Indonesia Fosters Investment Mobilization to Achieve Gigawatt Order of Solar

Jakarta, 19 April 2022 – Indonesia’s presidency at the G20 2022 is a momentum to show Indonesia’s seriousness in accelerating the global energy transition and the national energy transition plan to achieve carbon-neutral 2060 or faster. One of the ways to achieve it is by accelerating the utilization of solar PV, which has a potential of up to 3400 Gigawatts in Indonesia. Through the Indonesia Solar Summit 2022 organized by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) in collaboration with the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), it is hoped that the commitment of local governments, electricity consumers, private and state-owned developers, regional owned-enterprises, and the community to encourage the adoption of solar PV and mobilize the required investment.

Representing the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Ego Syahrial said that Indonesia’s energy transition roadmap to achieve Net Zero Emission (NZE) by 2060, solar energy will play an important role in national electricity supply, of which 587 GW capacity new renewable energy (NRE), of 361 GW or more than 60% will come from solar energy.

“The government has three major programs for utilizing solar energy, namely rooftop solar PV, large-scale ground-mounted solar PV, and floating solar PV. The implementation of these various programs requires contributions from many parties, not only the government, business area holders, and renewable energy developers, but also energy users, such as the commercial and industrial sectors,” explained Ego in his speech as well as opening the Indonesia Solar Summit/ISS 2022 event.

The commitment, continued Ego, to realize the 2.3 GW (accumulated) solar PV project in 2022 and 2023 which was declared by 31 companies and the plan to build a solar PV component factory in Indonesia is to re-energize its solar energy investment in Indonesia.

Ego added that the rooftop solar power plant itself is one of the quick wins in accelerating the use of solar energy through direct contributions from energy users, especially for industry to meet increasingly strong market demands for green products.

“Support from local manufacturers is also very much needed to fulfill local content requirements and provide great benefits for the country, especially in terms of job creation. Besides that, aspects of easy access to cheap financing, incentives, and other financing facilities are very important to provide financial feasibility and increase energy investment. renewable energy such as solar PV,” he said.

Michael R. Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and United Nations Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, emphasized the importance of transitioning to renewable energy as one of the right solutions to achieving zero emissions. He continued that speeding up the investment in solar power will accelerate the green resilient economic development.

“Indonesia has the potential to be a global leader in solar power. This summit is an important opportunity to showcase and accelerate the country’s clean energy efforts before G20 leaders arrive in Bali this November. Solar is already cheaper than coal in many countries. The more we do to speed up investment in solar power, the faster we can cut emissions, create new jobs, and build a stronger and more resilient global economy,” Michael explained.

In 2021, IESR identified large-scale PV project pipelines totaling 2.7 GWac, with an investment value of US$3 billion. At the ISS 2022, the number of solar PV project pipelines committed by multiple companies amounts to 2,300 MW, consisting of rooftop PV (largest percentage), ground-mounted solar PV, and floating solar PV. To mobilize this investment potential, an attractive and supportive ecosystem is needed; including sound policies and regulations, comprehensive implementation of existing regulations, and support to drive the development of the solar PV industry supply chain in Indonesia. 

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) stated that to achieve the renewable energy target of 23% by 2025 according to Presidential Regulation 22/2017, as well as the RUPTL target of 10.9 GW, additional renewable energy generating capacity of 4 GW is needed from outside of PLN. This addition can be contributed by solar PV, both rooftop solar and the use of solar PV in other PLN electricity business holders.

“From the declaration of the 2.3 GW solar PV project at ISS 2022, shows the enormous potential of solar energy in Indonesia. Indonesia can become a Solar Powerhouse in Southeast Asia with potential growth of 3-4 GW annually if it is fully supported. It opens up opportunities for green investment to stream, opportunities to grow the integrated solar power industry from upstream to downstream, and employment and become the driving force for post-COVID economic recovery. President Jokowi needs to see this potential and lead the solar energy revolution for the energy transition in Indonesia,” said Fabby Tumiwa.

The Indonesia Solar Summit (ISS) 2022 was held on 19 and 20 April 2022, highlighting support from the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources represented by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Deputy Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Deputy for Investment Planning at the Ministry of Investment, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, CEOs of national and multinational companies, and 15 speakers on Summit Day 2 workshop. ISS 2022 receives support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Matahari Power, Utomo SolaRuv, BloombergNEF, International Solar Alliance, the Indonesian Solar Energy Association, and the Clean Affordable and Secure Energy in Southeast Asia (CASE) Project; and was attended by more than 600 participants online and offline.

NRE Bill is Ineffective in Supporting Energy Transition in Indonesia

press release

Jakarta, March 21, 2022 Entering the harmonization stage in the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI), the New Renewable Energy Bill (NRE Bill) is seen as deviating from the goal of encouraging the energy transition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 or as soon as possible. At the plenary meeting of the harmonization of the RE Bill (17/03/2022), experts from the legislative strengthened the position of new energy by adding new energy sources to the bill, which is now referred to as New and Renewable Energy (NRE). 

