Seeing the Opportunities and Challenges of the Decentralized Energy Transition

Bali, 30 August 2022 – Local governments and communities can be the catalyst for accelerating the energy transition. The decentralized energy transition requires a relatively shorter time because it is carried out on a small scale and the impact can be directly felt and seen by the community.

Ganjar Pranowo, Governor of Central Java, in the G20 parallel seminar “Decentralizing energy transition: Advancing the role of the community and subnational government” (30/8), that in the context of developing renewable energy, asymmetric decentralization is needed, which means that each local government is given sufficient space to design the development of renewable energy according to the potential and situation of the region.

“The potential for energy independence in these villages, from a business perspective, is not good because the scale is relatively small for a business scale, but if we don’t make examples such as installing 20 kWp solar PV for 8 MSMEs in Jepara, off grid solar PV for water pumps, or micro-hydro with a capacity of 15 kWp that electrifies 75 households, by really utilizing the potential that exists locally, it will not be realized, so we need the courage to change,” said Ganjar.

Ida Ayu Giriantari, Special Staff for the Governor of Bali, stated that the community, especially the Balinese, have a high enough awareness to protect the environment and switch to more environmentally friendly energy sources.

“Clean energy has been the foundation of Bali’s life and vision for development since the beginning and was stated in Pergub 45/2019, when the central government made clean energy policies nationally, we felt that there was support from the central government,” he said.

In March 2022, the Governor of Bali issued a circular letter for government offices and tourism buildings to install rooftop solar. This is one of the ways to pursue Bali’s target of achieving carbon neutral status by 2045.

“With the cooperation of all stakeholders and the community, I am optimistic that we can achieve Bali Net Zero Emission 2045,” said Ida Ayu.

Passed by the Batang Hari river, Jambi province began to introduce the use of renewable energy in the 2000s including hydropower, wind (Tanjung Barat and Timur), and solar.

“Currently we are preparing an integrated energy consumption assistance program for kitchens and households, or what we call the Boenda program. We will launch it soon,” explained Abdullah Sani, Deputy Governor of Jambi at the same event.

Sani continued that the Jambi provincial government is committed to working with the central government and the private sector to develop energy transition because the available resources are considered abundant but still need to transform them into usable energy.

Bob Saril, Director of Commerce and Customer Management of PT PLN stated that his party as an electricity provider in Indonesia has designed an energy transition scheme through the RUPTL (General Plan for the Provision of Electricity) based on renewable energy.

“In the current RUPTL, the share of renewable energy reaches 52%, this is the first step in the transition we are planning. That after 2022, we will no longer add new coal commitments,” said Bob.

Chrisnawan Anditya, Head of the Planning Bureau of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, stated that the differences in NRE potential in various regions are a technical challenge as well as a great opportunity for our energy system.

“This allows the sharing of NRE-based energy, when the area experiences energy abundance or scarcity. In order for this to happen, an integrated power system is needed (SmartGrid and SuperGrid),” explained Chrisnawan.

The energy sector is expected to become a major emission contributor if not taken seriously. Togap Simangunsong, Expert Staff to the Minister of Home Affairs for Social Affairs and Inter-Agency Relations, the Ministry of Home Affairs, explained that his party continues to monitor the provinces in drafting the RUED (Regional Energy General Plan) as a derivative of the National Energy General Plan (RUEN).

“27 out of 34 provinces already have Regional Regulations on RUED and a number of provinces are still in the process with various progress for the preparation of their RUED,” said Togap.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR reminded regional leaders to align the RUED with the RPJMD so that the policies made are in line so that their implementation can run smoothly. He also emphasized the importance of community participation in energy transition initiatives in the regions

“The community can participate in investing in renewable energy by installing rooftop solar panels in their respective homes. Local governments can also contribute by allocating budgets to this sector. If domestic investment grows well, foreign investment will be more interested to chip in, ” explained Fabby.

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