Clean Energy Acceleration to achieve NZE in the Energy Sector 2050

press release

Jakarta, 20 December 2021 – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) launched the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook (IETO) 2022 report. IETO 2022 is an annual report that reviews the development of the energy transition in Indonesia and outlooks the challenges and opportunities of the energy sector in reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the following year. In the 5th year of the launch of the IETO report, IESR highlighted the government’s commitment to decarbonizing the energy sector, policy, and regulatory innovation to attract renewable energy investment and emphasize the role of the private sector and local governments in accelerating the energy transition in Indonesia.

IESR views that deep decarbonization of the energy sector is critical to be in line with the Paris Agreement target of limiting the increase in the earth’s temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Generating as much as 34% of total emissions in 2019 makes the energy sector the second-largest emitter after Forest and Land Use (FOLU) in Indonesia. If there is no planned decarbonization effort, it is projected that the energy sector will become the largest emitter in Indonesia by 2030 and make it even difficult to achieve the Paris Agreement targets.

“In 2022, the government and all stakeholders must strive to increase the use of renewable energy and promote energy efficiency in buildings and industry. In 2025, the government must achieve the target of 23% of the renewable energy mix. Likewise, it must pursue the energy sector emissions to reach their peak before 2030. These two milestones are an indication of whether we can achieve decarbonization in the middle of this century,” said IESR Executive Director, Fabby Tumiwa.

The Indonesian government has set its commitment to making an energy transition by retaining a larger portion of renewable energy generation capacity, 51 percent or as much as 20,923 MW in 2030 in PLN’s RUPTL 2021-2030. However, to align with the 1.5℃ decarbonization target, based on the IESR study, at least 140 GW of renewable energy is needed, which is dominated by PLTS by 2030.

IESR believes that achieving this big target requires a serious evaluation of the quality of the current policies and regulations. In the last five years, since PP No. 79/2014 on KEN was passed, the growth rate of renewable energy tends to be slow. Data from IETO 2022 shows that in the last five years, renewable energy has only increased on average by 400 MW.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government also puts coal in transition scenarios such as the CCS/CCUS program for coal-fired power plants, coal gasification, and even coal co-firing. IESR stated that using CCS/CCUS technology in steam power plants will result in higher electricity prices and an increased risk of potentially stranded assets due to non-competitive costs. Furthermore, the application of co-firing and clean coal technology such as coal-fired power plants (CFPP) Ultra-supercritical results in insignificant emission reductions, thus making the effectiveness of these technologies questionable.

“The cost of generating electricity from using CCS in CFPP will compete with renewable energy technology plus storage. So far in the world, CFPPs with CCS  still have problems in operating and achieving emission reductions. Even one of the CFPP projects with CCS, such as Petra Nova in Texas, was closed after only operating for approximately 4 years. So, the readiness of today’s technology, as well as the projected price of technology in the coming decades should be the main consideration. The priority must have been given to the technology with the most competitive costs, which are renewable energy,” explained Deon Arinaldo, Manager of Energy Transformation Program, IESR.

One of the authors of the IETO 2022, Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini said that although it had not yet reached the set target, the installed capacity of renewable energy, especially from solar PV, rose to 17.9 MWp, and electric vehicles such as electric motorcycles experienced a slight increase of 5,486 units and electric cars as much as 2,012 units. It needs more to be developed in 2022.

“The Indonesian government needs to encourage the development of locally produced technology to capture bigger opportunities such as decreasing the CAPEX of renewable energy projects. Therefore, it is easier for developers to get technology with high quality and low prices without imports. Thus, there will be a lot of investment not only in renewable energy projects themselves but into the industrial sector in Indonesia in general,” said Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini, Senior Researcher in Renewable Energy, IESR.