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views the NRE concept in one law as ineffective and ambiguous. Moreover, the inclusion of coal derivative products such as coal gasification, coal liquefaction, coal bed methane as a new energy source will potentially hamper the efforts to reduce greenhouse gasses (GHG).

GHG emissions resulting from the coal gasification process in new energy are much higher than renewable energy. The total emission from the conversion process of 1 kg of coal into Dimethyl Ether (DME) is around 3.2 Kg CO2eq or about 400 grams of CO2 eq/kWh (IRENA, 2021). It does not include the emissions caused when burning DME, which is equivalent to burning diesel oil that can reach 631 grams of CO2/kWh (assuming 40% DME stove efficiency). Therefore, the total emissions produced to get the same amount of energy reaches 1031 grams CO2/kWh. Meanwhile, the life cycle emissions generated from the use of renewable energy, such as solar power plants are only around 40 grams of CO2 eq/kWh (NREL, 2012).

“The NRE Bill draft shows the DPR RI’s lack of understanding of the need for energy development in the context of the energy transition. The DPR RI also accommodates the interests of the coal industry, which wants to continue to gain market share when the coal market for electricity generation declines. The entry of new energy technologies such as coal downstream will make Indonesia trapped with fossil energy infrastructure. Meanwhile, the inclusion of nuclear power plants will hinder the acceleration of the energy transition that requires the development of renewable energy on a large and fast scale,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR.

The utilization of technology that reduces carbon emissions in non-renewable energy (fossil energy) plants will expand the mechanism for using non-renewable energy, such as clean coal technology (ultra-supercritical power plant), carbon capture, and storage (CCS) technology, and biomass co-firing. IESR believes that maintaining coal-fired power plants with CCS technology is a relatively expensive option compared to developing renewable energy.

“The support for fossil energy or non-renewable energy in the NRE Bill will give a signal to maintain the steam power plant in the energy system for longer, instead of retiring the steam power plant earlier as has been discussed in recent months,” added Deon Arinaldo, Manager of Energy Transformation Program, IESR.

Deon added that the DPR RI should have reviewed the effective and economical use of energy in formulating the NRE Bill.

“To achieve carbon neutrality, the most cost-effective greenhouse gas mitigation should be considered, which according to our analysis is renewable energy. With regulatory support, renewable energy can be built and renewable energy funds can be used effectively to encourage the preparation of massive renewable energy projects,” he explained.

The latest draft also authorizes the central government to set prices for new and renewable energy if no agreement is reached between the parties/business entities (in this case PLN and the developer). In this case, of course, it will be related to the provision of incentive funds and compensation for new energy or renewable energy due to price-fixing by the central government. 

“The government should establish incentives and a scheduled renewable energy auction mechanism to provide certainty to business actors. Pricing should be done for technologies that are not yet commercial and are applied in remote areas to ensure access to clean energy for the community,” said Fabby Tumiwa.

Lessons Learned from Fukushima, Nuclear Power Plant Development Has Entered Its Sunset Years

press release

Jakarta, March 11, 2022 – Amid energy decarbonization efforts to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as mid-century or in 2060, the Indonesian government is considering developing a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). However, several nuclear power plant accidents in the world, such as Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986), and Fukushima (2011), indicate that nuclear power plants are full of security risks and adverse economic impacts. Commemorating 11 years after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) and the Earth Rekso Society (Marem) held a Webinar “Dynamics of the Development of Nuclear Power Plants after the Fukushima Accident”.

Even though it has been regulated in PP No. 79 of 2014 concerning nuclear as a last choice, the government and PLN are still discussing nuclear power plants, such as small modular reactor technology, as one of the solutions on the net-zero roadmaps that is being prepared. However, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, views that in energy policy the government should prioritize technology that is reliable and can be built quickly so that it can overcome the urgent climate crisis.

“If the government relies on unreliable technology, it will only waste resources that should be used to encourage the development of other energy sources that are safer, more reliable, and effective in dealing with climate change,” said Fabby.

Learning from Japan’s experience, Tatsujiro Suzuki, Professor at the Research Center for Nuclear Weapons Abolition at Nagasaki University, who also served as the Japan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) (2010-2014) stated that the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident has changed the energy sector and public perception of Japan. Before the Fukushima tragedy, there were 54 units of nuclear power plants operating, but this number was reduced to 10 units by 2021. The Japanese public perception changed drastically from 87 percent (2010) who thought nuclear power plants were a necessary power plant, to only 24 percent in 2013. As a result of the accident, investment in nuclear power plant safety and accident costs increased so that the cost of nuclear power plants was no longer the cheapest in Japan. Based on data from the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), the average cost of generating nuclear power plants in 2021 will be around 11 yen/kWh, higher than solar and wind energy, which costs 8-9 yen/kWh.

