varied greatly. He hopes that someday there will be cost standardization. 

Not only that, the investment cost for rooftop solar relatively still expensive. Tommy proposed that the local government through regional banks can offer loan assistance in the same way as credit for motorbikes.

Fabby in his presentation, highlighted a similar challenge.

 “There are things that still need to be improved, such as the ecosystem to support the development of rooftop solar power plants,” he said. 

He explained that government involvement is critical by providing policy support,  incentives, assisting, providing reliable information, and technical support for those interested in rooftop PV mini-grid and providing a service center to guarantee the products (mini-grid). If this design works, it can absorb around thirty thousand workers in the sector and have great potential in restoring the Indonesian economy. (IESR’s estimation)

Andika Prastawa, Director of the Center for the Study of the Telematics and Electronics Manufacturing Industry (PPIMTE), who is also the Chair of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), said that the GNSSA’s big target is not ambitious but encourages all parties to work hard. 

He agreed that if the ecosystem were formed, in 2025, solar rooftop growth would be even faster. He calculated that if 200 MW reached per year, around 200 million US dollars would be circulated so that the industry would be more competitive.

“This industry is suitable for assisting economic recovery due to COVID-19 because solar rooftop does not require massive work and does not violate social distancing,” he said.

Increasingly Popular in Regions

Jarwanto from the Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Central Java Regional Office said a promising development to adopt this technology in this area.

“Central Java was two years late from GNSSA, ”he said, laughing.

However, he explained that there were many positive things that the government had managed to anticipate the success of the solar revolution program.

“Starting with the installation of the solar rooftop in the official office, it proves to all that after we have made a declaration, we will boldly issue a regional policy. The response was amazingly good. If there were no coronavirus, the escalation would be higher, potentially around 5.1 MW, “he explained.

Meanwhile, in Bali, MEMR Regional office, Setiawan explained that the local government is still comprehensively reviewing the construction of Solar rooftop in the island because buildings and roofs structure was typical compared to the other big cities in Indonesia. He is also grateful for the central government’s assistance, which has provided 270 KW of solar rooftop facilities in Bali’s 7 iconic locations.

On the other hand, Jakarta’s Government recommendation to adopt the technology has become more robust, as it can reduce air pollution according to Governor Instruction number 66 of 2018. 

“If this solar panel is already in the national catalog, then there is no need for the old bureaucracy, users can immediately install it,” he said. Rikki from the Jakarta Manpower and Transmigration Office.

A solar energy activist who has been struggling for 20 years and is also a GNSSA declarator, Jon Raspati considers the achievement of GNSSA is a dream come true. He also invited everyone to be involved in GNSSA not only to enjoy the benefits of the solar rooftop but also to participate in saving the earth from dirty energy.

“Around the world, solar rooftop has become an economic powerhouse. Because it is sustainable energy and not discriminatory so that everyone can use it. We also have a responsibility to this earth, millions of people should care about it, “he said.


Energy Transition Ideathon 2020 Wall of Fame

Jakarta, 14 September 2020 – The Ideathon 2020 Energy Transition organized by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) concluded the first season on Saturday, 12 September 2020, with the 2020 Ideathon Awarding Ceremony attended by Finalists and the Judges which was broadcast live via zoom. The series of Energy Transition Ideathon activities carried the big theme of Indonesia Freedom from the ‘dirty energy’ (fossil fuels). The competition was held from 10 August 2020 to 11 September 2020.

The opportunities and threats of a global energy transition wave need to be properly anticipated and addressed by key stakeholders in the energy and electricity sector with better knowledge and understanding of current trends and their consequences. The role of the Indonesian people, especially the younger generation, plays an important role in supporting and accelerating this energy transition agenda, including in building public opinion on the importance of people’s awareness of the use of Renewable Energy technology and / or clean energy sources at the local level.