IESR realizes that decarbonization of the energy sector requires a large number of funds, around USD 20-25 billion per year, according to the IESR study on Deep Decarbonization of Indonesia’s energy system (IESR, 2021). IETO 2022 reviews some funding opportunities available from private or public entities for climate change mitigation and adaptation, which can be used to finance the energy transition. These funding opportunities include government incentives (fiscal and non-fiscal), international financing assistance, and more unconventional financing mechanisms such as green bonds/Sukuk, regional bonds, Islamic finance, and blended finance.

“Renewable energy financing should not be seen as a burden despite being an opportunity and strategy to shift investment from fossils to renewable energy. There are many sources of funding that can be a source of renewable energy investment. The government can use its APBN to attract investment from these funding sources, for instance by mapping renewable energy resources, conducting technological research, and pilot projects for new renewable energy projects that have not been developed such as marine energy, as well as providing de-risking instruments to attract investment,” closed Fabby.

The complete development of the energy transition will be discussed at IETO 2022.

Book Discussion “Jejak dan Langkah Energi Terbarukan Indonesia” or “Indonesia’s Renewable Energy Trails and Steps”

Book Discussion “Jejak dan Langkah Energi Terbarukan Indonesia” or “Indonesia’s Renewable Energy Trails and Steps”. This dynamic of renewables development in Indonesia has been covered by the media. Kompas, as one of the biggest media in Indonesia, has created many in-depth coverage writings on this topic. These daily in-depth reports are compiled in a book called “Jejak dan Langkah Energi Terbarukan Indonesia”, written together with the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR). This book aims to describe the actual conditions of energy transition in the field.

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COP26: A “Soundless” Recital by Jokowi

Many parties are waiting for President Joko Widodo’s speech at COP26. Jokowi is expected to declare more ambitious commitments to reduce emissions and deal with climate change as well as to outline concrete steps towards net-zero emissions. Indonesia’s strategic position as the leader of the G20 countries in 2022 should make Indonesia take one step ahead to lead efforts to reduce emissions for G20 member countries.

Unfortunately, in his speech at the High Level Segment for Heads of State and Government COP26 session, President Jokowi did not announce a higher climate ambition target nor a concrete commitment to support the Paris Agreement target to limit the increase in the average temperature of the earth below 1.5 degrees Celsius and achieve carbon neutral by the middle of the century. The IPCC AR6 report has stated clearly that we have less than a decade left to keep the earth’s temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius. The opportunity to increase Indonesia’s climate ambitions is still open and of course the Government must take it and make the best use of it to save the earth from the damage caused by climate change.

Efforts to reduce emissions and address climate change must be seen as both a responsibility and an opportunity to transform Indonesia’s economic system from a carbon-intensive one to a more sustainable low-carbon economic system. According to the IESR Deep Decarbonization study, the transformation of the energy system will create 3.2 million new jobs in the renewable energy sector. An ambitious commitment by setting targets for reducing ambitions that are larger than the current NDC and building a comprehensive energy transition roadmap will send a good signal for investors to invest in Indonesia. This will encourage Indonesia’s economic strength to become more globally competitive.

Previously at the G20 Summit which took place on October 30-31 2021, the leaders of the G20 countries agreed to achieve net-zero emissions by the mid of this century. However, this commitment has not yet been accompanied by a target for the phase-out of coal-fired power plants. Holding a strategic role in the G20 leadership, Jokowi could actually take the opportunity to encourage G20 countries to stop operating coal-fired power plants and switch to renewable energy. Of course, in this case, Indonesia also needs to implement a policy of abandoning coal so that it can set an example for other G20 countries.

In addition, there is a difference between actions and facts on the ground in Jokowi’s speech at COP 26. He mentioned that he would build the largest PLTS in Southeast Asia and encourage the use of renewable energy to reduce emissions in the energy sector. However, until COP 26 took place, supportive policy support for the PV mini-grid ecosystem, such as the Revised Regulation of Ministerial Regulation 49/2018 concerning the Use of Rooftop Solar Power Generation Systems by Consumers of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero) as well as Presidential Regulations concerning new and renewable energy, had not been officially issued.