Furthermore, Suzuki explained that the Fukushima accident cost around USD 322 billion up to USD 719 billion according to data from the Japan Center for Economic Research. The government’s calculation is lower, namely USD 74.3 billion up to USD 223.1 billion because it does not include the disposal costs of the remaining radioactive fuel of nuclear power plants. Moreover, radioactive waste from the Fukushima nuclear power plant contaminates water, soil, and food. Meanwhile, out of 35,000 refugees (as of April 2021), only 2.5 percent of people returned to affected cities such as Okuma City and 9.2 percent to Tomioka City.

“The impact of the accident is not only from the engineering section, we have to consider social economics, political, and ethical points of view. In addition, the government needs to involve independent scientific institutions in the policy making process and finally be able to increase public trust, because policy without science is a gamble,” said Suzuki.

He also added that nuclear power plants are like medicine which has a strong effect. It should not be taken if not needed.  

In line with Suzuki, MV Ramana, Professor, and Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues from the University of British Columbia emphasized that the golden era of nuclear power plants has passed, about 3 decades ago. According to him, many factors have contributed to the decline in nuclear power plant development, including the cost of making reactors too expensive compared to the declining prices of solar and wind power. Ramana explained that the innovation of the Small Modular Reactor (a nuclear reactor designed in a size of less than 300 MW and consisting of modules/parts that can be built separately) is also not able to solve all of the problems in one design.

“Even if we assume the learning (about the nuclear industry) ends up with a positive rate, you still have to manufacture hundreds, if not thousands of small reactors before it can be as cheap as large reactors. While the large one is not economically competitive against solar or wind,” said Ramana.

Ramana views that instead of building a nuclear power plant with all the risks, it is better to use the investment for other sustainable solutions.

 

“On solar and wind power, 20 years ago people used to say more than 20% Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) in the grid will make it unstable. Now, the planners say you could go as high as 80%, maybe 90% on just VRE with the rest being storage or base load plants,” he explained.

Herman Darnel Ibrahim, a member of the National Energy Council on the same occasion said that without nuclear power, Indonesia can achieve carbon neutrality in 2060 by maximizing renewable energy; hydropower, geothermal, and biomass, and developing massive solar energy with a capacity of hundreds of GW.

“The conditions needed to be able to fulfill are the successful discovery of technology for penetration of up to 75% of the electricity grid, the successful development of cheaper energy storage that allows the development of Variable Renewable Energy (VRE) with storage capacity, as well as Levelized Cost of Electricity ( LCOE) solar and wind energy with storage is cheaper than a nuclear energy LCOE,” he concluded.

Overseeing the Indonesia Government’s Strategy in Energy Transition in 2022

press release

Jakarta, 18 January 2022 Entering 2022, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources shared Indonesia’s energy transition strategy in the “Press Conference on 2021 Performance Achievements and the 2022 Work Plan for Energy and Mineral Resources and the EBTKE Subsector”. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views that even though the direction of the energy transition is becoming more evident, it is crucial to speed up the energy transition to reduce GHG emissions and align with Paris Agreement pathways to limit the earth temperature well below 1.5 degree Celsius. Moreover, some overlapping strategies need to develop in a more focused roadmap, such as Dimethyl Ether (DME) utilization, gas grids, and induction cooktops to meet household energy needs.

In the 2021-2030 Energy Transition Roadmap, the government focuses on new and renewable energy power plants’ construction which reach 20.9 GW, while the solar rooftop is targeted at 3.6 GW. The solar rooftop construction will be massive in 2031-2050 with a total amount of 279.2 GW.

Based on the IESR study entitled “Deep Decarbonization of Indonesia’s Energy System”, the construction of renewable energy power plants should be accelerated in the 2021-2030 period to achieve the renewable energy mix target, and reach peak emissions in the electricity sector before 2030. In addition, there is a need for at least a 14-fold increase in the total renewable energy capacity in 2020, with around 117 GW coming from solar rooftops and 23 GW from other renewable energy plants.

The government’s report on the achievement of new and renewable energy power generation capacity until 2021 reaches 11,152 MW. Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, feels that the target for adding renewable energy generating capacity has always been below the government’s target since 2019 and is not on track with the renewable energy mix target of 24 GW by 2025.

“The reasons for the low obtainment of renewable energy plants are structural. For instance, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources No. 50/2017 makes renewable energy projects unbankable, PLN does not carry out the regular and on schedule basis of the procurement of renewable energy plants, the lack of competitive domestic financing support, and the delay in project realization due to the pandemic,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director IESR.

Highlighting the investment target for the new and renewable energy sector in 2022, the government has set an investment entry of USD 3.9 billion, up 2.6 times from the previous investment achievement of USD 1.51 billion in 2021. Deon Arinaldo, Program Manager of Energy Transformation, IESR, thought that although the target has almost tripled, it is a small amount to fund efforts to decarbonize Indonesia’s energy system.

“Based on the study of the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook 2022, investment in renewable energy for the electricity sector alone requires  11.1 billion USD per year for the next decade. Several renewable energy policies and regulations that should have been released last year, need to be finalized immediately to increase investor confidence and the renewable energy investment climate. Renewable energy investments outside of PLN’s RUPTL (National Electricity Supply Business Plan), such as solar rooftop, also need to be fully supported to attract investment from the beginning of this year, “added Deon.