This year the Republic of Indonesia is celebrating its 75th day of independence. Independent (free) from colonialism, but not yet free from providing energy sourced from dirty energy (gas, oil, and coal). Meanwhile, at the same time, other countries, including developing countries in Southeast Asia, have responded and participated in the wave of the renewable energy transition to energy systems and low carbon economies. In commemoration of Indonesia’s 75th independence day, the Energy Transition Ideathon 2020 was held, to participate in providing ideas and thoughts for how Indonesia can transition to a low-carbon energy system, free from dirty energy. The delivery of these events, ideas and thoughts is packaged in a competition for innovative creative journalism, photography, and innovative video. With the theme of  ” Indonesia Free from Dirty Energy (fossil), IESR calls on the best works of the nation’s citizens to be able to contribute to voicing the urgency of transitioning from dirty energy.

This competition aims to provide a forum for journalists, photo and video content creator, and the Indonesian people, in general, to be able to voice their opinions and aspirations regarding the importance of the energy transition in Indonesia in the context of the 75th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia. Apart from that, the series of activities carried out also served as a momentum to listen to the perspectives and aspirations of the community towards energy supply and access in Indonesia.

IESR as the organizer also strives to provide a creative forum for the public (especially the younger generation) in conveying their perspectives and ideas on the status of global energy transition development and its urgency for Indonesia; get information, views, and input from the general public regarding the challenges of reporting on the topic of energy / clean energy transition as well as; increasing the participation and role of the younger generation in encouraging the discourse of an energy transition in the country so that it can be free from dirty energy, are some of the main things we want to achieve.

The competition closes on August 31, 2020, the organizing committee received more than 100 participants with photos, videos, and creative journalism that were followed by participants from the west to the east of Indonesia. All submitted works are then selected into several participants who are then announced as the Finalists in the Video and Photo Story competition

The Finalists are:

Finalists of the Innovation Video Competition
(arranged alphabetically by participant’s name)

Abiteru Sitepu, Kabanjahe
Akhmad Romadoni, Pasuruan
Epafras Freddy, Yogyakarta
Fajri Ramdjani, Makassar
Farkhana Rizkya, Mojokerto
Haritsa Taqiyya Majid, Yogyakarta
Aji Saputro, Lamongan

Photo Story Contest Finalist

Andri Muhamad Fauzi, Bandung
Arif Hermawan, Jakarta
Fitra Yogi, Padang
Giri Wijayanto, Sleman
Lilik Darmawan, Banyumas
Muhammad Awaludin, Palembang
Muhammad Iqbal, Malang
Muhammad Ikhsan, Bengkulu

Panel of Adjudicators

IESR also invited numbers professional jury who are experts in their respective fields who have experience and qualified technical backgrounds in each category, and the panel of adjudicators are:

Creative Journalism:
Aris Prasetyo, Senior Journalist of Kompas Daily
Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR
Erina Mursanti, IESR Green Economy Program Manager

Photo Story:
Okky Ardy, Documentary Photographer of PannaFoto Institute
Priyombodo, Photographer Journalist Kompas
Kharina Dhewayani, Finance and Admin Manager of IESR

Innovation Videos:
Amanda Valani, Head of TV Narrative Content
Jannata Giwangkara, Manager of the IESR Energy Transformation Program
Gandabhaskara, IESR Communications Coordinator

Ideathon 2020 adjudication process

The adjudication process begins with an administrative selection, specifically for the Creative Journalism category, competition is intended for the Indonesian press.

Photo story

Assessment criteria
Broadly speaking, some of the criteria used as references in assessing Photostory work include Thematic, Content, and Technical.

1. Suitability of the theme (Thematic)
Namely, including the extent to which the works are related and in accordance with the themes given by the committee. In this case that is the theme of (clean) energy around us: technology, humanities, and the environment. It is hoped that at least the theme will be reflected in the photo stories sent to participate in the competition.

2. Originality
Originality in this case includes the extent to which the ideas, exploration, and visual approaches are used in the photo story.

3. Technical
Covers the basic elements of photography. Starting from the sharpness, point of view (angle), composition, etc.


“Creating a photo story is like creating a movie, where the audience is presented with a plot from the beginning to the end with a series of narratives that has emotions and messages, not a single photo that stands alone and differs, it’s just a photo. The story only plays on the power of the visuals, there is no motion and there is no audio, ”said Okky Ardya, one of the Adjudicators in front of the finalists at the award ceremony.

