Jakarta, September 18, 2023 – An energy transition in the electricity sector that prioritizes equitable principles and is affordable for society requires a combination of strategic factors, long-term commitment, and policies that lead to investment opportunities for the development of renewable energy and technological innovation. This was stated by Deon Arinaldo, Program Manager of Energy Transformation, Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR).
“All forms of investment, especially for energy infrastructure with a lifespan exceeding 20 years, it is essential to have long-term policies and legal certainty in place to ensure success. This is important for project developers and financial institutions to calculate the project risks. Moreover, renewable energy projects require relatively large initial investments compared to other energy sources. By committing to long-term targets and synergies from various existing policies and regulations, the level of investment risk can be reduced so that renewable energy projects remain bankable with low-interest funding,” explained Deon.
Febrio Nathan Kacaribu, Head of the Fiscal Policy Agency, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia in the 2023 Indonesia Energy Transition Dialogue (IETD), said that energy transition carried out by a developing country like Indonesia must take place in just and affordably. He assessed that to achieve an Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of 29% unconditionally (with its own efforts) in 2030 in the energy sector, it would reach IDR 3,900 trillion. However, the financial requirements of an Enhanced NDC (ENDC) with an unconditional emission reduction target of 31.89% are still being estimated.
Febrio explained that his party had made several breakthroughs in efforts to finance the energy transition in Indonesia, including expanding investment through green sukuk, with the total investment mobilization from the issuance of green sukuk reaching USD 6.54 billion from the 2018-2022 period as well as implementing several regulatory frameworks in Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) has been carried out. Febrio emphasized that collaboration for blended finance with the private sector has increasingly great opportunities.
“One of the obstacles for the private sector (to invest in the energy transition, ed) is the lack of a common understanding or taxonomy. This year, with Indonesia as chairman of ASEAN, one of the things agreed was that transition activities would also include the early termination of coal-fired power plant operations, which are included in the transition finance taxonomy. There are green provisions with certain limits that can be financed by the private sector; for example, if early retirement of coal fired power plants (CFPP) before 2040, then the private sector will join in (financing-ed),” said Febrio.
Dadan Kusdiana, Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) mentioned that the trend in the cost of renewable energy tends to decrease while fossil energy, such as coal, is increasing. Dadan mentioned, although the investment needs for the energy transition are very large, Indonesia has the potential for renewable energy and various forms of financing, which also come from various international organizations.
“Large investment (for the energy transition, red) is an opportunity to transition the energy sector. Indeed, there will be an increase in costs, but we will feel the benefits of reducing the costs of renewable energy in the long term,” explained Dadan.
Jonathan Habjan, Economic Counselor at the United States Embassy in Indonesia, said that the energy transition is a challenging process and involves many people over a long period, so it needs to be done correctly and efficiently.
“Of course, this will cost a lot of money, require a lot of effort, and change how business is done in many ways,” he said.
Jonathan added that to ensure that the energy transition somewhat takes place, it is necessary to involve people classified as vulnerable, including those who still work in the coal industry.
The Indonesia Clean Energy Forum (ICEF) and the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), held the 2023 Indonesia Energy Transition Dialogue (IETD) on 18-20 September 2023.