Furthermore, the government’s strategy to maintain fossil energy subsidies will slow down the pace of energy transition in Indonesia. As well as increasing the burden on the state, it is also an easy trap for Indonesia to get into the fossil energy crisis.

“Reflecting on the coal energy crisis earlier this year, it can be seen that the use of fossil energy such as coal and subsidized support (in the form of DMO) also does not guarantee the country’s energy security, but instead creates distortions in the price of electricity generation. The price of electricity generation from coal-fired power plants looks cheaper than it should be and does not create a level playing field for renewable energy,” said Deon.

The government’s strategy to accelerate the national energy transition is constrained by the fact that the Minister of Finance has not yet approved the Draft Presidential Decree for the Purchase of Renewable Energy. Deon believes that there needs to be strategic coordination between ministries to support the acceleration of achieving the carbon-neutral target so that regulatory support that is considered critical should be issued immediately and run effectively.

“Apart from issuing regulations, effective implementation is important, but this is the opposite. For example, Ministerial Regulation 26/2021 regarding rooftop solar power plants, which should be able to support the achievement of the 900 MW rooftop solar power plant target in 2022 according to the MEMR target, however, was delayed earlier this year,” said Deon.

Besides the regulatory perspective, IESR sees the synergy of inter-ministerial carbon neutral targets as important. Reviewing the targets and realization of electric vehicles in 2022, the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook 2022 found two different targets in the two ministries. The Ministry of Industry plans to produce 750,000 units of LCEV (low carbon emission vehicle), consisting of electric cars and 2.45 million units of electric motorcycles by 2030. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) targets 2 million cars, electric vehicles and 13 million electric motorcycles by 2030. Different targets and roadmaps in the development of electric vehicles will make it difficult to see a coherent and consistent effort by the government to increase the penetration of electric vehicles in the country.

“An integrated and well-designed national electric vehicle roadmap must be created. Alignment between the electric vehicle (EV) roadmap of the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, for example, will increase the confidence of EV players. It also will maximize economic benefits for Indonesia in the form of an industrial value chain formed from the transition process from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs,” closed Deon.

In 2022, Indonesia Needs to Strive in Pursuing Energy Transition Ecosystem Readiness

press release

Jakarta, 21 December 2021 –  The unfavorable climate for renewable energy investment in Indonesia and inconsistent political commitments can hinder the achievement of the 23% renewable energy mix target by 2025. Until Q3 2021, the renewable energy mix is ​​still at 11.2%. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views that the Indonesian government needs to thoughtfully prepare an energy transition ecosystem to accelerate the decarbonization of the energy system in Indonesia to achieve net-zero by 2050.

In 2021, renewable energy development in Indonesia is still running slowly and not on track to the target of 23% of the renewable energy mix in 2025. IESR, in its annual report Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook 2022, found that until September 2021, the total installed capacity of renewable energy only reached 10,827 MW or increased by about 400 MW. Meanwhile, to achieve the KEN and RUEN targets in 2025, renewable energy generating capacity is estimated to reach a minimum of 24,000 MW or around 2-3 GW of additional renewable energy capacity every year. However, to comply with the Paris Agreement, it takes at least 11-13 GW of renewable energy generation to decarbonize the energy system in Indonesia, which includes the power generation, transportation, and industrial sectors by 2050. Besides, solar energy adoption is also relatively insignificant, only increasing by 18 MW, dominated by rooftop solar power plants. It is so slow compared to the need for 10-11 GW of rooftop PV mini-grid each year to encourage zero emissions by 2045 in the electricity sector. IESR views PV mini-grid as an opportunity to maximize the contribution of the community and business entities to invest in the decarbonization process.

Endeavors to decarbonize the transportation system by adopting electric vehicles and biofuels are still far from the target set. Sales of electric vehicles are still below 1% of total vehicle sales. Only about 2,000 electric cars and 5,000 electric motorcycles are registered, while the total number of electric cars and motorcycles needs to reach 1.7 million and 100 million by 2030. Biofuels are still limited to biodiesel development which is still uneconomical and constrained by sustainability issues. The implementation of B40, previously B30, which is planned for 2022 is also considered as a constraint due to the current price of palm oil.

“The government should focus on strengthening its political commitment to decarbonization by revising the National Energy Policy (KEN) and the General National Energy Plan (RUEN) to align with the goals of Net-Zero Emissions (NZE). The government needs to improve the quality of regulations to increase investment attractiveness, reduce licensing barriers, and accelerate the development and utilization of renewable energy outside PLN by maximizing the contribution of the community and business entities to invest in renewable energy generation and energy efficiency. Thus, 23% of the renewable energy mix in 2025 can be achieved,” said IESR Executive Director, Fabby Tumiwa.

The decarbonization of the energy system in Indonesia requires the readiness of a supportive ecosystem. The Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook 2022 report assesses that its enabling ecosystem is still low. Using the Energy Transition Readiness Framework, IESR evaluates four indicators, i.e. policy and regulatory support, technology and economy, climate and investment realization, and social.