More ambitious climate action is urgently needed now as the effects of climate change are becoming more frequent as La Nina returns. The Climate Transparency report 2021 states that changes in La Nina and El Nino patterns will have an impact on the onset and duration of the rainy season in Indonesia. This affects the agricultural sector such as rice production. The World Bank’s global risk analysis places Indonesia in the twelfth of 35 countries that face a relatively high risk of death from exposure to floods and extreme heat. Ranked as the fifth country with a population that lives in areas lower than the coastal zone, Indonesia is also vulnerable to sea-level rise.

Indonesia is able to make a significant contribution to tackling climate change and preventing worse impacts from the climate crisis. Utilizing vast forests as carbon sinks, having renewable energy potential reaching 7879.4 GW, and playing a strategic role in the G20 Indonesia should be able to achieve and exceed the current NDC target of reducing emissions by 29% on its own and up to 41% with international support from business as usual in 2030. By doing this, Indonesia will not only save the environment but also transform the economic system, as well as demonstrate leadership innovation to the members of the G20 countries.

IESR: Beware of Emissions in the Energy Sector, Special Strategies Are Needed to Reduce Emissions

Jakarta, 21 October 2021 – In the 26th Conference of Parties to be held in Glasgow on 31 October – 10 November 2021, the Government of Indonesia carries four main agendas, namely NDC Implementation, Fulfillment/Completion of the Paris Rule Book, Long Term Strategy 2050, and Net-Zero Emission goal.

On this occasion, Indonesia will highlight the reduced rate of deforestation in the last 5 years and efforts to restore peatlands. In addition, efforts to reduce emissions in the energy sector will also be discussed, such as providing a larger portion of renewable energy in the Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL).

Hari Prabowo, Director of Development, Economy and Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the webinar entitled “The Road to COP26 A Climate Superpower Indonesia; Collaborative Efforts to Tackle Climate Crisis” organized by Katadata and Landscape Indonesia, explained that Indonesia will bring a positive and openness to take part in efforts to control climate change.

“Basically, Indonesia is ready to be part of the solution and will be leading by example. We have good achievements in the forestry sector and continue to strive to reduce emissions in various fields,” he explained.

Hari Prabowo emphasized that in overcoming the climate crisis it is time for us to avoid naming and shaming, i.e feeling that our country is better at dealing with climate change than other countries.

“We must show the initiative to play a role in tackling climate change without blaming which party should be more responsible. This climate change requires the collaboration of all parties to ensure that our big goals are achieved,” he concluded.

On the other hand, on the same occasion, the Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Fabby Tumiwa stated that Indonesia should be more ambitious in setting targets for climate control and emission reduction.

“If we look at the latest NDC document that was submitted to the UNFCCC, Indonesia’s main target for the energy sector is still not ambitious. To suppress the increase in the earth’s temperature to only 1.5 degrees, in 2030 IESR calculates that 70% of the power generation mix must be from renewable energy, if we look at the NDC or other plans such as the RUPTL, it seems that this target has not been achieved, “said Fabby. 

Fabby agreed that the forestry and land use change (AFOLU) sector as the largest emitter (60%) in Indonesia is a priority sector to reduce emissions. However, other sectors such as energy are predicted to produce greater emissions than the AFOLU after 2024-2025, and by 2030 will become the dominant emission source in Indonesia, thus it requires special attention and strategies for reducing emissions in the energy sector.

Fabby also mentioned that the financial need for climate management is huge. In the energy sector alone, it takes USD 30-40 billion per year until 2030. The next period, 2030-2050 investment needs will increase to USD 50-60 billion per year. Indonesia must pursue the commitment of developed countries to provide financial assistance for the climate crisis to developing countries.

Dharsono Hartono, President Director of Rimba Makmur Utama, added that Indonesia has a strategic role in climate crisis control diplomacy. According to him, as a country that has a large tropical rain forest and the largest peatland area, Indonesia’s responsibility in maintaining the increase in the earth’s temperature is very crucial.