Okky Ardya, PannaFoto Institute
Okky Ardya, PannaFoto Institute

Okky Ardya, also appreciated all the works of the finalists who succeeded in presenting a strong narrative according to the theme in this competition.

Creative Journalism

The suitability of the theme, the depth/completeness of the facts and data, the logic of written, reasoning and grammar are the elements that are assessed in the judging process in this category by the panel of judges

“I salute the participants, the majority of whom are contributed by the local journalists (beyond java island) to participate in and support the campaign for the energy transition process in Indonesia, and in general these participants already understand very well the topic of renewable energy and have answered why we We must immediately transition from fossil energy to renewable energy, ”said Aris Prasetyo, a Senior Journalist from Kompas who is also one of the juries in this category.

Aris Prasetyo, Kompas


Innovation Videos

Assessment criteria

1. Theme relevance
The relationship between a big theme and its context for viewers
Choosing a creative perspective on a specific theme and successfully making the story relevant to the audience

2. Ideas
Have a clear message and goal-oriented
The idea is able to answer/describe the challenge – and how to handle it

3. Quality research
Data collection and presentation of ideas based on studies conducted by IESR
The level of understanding of the research and being able to communicate the data to viewers

4. Data Visualization
Creative and different presentation of data
Easy to understand

5. Impact on emotions
Provide an emotional impact on viewers
Being able to create a longer-term impression and able to invite viewers to interact or act

6. Storytelling
The ability to arrange a topic becomes a universal and inclusive problem
Stories and narratives can evoke unexpected elements, so that how a message in the story is finally revealed

7. Level of difficulty
Cinematographic quality
The complexity of animation/motion graphics
Estimated production costs

The elements above are a big picture of how the jury should look at objectively assessing the overall work in the judging process.

Joining online, Amanda Valani’s innovation video jury added that all finalists managed to convey their works in a narrative, non-patronizing and educational manner, Amanda was also very impressed with the variety of video formats that were collected, ranging from motion graphics, explainers, or vlogs. , right down to the features.

“We are trained to think simply in the context of making creative videos, for example reducing research results ( which in my opinion are at the divine level and lowering them to the community level so that people want to change. That is an emotional impact which is an element that very important in making creative videos ”

Amanda Valani, Narasi TV

The winners

After going through a long process and being reviewed by the jury, including the public’s choice as the favorite work chosen through the official IESR social media channels, being selected as the winner in the Energy Ideathon 2020 Transition as follows:

NamaKaryaKategori Pemenang
Dhana KencanaPLTS Atap di Stasiun Batang, Energi Bersih untuk Indonesia MendatangJuara Utama Jurnalisme Kreatif -- Hard News
Della SyahniBelajar dari Kasepuhan Ciptagelar, Panen Energi dari Air dan MatahariJuara Utama Features -- Jurnalisme Kreatif
Bhekti SuryaniHarga Mahal Energi Baru Terbarukan Cuma MitosJuara Utama In-depth Report, Jurnalisme Kreatif
Fajri RamdhaniIndonesia Merdeka dari Energi KotorJuara I Video Inovasi
Epafras Freddy Perda SetyawanPasar Indonesia Mandiri EnergiJuara II Video Inovasi
M. Aji SaputroEnergi Masa Depan IndonesiaJuara Favorit
Giri WijayantoPenggunaan Lampu LED UV bertenaga Surya sebagai perangkap hama tanaman bawang merahJuara Utama
Muhammad IkhsanLebong Tandai, 120 Tahun Menikmati Listrik dari Kincir SungaiJuara Favorit

The entire organizing committee and members of the jury congratulate all winners and also appreciate all participants for their enthusiasm to participate in the Ideathon Energy Transition – Indonesia Free from the Dirty Energy. We hope that your works can inspire all of us to help Indonesia so that it can soon be Free from Dirty Energy and switch to renewable energy!

Keep creating and see you at the next Energy Ideathon Transition.