Ineffective energy policy and regulatory support in boosting the development of renewable energy in Indonesia are reflecting the government’s insufficient political commitment to renewable energy. Although in 2021, the government is committed to increasing the share of the renewable energy mix to 51% in the Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) and reviewing early retirement at 9.2 GW of coal-fired power plants, these efforts are not ambitious enough to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century, unaligned with Paris Agreement. Furthermore, this commitment needs to be translated into a clear implementation plan in 2022.

“Indeed, in 2021, there have been several policy documents issued such as LTS and RUPTL, but we evaluate these targets are still far from sufficient to limit the increase in the earth’s temperature to below 1.5 degree Celsius. It is important to improve several regulations such as renewable energy tariffs, scheduled and transparent auction and procurement mechanism from PLN, so that these targets can be achieved,” said Julius Christian, Clean Fuel Researcher & Specialist and Lead Author IETO 2022 report.

Energy policies in Indonesia also have not provided a sense of security for developers to invest in renewable energy. MEMR Regulation No 10/2017 leaves the risk to the developer if there is a change in government policy. ESDM Regulation No. 50/2017 drives renewable energy projects as difficult unbankable projects. More than that, the delay in issuing the Presidential Regulation on new and renewable energy tariffs has caused uncertainty and hampered investment in renewable energy projects in Indonesia.

Unfavorable policies had an insignificant impact on renewable energy investment, only reaching USD 1.17 billion compared to 2020 of USD 1.12 billion. This amount is very small compared to the investment needs for decarbonization of energy systems according to the IESR study, as much as USD 20-25 billion per year by 2030.

From a technical and economic point of view, globally, both renewable energy technology and costs have become increasingly competitive in recent years. The results of the last solar PV auction was electricity cost of USD 0.04/kWh, lower than the average coal power plant, which costs USD 0.05-0.07/kWh. The requirements for subsidies and government regulatory support for coal-fired power plants are allegedly making the cost of coal-fired power plants low. If using the actual market price, with a coal price of USD 150/ton (September 2021), the cost of generating electricity from a coal-fired power plant (CFPP) could reach USD 0.09-0.11/kWh.

Although renewable energy projects have become more economical, renewable energy investment is still considered less attractive.

“The main thing that needs to be highlighted is the unfamiliarity of local banks and investors to the risk of renewable energy projects which are lower than fossil energy projects, considering the price of technology in a declining global trend. The length of the permit process and the complexity of the procurement mechanism are also seen as two things that often make the financing costs of renewable energy projects higher than planned. These drive developers difficulties to determine the exact and definite number of investment needs to be submitted to funding institutions, “said Handriyanti D. Puspitarini, Renewable Energy Senior Researcher, IESR who is also involved in writing IETO 2022.

Meanwhile, from a social perspective, based on the results of a survey conducted by IESR on 1000 respondents, there is an increase in awareness and support for the energy transition to clean energy. A total of 56% of respondents (strongly) agree that Indonesia should stop using coal for power generation. The three highest renewable energy sources that receive the highest public support are solar (68%), water (60%), and wind (39%).

IESR in the IETO 2022 report encourages the Indonesian government to capture positive sentiments from the Indonesian people towards renewable energy through collaboration with the private sector, industry, and provincial governments in Indonesia. Several provinces in Indonesia, such as DKI Jakarta, Bali, Central Java, can serve as references and lessons for other provinces in developing a larger portion of renewable energy.

The focus in 2022 can be on policies and regulations that increase the transparency of the renewable energy auction process, identify clear risk allocation through standardization of Project-Based Learning (PJBL), and improve the bankability of renewable energy projects with derisking instruments. A more efficient and punctual licensing process and lower interest rates for project loans are also important factors for reducing initial funding costs and improving the investment climate. 

Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook 2022 report can be downloaded at: s.id/IESR_IETO2022

Clean Energy Acceleration to achieve NZE in the Energy Sector 2050

press release

Jakarta, 20 December 2021 – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) launched the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook (IETO) 2022 report. IETO 2022 is an annual report that reviews the development of the energy transition in Indonesia and outlooks the challenges and opportunities of the energy sector in reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the following year. In the 5th year of the launch of the IETO report, IESR highlighted the government’s commitment to decarbonizing the energy sector, policy, and regulatory innovation to attract renewable energy investment and emphasize the role of the private sector and local governments in accelerating the energy transition in Indonesia.

IESR views that deep decarbonization of the energy sector is critical to be in line with the Paris Agreement target of limiting the increase in the earth’s temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Generating as much as 34% of total emissions in 2019 makes the energy sector the second-largest emitter after Forest and Land Use (FOLU) in Indonesia. If there is no planned decarbonization effort, it is projected that the energy sector will become the largest emitter in Indonesia by 2030 and make it even difficult to achieve the Paris Agreement targets.