“Without Indonesia contributing to global efforts to tackle climate change, the target of the Paris Agreement will not be achieved,” said Dharsono. 

Anticipating rising emissions, Indonesia climate action is considered highly insufficient

Jakarta, 28 Oktober 2021Indonesia has updated its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) document. However, Indonesia’s target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 is assessed as “highly insufficient”. This shows that Indonesia’s climate policies and actions are still leading to increased emissions. To be compatible with the Paris Agreement, Indonesia needs to set more ambitious targets and policies, notably in sectors that contribute to increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and boost the flow of international climate-related finance.

Throughout 2019, the energy sector was still the largest contributor to GHG emissions (45.7% except for the FOLU or forest and land-use sector). The power generation sub-sector is responsible for 35% of GHG emissions, followed by transportation and industry with 27% each. The Climate Transparency Report 2021 states that although Indonesia has proposed increasing renewable energy in terms of electricity, transportation, and industry, there is no strategy to phase out coal gradually and unavailable policies that encourage competition for renewable energy with coal. Climate Transparency Report 2021- the world’s most comprehensive annual record and comparison of G20 countries’ climate action, even projecting that Indonesia’s post-pandemic GHG emissions will soar beyond the emission level in 2019 as the revival of economic activity.

“Based on the IESR study, at the very least, to be compatible with the Paris Agreement, the reduction of carbon emissions in the energy sector should be above 500 million tons,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) at the launch of the Climate Transparency Report, Country Profile of Indonesia 2021.

Fabby explained that there are three strategies that the Indonesian government can take to reduce GHG emissions from the emission sector.

“First, increasing the renewable energy mix. It must reach 50% in 2030. Second, fostering energy efficiency, remarkably from the transportation sector. Our energy consumption per capita for electricity is relatively low, while the demand for transportation fuels is very high, and it is a contributor to highest emissions,” he said.

Furthermore, Fabby said that early retirement of at least 10 GW of coal-fired power plants (CFPP) or not extending the contract would be effective in reducing emissions.

Until 2020, Indonesia’s electricity sector will continue to be dominated by fossil fuels (82%), with coal accounting for the highest share (62%) in electricity generation 2020. As a result, the emission intensity of the electricity sector for five years from 2015-2020 has not changed significantly, only decreasing by 1%. Meanwhile, the average of G20 member countries has declined 10 times faster.

The Indonesian government has not yet fully implemented its commitment to reduce emissions from coal. To meet the carbon-neutral goal by 2060, the government has announced that they would not build a new coal-fired power plant after 2023. However, at the same time, around 2 GW of coal capacity has started operating. Moreover, in the NDC, Indonesia promised to reduce coal by 30% by 2025 and 25% by 2050. Meanwhile, according to the analysis of the Climate Transparency Report 2021, electricity generation from coal must even reach its peak in 2020 and need to stop coal completely by 2037 to align with the temperature rise limiting path at 1.5°C.

To reduce GHG emissions, a large amount of funding is needed. Therefore, public funding must have started to lead to actions that can tackle climate change more seriously.

“Therefore, subsidies in the fossil energy sector must begin to stop and accelerate the energy transition through renewable energy funding,” said Lisa Wijayani, Green Economy Program Manager, IESR.

In her opinion, investment in green energy and its infrastructure needs to be greater than in fossil fuels in 2025. So far, Indonesia has spent 8.6 billion USD on fossil fuel subsidies in 2019, 21.96% of them on petroleum and 38,48% on electricity.

Furthermore, Lisa added that the implementation of a carbon tax can be a good start in encouraging efforts to reduce GHG emissions, which are mainly contributed by the electricity, transportation, and industrial sectors as the largest emitters in Indonesia in the energy sector.

“However, there needs to be a more feasible mechanism so that the implementation of a carbon tax can reduce emissions significantly and promote a climate-resilient economy through even greater efforts, for instance, through carbon trading,” Lisa said