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IESR: The establishment of the Renewable Energy (RE) Implementing Body Won’t Solve the Problem

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Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), assessed that the establishment of the RE Implementing Body, which was initiated in the RE Bill, won’t solve the problem of the slow development of renewable energy in Indonesia.

“Don’t get trapped in the logic of cutting the compass, hoping (the formation of) an institution will solve the problem, but instead it will raise new problems (later),” he explained in the FGD FPKB DPR RI (RI House of Representative) (2/2/2021).

Fabby viewed that the RE Bill should have identified the main obstacles in achieving the renewable energy mix target, such as in terms of the policy, institutional, social, technical, and infrastructure so that it can accelerate the development of renewable energy.

“The formation of a special business entity is closely related to the national target, and the institution must adapt to the supporting environment. Meanwhile, the RE Bill is aimed at forming an ecosystem for the development and utilization of renewable energy and overcoming the obstacles that we have experienced so far, “

He analyzed that all this time, the development and utilization of renewable energy was constrained by the PLN factor. As long as PLN’s financial problems are not resolved, the penetration of renewable energy into the PLN system will be hampered. He also mentioned the renewable energy mix target of 23 percent by 2025, which until the end of 2020 still only reaches around 10 percent.

“The 23 percent target of RE in PP No. 70/2014 is not immediately integrated into the 2015 RUPTL and the 35 GW program. While the 35 GW program with coal-fired power plants is running, it turns out that electricity demand is not as big as projected. PLN is in a dilemma condition. Meanwhile, in the next 5 (five) years, PLN will have to add more than 10 GW to reach 23 percent even though they have the capability of only 5 GW, for example, “he explained. 

Fabby took the example of a business entity that the Government of India formed, namely the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) in 2007, to solve the problem of climate change. At that time, more than 70 percent of power plants in India used coal. Meanwhile, India is rich in water, solar, and wind. Finally, the Indian government is targeting the development of 20 GW PLTS by 2022. Since the program launched in 2010, India has succeeded in achieving 100 GW of renewable energy at the end of 2020. 

India’s success is inseparable from SECI’s role. For the implementation of PLTS to run smoothly, SECI is tasked with working on various solar rooftops schemes such as VGF, solar parks, grid-connected rooftop PVs, and others. SECI also coordinates between utilities, transmission companies, regulators, finance and others, so that the development of renewable energy projects is not impeded.

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