“In 2022, the government and all stakeholders must strive to increase the use of renewable energy and promote energy efficiency in buildings and industry. In 2025, the government must achieve the target of 23% of the renewable energy mix. Likewise, it must pursue the energy sector emissions to reach their peak before 2030. These two milestones are an indication of whether we can achieve decarbonization in the middle of this century,” said IESR Executive Director, Fabby Tumiwa.

The Indonesian government has set its commitment to making an energy transition by retaining a larger portion of renewable energy generation capacity, 51 percent or as much as 20,923 MW in 2030 in PLN’s RUPTL 2021-2030. However, to align with the 1.5℃ decarbonization target, based on the IESR study, at least 140 GW of renewable energy is needed, which is dominated by PLTS by 2030.

IESR believes that achieving this big target requires a serious evaluation of the quality of the current policies and regulations. In the last five years, since PP No. 79/2014 on KEN was passed, the growth rate of renewable energy tends to be slow. Data from IETO 2022 shows that in the last five years, renewable energy has only increased on average by 400 MW.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government also puts coal in transition scenarios such as the CCS/CCUS program for coal-fired power plants, coal gasification, and even coal co-firing. IESR stated that using CCS/CCUS technology in steam power plants will result in higher electricity prices and an increased risk of potentially stranded assets due to non-competitive costs. Furthermore, the application of co-firing and clean coal technology such as coal-fired power plants (CFPP) Ultra-supercritical results in insignificant emission reductions, thus making the effectiveness of these technologies questionable.

“The cost of generating electricity from using CCS in CFPP will compete with renewable energy technology plus storage. So far in the world, CFPPs with CCS  still have problems in operating and achieving emission reductions. Even one of the CFPP projects with CCS, such as Petra Nova in Texas, was closed after only operating for approximately 4 years. So, the readiness of today’s technology, as well as the projected price of technology in the coming decades should be the main consideration. The priority must have been given to the technology with the most competitive costs, which are renewable energy,” explained Deon Arinaldo, Manager of Energy Transformation Program, IESR.

One of the authors of the IETO 2022, Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini said that although it had not yet reached the set target, the installed capacity of renewable energy, especially from solar PV, rose to 17.9 MWp, and electric vehicles such as electric motorcycles experienced a slight increase of 5,486 units and electric cars as much as 2,012 units. It needs more to be developed in 2022.

“The Indonesian government needs to encourage the development of locally produced technology to capture bigger opportunities such as decreasing the CAPEX of renewable energy projects. Therefore, it is easier for developers to get technology with high quality and low prices without imports. Thus, there will be a lot of investment not only in renewable energy projects themselves but into the industrial sector in Indonesia in general,” said Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini, Senior Researcher in Renewable Energy, IESR.

IESR realizes that decarbonization of the energy sector requires a large number of funds, around USD 20-25 billion per year, according to the IESR study on Deep Decarbonization of Indonesia’s energy system (IESR, 2021). IETO 2022 reviews some funding opportunities available from private or public entities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, which can be used to finance the energy transition. These funding opportunities include government incentives (fiscal and non-fiscal), international financing assistance, and more unconventional financing mechanisms such as green bonds/Sukuk, regional bonds, Islamic finance, and blended finance.

“Renewable energy financing should not be seen as a burden despite being an opportunity and strategy to shift investment from fossils to renewable energy. There are many sources of funding that can be a source of renewable energy investment. The government can use its APBN to attract investment from these funding sources, for instance by mapping renewable energy resources, conducting technological research, and pilot projects for new renewable energy projects that have not been developed such as marine energy, as well as providing de-risking instruments to attract investment,” closed Fabby.

The complete development of the energy transition will be discussed at IETO 2022.

Fossil Energy Subsidies Hinder Energy Transition

press release

Jakarta, 12 November- Despite the commitment to step up climate action and achieve the Paris Agreement target of keeping the earth’s temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the G20 countries, including Indonesia, are still providing significant fossil energy subsidies. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views fossil energy subsidies as counterproductive to energy transitions and achieve decarbonization in the middle of this century.

At the early stage of the pandemic, the G20 countries disbursed at least USD 318.84 billion to support fossil energy. Meanwhile, according to Climate Transparency 2021 data, Indonesia has spent USD 8.6 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2019, 21.96% of which was for oil and 38.48% for electricity.

Indonesia had succeeded in reforming fuel and electricity subsidies in 2014-2017 but still allocated a fairly large fossil energy subsidy. Energy subsidies increased by 27% in the period 2017-2019.

“The provision of fossil energy subsidies not only hinders plans and efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and decarbonization but also results in inefficiency in energy use. It also creates loss due to untargeted subsidies, and makes renewable energy difficult to compete with,” said Fabby Tumiwa, IESR Executive Director.

Ending fossil fuel subsidies will create a level playing field for renewable energy. Moreover, in his opinion, fossil energy subsidy funds will be much more beneficial if they are diverted to the most vulnerable communities, building education and health facilities, developing renewable energy, and accommodating the impact of the energy transition for workers in the affected fossil energy industry. 

