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Sub-National Energy Transition as The Acceleration of the National Energy Transition to Reduce Carbon Emissions


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Jakarta, June 2023 – World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year. This commemoration is carried out to increase public awareness regarding the importance of protecting and caring for the environment. However, current environmental conditions indicate  a worsening situation. This is evident from increasing temperature on Earth, which has the  potential to accelerate climate change. The rise in temperature is primarily caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing by approximately 1.3% annually over the past five years. Therefore, various efforts are needed to reduce these emissions, and one of the key approaches is to promote energy transition.

How does Energy Transition Contribute to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions?

Energy transition involves shifting from using fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas, to utilizing renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, or hydropower. By doing so, carbon dioxide emissions, one of the major greenhouse gases, can be significantly reduced. Currently, around 73% of emissions are generated by the energy sector, which heavily relies on fossil energy. Transitioning to renewable energy that does not produce carbon emissions can significantly improve the environment. In fact, adopting renewable energy during the energy transition can potentially reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 75%. Additionally, as part of the energy transition, it is crucial to cancel the new coal-fired power plant (CFPP) project and proactively retire existing coal-fired power plants. Implementing these energy transition measures can only play a vital role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and should be prioritized.

Why can Sub-National Energy Transition Efforts Accelerate the Achievement of Energy Transition Goals?

Accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions necessitates expediting the energy transition process. One effective approach is to focus on sub-national energy transition efforts. Energy transition initiatives at the sub-national level can contribute to a more active and widespread national energy transition. Research conducted by Cowell in 2016 suggests that sub-national energy transition actions planned and executed by local governments can shape overall national energy transition. Local governments have the influence to increase renewable energy capacity. Each region possesses unique renewable energy sources and varying conditions, requiring tailored management strategies. Sub-national governments can identify and prioritize the potential strengths of their regions, leading to the development of specific policies that address the challenges of renewable energy transition. Furthermore, these policies issued by sub-national governments can attract businesses with a focus on renewable energy, thereby fostering technological advancements and facilitating the implementation of renewable energy projects in the area. Engaging local leaders can also boost community support and cooperation for the energy transition.

Indonesia is one country actively pursuing a sub-national energy transition. Local governments in Indonesia have begun designing the Rancangan Umum Energi Daerah (RUED), a policy framework aimed at accelerating sub-national energy transitions and subsequently contributing to the national energy transition. RUED ensures the availability of renewable energy sources at the sub-national level. As of June 7th, 2023, 30 provinces have stipulated RUED. Several provinces that are actively promoting the energy transition in their regions are Central Java. The governor of Central Java has issued a governor circular letter, as well as various types of initiatives to improve the energy transition. It can be seen that up to the 2nd quarter of 2022, Central Java has installed solar PV reaching 22 MWp which plays a role in the national energy transition. Similarly, the Bali government has also issued circulars to support the use of renewable energy, such as Governor Regulations (Pergub), namely Pergub No.15 of 2019 and Pergub No.48 of 2019. The Bali government has also taken the initiative to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, a head of national target. This initiative is known as Bali Net Zero Emission 2045.

These sub-national energy transition efforts are expected to accelerate the realization of the national energy transition. By accumulating the progress made at the sub-national level, the implementation of the national energy transition can be expedited and optimized.

Photo by Pete Alexopoulos on Unsplash

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