Jakarta, September 27, 2023 – Indonesia has established various energy transition policies that will affect domestic coal consumption. Apart from that, Indonesia still relies on 75-80 percent of its coal production for exports to several coal export destination countries such as China, India, and Vietnam, which have also set targets for reducing coal consumption to align with their net-zero emission (NZE) marks. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views that Indonesia needs to anticipate the potential decline in Indonesian coal exports by ensuring that the energy transition somewhat takes place, achieving sustainable economic transformation, and collecting data on the impact of reduced coal consumption on various aspects of life such as financial, social and environmental.
The Executive Director of IESR, Fabby Tumiwa, in the seminar “Sunset CFPP and the Coal Industry: Reviewing Multisectoral Direction and Impact in a Just Energy Transition” organized by IESR, estimated that the demand for coal in the country will peak between 2025 and 2030. After that, the market is expected to decrease significantly. Furthermore, the data suggests that coal exports will follow a similar trend and are expected to decline after 2025.
“If domestic demand and coal exports fall, production will fall. IESR estimates that Indonesia has 5-10 years to make adjustments by carrying out economic transformation in coal-producing regions in Indonesia in line with the decline in coal production, which has an impact on reduced demand for coal-producing countries and regions,” said Fabby.
Fabby emphasized that in ensuring a just energy transition, it is necessary to consider at least three factors: assessing the connection between the local economy and coal, the readiness of existing human resources, and developing mitigation plans considering alternative economic options that can be implemented in the area.
Ilham Surya, Environmental Policy Analyst of IESR, mentioned that the energy transition would impact coal-producing areas in Indonesia, such as Muara Enim Regency, South Sumatra, and Paser Regency, East Kalimantan. Based on the IESR report entitled Just Transition in Indonesia’s Coal Producing Regions, the Paser and Muara Enim Case Study found that the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) has contributed approximately 50% and 70% to Muara Enim and Paser over the last decade. Moreover, the coal mining taxes and royalties profit-sharing funds, known as DBH, have contributed significantly to the government’s revenue (APBD), up to 20 percent in Muara Enim and an average of 27 percent in Paser.
“Our input-output modeling analysis in Kab. Muara Enim shows that coal only provides added value in compensation of around 20 percent for workers, compared to 78 percent used for the coal company. Despite the mining sector’s high contribution towards GRDP (50-70%), locals do not receive an equitable share, leading to an imbalanced distribution of benefits and no significant multiplier effect,” explained Ilham.
Ilham emphasized that coal-producing areas require economic transformation to reduce dependence on the coal-based economy. The IESR study found several leading sectors that could be developed, such as in Paser Regency, which could create Financial Services, Manufacturing, and Education. Meanwhile, Muara Enim Regency can focus on developing manufacturing capabilities and providing accommodation, food, and beverages.
To monitor the impact of the energy transition on the coal sector, IESR has developed a coal impact tracking platform, or Coal Impact Tracker, which creates three scenarios for the future of coal. The Coal Impact Tracker platform tracks the impact of coal from various sectors such as population, employment, health, and others. The three scenarios are the BAU (Business as Usual) scenario, the Best Practice Policy (BPS) scenario, and the System Dynamic scenario in collaboration with the Bandung Institute of Technology. The platform is still in progress and is expected to be released in February 2024.
“The platform, which will be called radarbatubara.transisienergi.id is a form of IESR’s contribution in educating relevant stakeholders through visualization of information on important economic, social, environmental and health indicators. Regional governments, communities at coal industry locations, and coal industry workers can use this platform to anticipate the impact’s magnitude and prepare in advance,” explained Deon Arinaldo, Program Manager of Energy Transformation, IESR.