“Energy subsidy reform on the consumption side should not be carried out haphazardly so that the poor do not have access to quality energy at affordable prices. On the other hand, financial reforms need to be followed by collecting and applying the poor family databases and targeted subsidy distribution schemes,” explained Fabby. 

Fabby believes that the pricing policy for Domestic Market Obligation (DMO) coal and gas for PLN is a form of subsidy and has made the price of electricity from coal-fired power plants and gas-fired power plants not reflect the actual costs. This policy also makes PLN prioritize the use of coal-fired power plants over renewable energy, which is cheaper.

“The government should review the DMO price benchmark policy for power generation and make a plan to end this policy. This is in line with the government’s decision to not grant permits for the construction of new coal-fired power plants outside the 35 GW program and plans for early retirement of coal-fired power plans before 2030,” said Fabby.

Climate Transparency 2021 analysis shows that to achieve the Paris Agreement targets, all regions of the world must phase out coal-fired power plants between 2030 and 2040. By 2040, the share of renewable energy in power generation must be increased to at least 75%, and the share of unabated coal-fired power plants is reduced to zero. While in the National Energy Policy, Indonesia promised to reduce coal by 30% by 2025 and 25% by 2050. Meanwhile, to be in line with the Paris Agreement, electricity generation from coal must peak in 2020 and stop coal completely by 2037.

Based on IESR calculations in the Deep Decarbonization of Indonesia’s Energy System study, the cost to transform Indonesia’s energy system to achieve zero emissions in 2050 will reach USD 25 billion per year until 2030. It will escalate sharply thereafter to USD 60 trillion per year.

“Fossil energy subsidies increase the negative impact of GHG emissions as well as add the burden on the state due to economic losses and state financial expenditures to overcome disasters caused by climate change. These subsidies can be diverted to help accelerate the energy transition using renewable energy so that we can achieve the renewable energy mix target of 23% by 2025,” said Lisa Wijayani, Program Manager of the Green Economy, IESR.

At the G20 Declaration last October in Rome, the G20 countries agreed to extend their commitment to reducing inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. IESR views that Indonesia can use the opportunity of Indonesia’s leadership at the G20 in 2022 to encourage real action to exit the burden of financing fossil energy.

“The commitment of the G7 countries to provide climate finance of USD 100 billion by 2025 is still not enough. Therefore, G20 countries must contribute, one of which is by carrying out financial reforms towards renewable energy that supports a green economy. Indonesia as the leader of the G20 countries in 2022, can encourage G20 member countries to carry out financial reforms,” ​​said Lisa.

She said every financial policy that leads to support for fossil energy must receive attention and be strictly inventoried by the Global Stocktake (GST) as part of monitoring the climate action of the Paris Agreement. 

According to a report by the Independent Global Stocktake (iGST), a civil society consortium to support GST, the GST can offer a platform for countries to collaborate in reforming fossil fuel consumption subsidies.

“Information that is inventoried into the GST must also include social elements in it so that the objectives of climate finance in achieving economic growth and social inclusion can be achieved. This GST process must include organizations representing economic, environmental, energy, and social elements, especially gender issues and other vulnerable communities, to ensure that the just transition takes place,” said Lisa.

 

Signed the Global Declaration to Phase Out Coal, Indonesia Needs to Prepare a Coal Transition Roadmap

Jakarta, 05 November 2021- At the 26th World Leaders Summit on Climate Change or COP-26, Indonesia signed the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition declaration. On the same day, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, also stated that the government was reviewing the opportunity to early retire coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 9.3 GW before 2030 (4/11/2021) which could be done with funding support reaching $48 billion.

Although Indonesia has decided to exclude the third point of the Global Coal to Clean Power Transition, which demands to cease the issuance of new permits and the construction of unabated coal-fired power plants, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) appreciates the steps taken by the Indonesian government, especially the leadership shown by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources at COP-26, to encourage a just energy transition through the development of renewable energy as widely as possible and to phase out coal-fired power plants as part of Indonesia’s action to prevent a global crisis.

“The openness of the Indonesian government to make an energy transition, through one of which is reducing the power plant in stages, should be appreciated. Post-Glasgow, the government, and the National Energy Council must accelerate the preparation of a comprehensive roadmap and strategy for the energy transition in Indonesia. Dependence on fossil energy will end if we do not rapidly increase the capacity of renewable energy. The policy focus is no longer coal as the first option, but renewable energy must be the main choice. So the energy transition needs to be carefully designed, with the priority of developing and utilizing renewable energy as much as possible and optimizing energy efficiency,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR.

Fabby emphasized that the decision to gradually stop fossil fuels, especially coal-fired power plants, is inevitable, not only from the perspective of the climate but also from the economic side of technology.

“Remarkably, with innovation and the price of renewable energy and storage technology is more competitive than fossil energy, the use of renewable energy to ensure the reliability of energy supply to achieve net-zero emission is becoming more feasible,” said Fabby.

