Jakarta, 27 October 2022 – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) launched the Indonesia Solar Energy Outlook 2023 report. This report was originally part of the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook (IETO) which has been routinely published every year since 2018. Starting this year, the solar energy section is made in a separate report to provide a more in-depth report on the development of solar energy in Indonesia and the supporting ecosystems that solar energy needs to grow in Indonesia.
Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, in his remarks at the Shine Bright: Advancing G20 Solar Leadership event organized by IESR with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and in collaboration with the International Solar Alliance, and the Indonesian Solar Energy Association, stated that solar energy prices remain competitive despite the existence of increase in the price of raw materials for the manufacture of solar panels. Fabby also emphasized the importance of developing the solar industry for both Indonesia and all G20 countries which are in the spotlight in efforts to reduce global emissions.
“Developing cooperation in solar manufacturing among G20 countries will secure the supply of solar module and cell production, balance systems to meet future demand, and reduce product monopolies.”
On the same occasion, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, emphasized the need for support from the industry and local solar module manufacturers to meet the requirements for the Local Content Requirement (LCR) considering that Indonesia has mineral materials to make solar modules and batteries.
“Easy access to financing, incentives, and other financing facilities is very important to provide the cost of a feasibility study and increase investment in renewable energy, one of which is solar,” said Arifin.
Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance, said that to make solar energy the energy of choice, three things that must be taken as strategic steps. First, providing the latest information, analysis, advocacy, and establishing relationships with various parties. Second, providing adequate resources so that solar energy investments ‘flow’ is important because investors will assess and weigh various situations that can affect the return on their investment capital.
“ISA approved the creation of a solar energy financing facility that provides risk capital guarantees,” explained Ajay.
Ajay added, the third step, it is important to build the capacity and capability of various parties who handle the development of solar energy such as policymakers, operators, and regulators.
Daniel Kurniawan, the lead author of the Indonesia Solar Energy Outlook 2023 report, presented some findings from this report. One of them is that although solar energy is getting more and more attention until Q3 2022 only 0.2 GWp of solar has been built.
“Based on the 2021-2030 RUPTL, PLN plans to add 3.9 GW of solar energy in 2025, of which 2.45 GW will be procured under the IPP scheme and 1.45 GW will be auctioned directly by PLN. However, until Q3 2022 there are only eight IPP projects with a capacity of 585 MWp,” explained Daniel.
Presidential Decree number 112/2022 which was issued in September 2022 is expected to provide fresh air for the energy transition in Indonesia, at least with regulations on renewable energy prices and instructions to accelerate the termination of coal-fired power plants.
To encourage the acceleration of the use of solar energy, the ISEO 2023 report recommends some steps, including PLN which can arrange a schedule for renewable energy auctions, especially solar for 2023. Previously, the government had to set ambitious and binding targets for renewable energy in certain years, for example 30% in 2025-2030, 90% in 2040, and 100% in 2050. With a target like this PLN must make room for solar energy in the PLN network.
“The IEA analysis shows that the Java-Bali and Sumatra systems can accommodate 10% of solar energy from their total capacity with flexible PLTU operations,” explained Daniel.
Although the system is technically capable of handling solar energy variability, the main challenge in realizing greater solar penetration is contractual inflexibility (particularly due to the take-or-pay clause in the coal plants power purchase agreement with the IPP as well as the primary energy supply contract for gas).
Daniel also added, considering the readiness of the domestic solar manufacturing industry, the percentage of Local Content Requirement (LCR) needs to be adjusted for a limited time, for example until 2025. While preparing the domestic manufacturing industry for decarbonization.
Finally, ISEO 2023 also recommends that PLN review the policy on limiting the installation of rooftop solar PV.
Henriette Faergemann, Environment, Climate Action EU Delegates to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, stated that it is important to create an ambitious and consistent energy transition policy to provide a strong signal to investors and financial institutions so that they are interested in participating in financing the energy transition.
“There is good progress for Indonesia in formulating its policies, but there are still many things that need to be done and improved if Indonesia wants this (energy transition) to happen quickly,” Henriette explained.
Joshua Wyclife, Chief of Operations International Solar Alliance, agrees that structural change is needed and this change starts with policy. Joshua also stated that this ISEO report is one way to increase awareness for various parties about the current situation of solar energy development in Indonesia.
“One way to maximize solar potential in Indonesia is to increase the level from awareness to advocacy, by various parties through various ways such as workshops, facilitating training programs with existing resources,” said Joshua.
Meanwhile, Rahmat Mardiana, Director of Electricity, Telecommunications, and Information at the National Planning Agency (Bappenas), stated that this report would be studied further considering that Bappenas is currently preparing national development planning documents such as the RPJP and RPJM, one of which is about the energy transition strategy.
“With our commitment to achieve the RUEN, Paris Agreement, and NZE targets, of course we must provide reliable electricity at affordable prices, and gradually fossil power plants will be replaced by renewable energy,” explained Rahmat.
Dewanto, Vice President of Various Energy PLN, said that PLN continues to support the development of renewable energy.
“The Business Plan (RUPTL) is a tangible manifestation of PLN’s support for new and renewable energy. According to the RUPTL, until early 2023 PLN will auction almost 1 GW of renewable projects,” Dewanto said.