The results of the IESR analysis from the study of Decarbonization of Energy Systems in Indonesia projected that renewable energy complemented with storage batteries will increase significantly by 2045. The share of batteries will reach 52% of the total storage system, followed by hydrogen at 37% and other storage systems around 11%. The share of electricity demand covered by energy storage increases significantly from around 2% in 2030 to 29% in 2045. The main users of battery storage will come from utility-scale systems, and to a lesser extent from commercial and industrial areas, and housing systems.

Concerning the early 9.3 GW of coal-fired power plants with details of 5.5 GW of early retirement without replacement to renewable energy power plants and 3.2 GW of early retirement with the replacement of renewable energy plants, Deon Arinaldo, Manager of the IESR Transformation Program, views this as a progressive step for decarbonization of energy system in Indonesian. However, according to IESR’s calculations, to implement the Paris Agreement targets and keep the global average temperature rise below 1.5C, there is around 10.5 GW of steam power plants that need to be retired before 2030.

“There is still a difference of 1.2 GW that needs to be retired and can be targeted for coal-fired power plants outside PLN’s business area,” said Deon.

Referring to the study of Indonesia’s Energy Decarbonization System, at least it requires investment in renewable energy and other clean energy of USD 20-25 billion per year until 2030 and increasing thereafter for the gradual financing of coal and the development of renewable energy for emission-free by 2050. However, phasing out coal-fired power plants will avoid the risk of financial loss from the stranded assets which reached USD 26 billion after 2040.

With large funding requirements for the gradual cessation of coal-fired power plants, Indonesia is working with ADB to launch the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) program, which is expected to raise around $3.5 billion to launch 2-3 coal-fired power plants per country.

“The existence of ETM, which will provide a financing platform, is expected to be able to provide a source of funds to retire the steam power plant and encourage the larger investment flows in renewable energy. This is crucial so that Indonesia can optimally plan the transformation of its energy system,” concluded Deon.***

COP 26, Indonesia Has No Ambitious Climate Action Breakthrough

Jakarta, 03 November – President Joko Widodo at the 26th World Leaders Summit on Climate Change or COP-26 did not announce a firm statement about increasing Indonesia’s climate ambitions. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views that the Indonesian government should be using this moment to lead and encourage the G20 countries to set compatible climate action with the Paris Agreement. However, in his speech at COP 26, President Jokowi seemed to hand over the responsibility to developed countries to determine the achievement of carbon neutral conditions in Indonesia. It showed the less ambitious state of the Indonesian government in dealing with the climate crisis.

“Indonesia should clearly state its climate ambitions, increase its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets and convey the funding needs from developed countries to achieve peak emissions by 2030 and decarbonization by 2060 or earlier. Unfortunately, the President did not state targets and plans for more ambitious mitigation actions in his speech,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR. He is also currently in Glasgow attending the COP 26 event.

The Climate Transparency Report, Country Profile of Indonesia 2021 finds that staying in the current NDC unconditional reduction target of 29%  will contribute to increased emissions (excluding the emissions from land use) to 535% above 1990 levels, or around 1,817 MtCO2e in 2030. Meanwhile, to stay below the 1.5˚C temperature limit, Indonesia’s 2030 emissions should be around 461 MtCO2e (or 61% above 1990 levels). This indicates an ambition gap of 1,168 MtCO2e.

“As a country that has quite large natural and mineral resources, such as nickel, Indonesia can raise its climate ambitions beyond the target of 29% by 2030. Moreover, if Indonesia with a large population has implemented energy conservation and efficiency since earlier, without the funds from a developed country, Indonesia can reduce carbon greater than the target in the NDC,” explained Lisa Wijayani, Manager of the Green Economy Program, IESR.

Furthermore, IESR observes that Indonesia’s plan, which was stated by Jokowi on the same occasion, to transition to clean energy is still constrained by regulations that have not yet been issued. Jokowi proposed to build the largest solar PV in Southeast Asia, but until today the Regulation of Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources No. 26/2021 Regarding Rooftop Solar Power Plants is still waiting for approval at the Ministry of Finance. Besides, the Presidential Regulation regarding new and renewable energy, which has been awaited since early 2021, has not yet been released.

“The Indonesian government should simultaneously issue appropriate regulations to create a more massive renewable energy ecosystem for development, as well as encourage investment from developed countries. Clear regulations and targets can open up greater opportunities for investors to invest in renewable energy,” added Lisa.

Not only that, but in his attention, Jokowi also plays an important role in carbon markets and prices in solving climate problems. This October, the government has issued the Law on Harmonization of Tax Regulations. A carbon tax of IDR 30 per kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalent will be applied to the number of emissions that exceed the stipulated emission limits (cap and tax).

“The determination of the carbon tax price at IDR 30 per kg (USD 2 per ton) is still very far from the recommendations of the World Bank and IMF which set the carbon tax price for developing countries to be in the range of USD 35-100t/CO2e. Even the IPCC report explains that the carbon tax rate in 2020 is in the range of US$ 40-80/tCO2. With a small carbon tax rate, the government’s goal to reduce carbon emissions significantly through this carbon tax will not be achieved,” said Lisa.