Aligning the Electricity Supply to the Paris Agreement Pathway

Jakarta, 24 November 2022 – Electricity has become a primary need as well as an economic driver for everyone. The demand for electricity is predicted to continue to increase both from the industrial sector and from the residential sector. In order to meet this demand and reduce emissions in the energy sector, planning with greater use of renewable energy should be designed in the RUPTL (Electricity Supply Business Plan).

In the 2021-2030 RUPTL, PLN plans to increase renewable energy capacity by up to 51.6%. Unfortunately, the amount of this target is not enough to meet the target of the Paris Agreement, which is to limit emissions and global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Akbar Bagaskara, IESR’s power system researcher, during the launching of the study report “Enabling High Share of Renewable Energy in Indonesia’s Power System by 2030” explained that as a country ranked in the top 10 largest emitters in the world, Indonesia has a responsibility to reduce its emissions systematically.

“Electrification in all sectors ranging from industry, transportation and other sectors as well as the maximum utilization of renewable energy is the main key to reducing Indonesia’s emissions and then pursuing the Paris Agreement target,” Akbar explained.

Akbar explained that the renewable energy capacity that can be added to the system reaches 129 GW consisting of 112.1 GW of solar energy, 9.2 GW of water energy, 5.2 GW of geothermal energy, 1.5 GW of wind energy, and biomass of 1 GW.

Akbar also added that this study was a follow-up of the “Deep Decarbonization of Indonesia’s Energy System” study launched by the IESR in 2021 which looked at the possibility of Indonesia’s energy system achieving net zero emission (NZE) status by using 100% renewable energy in 2050.

Kamia Handayani, PT PLN’s EVP Energy Transition and Sustainability, explained that the 2021-2030 RUPTL is indeed not suitable for pursuing the Paris Agreement target.

“RUPTL is indeed not fully aligned with the Paris agreement because there is still coal involved. We (PLN) have several scenarios to reach NZE, based on PLN’s NZE roadmap until 2060, CCS can be a technology that is utilized. Yet, we must see future technological developments to meet the NZE target,” said Kamia.

Elrika Hamdi, Energy Finance Analyst at IEEFA, added that in order to align with the Paris Agreement targets, there needs to be one agency that monitors the implementation and development of renewables.

“There needs to be an agency that ensures development targets and renewable procurement which, for example, is issued by the government in the electricity system so that curtailment can be anticipated,” said Elrika.

Ikhsan Asa’ad, Chairman of the Executive Board of PJCI, highlighted the importance of building a strong domestic renewable energy industry such as solar to meet ambitious renewable energy targets.

“Currently, the price of renewables is still relatively more expensive than PLN’s electricity, but the more massive the use, the more competitive the price is expected to be. Local industry must begin to be prepared to meet the increasing demand for renewable energy components in the country,” he emphasized.

Eko Adhi Setiyawan, Lecturer, University of Indonesia, said that there is a need for demand management to mobilize customers. In addition, it is necessary to translate the Paris Agreement terminology into more concrete targets.

Coal-Fired Power Plants Retirement Commitment Needs to be Followed Up Immediately

press release

Raditya Wiranegara (right), IESR Senior Researcher, explained the findings of the “Financing Indonesia’s coal phase-out report” at the Indonesia Sustainable Energy Week (ISEW) 2022

Jakarta, 11 October 2022The government’s decision in Presidential Regulation (Perpres) 112/2022 to no longer build new coal-fired power plants, and to limit the operation of all coal-fired power plants to 2050 at the latest, needs to be supported by political, financial, and social readiness.

A study by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) together with the University of Maryland, to comply with the Paris Agreement to limit the increase in average temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius, Indonesia can immediately retire 4.5 GW of coal-fired power plants within a period 2022-2023.

“The benefits that can be achieved from the early retirement scenario of the coal-fired power plants are about 2-4 times greater than the costs incurred to retire the coal-fired power plants,” said Raditya Wiranegara, Senior Researcher at IESR at Indonesia Sustainable Energy Week (ISEW) 2022.

In addition, he also explained that the accelerated retirement of coal-fired power plants could prevent deaths from reaching 168 thousand people by 2050, and the total health cost savings that could be obtained would be around USD 60 billion by 2050.

Furthermore, Raditya explained that most of the costs needed for coal-fired power plants retirement include the cost of abandoned assets with two-thirds related to the retirement of IPP’s coal-fired power plants.

While waiting for all coal-fired power plants to be fully retired in 2045, Raditya continued, the government can carry out flexible coal-fired power plant operations to make room for renewable energy to enter Indonesia’s energy system.

Koben Calhoun, Principal Carbon Free Electricity, Global South Program, RMI added by citing an IESR study which states that the decarbonization of the energy sector in Indonesia in 2050 will take as much as USD 25 billion/year until 2030 and USD 60 billion/year until 2050 for investment into renewable energy, electrification, and supporting infrastructure.

“Three pillars approach to financing coal transition, recovering capital from the assisting asset and other entities, and refining the existing assets there will be an opportunity to reinvest in clean energy and other tech allowing low carbon power systems and finding support for just energy transition.,” explained Calhoun.

According to him, Indonesia can lead an ambitious energy transition and demonstrate financial mobilization with ambitious government commitments, and leadership towards energy transition platforms and funds has a clear early retirement roadmap preceded by the implementation of pilot projects and has a blended financial structure. finance) to lower capital costs and mobilize finance for the energy transition. Ensuring funding needs as well as the interests and goals of potential investors, who tend to finance renewable energy and no longer want to finance coal projects, are important to be able to open the funding faucet.

Architrandi Priambodo, Senior Energy Specialist at the Asian Development Bank also revealed that early retirement of coal-fired power plants, in addition to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, will also reduce overall generation costs in the long term.

He explained that this is one of the goals of the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) program to accelerate the termination or repurposing of coal-fired power plants, especially parts of the power plant assets that can be utilized further, such as transmission and substations.

“In the ongoing ETM feasibility study, financial analysis and transaction structures are also discussed, which include commercial and legal structures to efficiently terminate the coal-fired power plants assets,” said Architrandi.

Melli Darsa, Senior Partner at PwC Indonesia, on the same occasion said that if political conditions are favourable, early retirement plans for coal-fired power plants need to be followed by implementing regulations related to the technical aspects of early retirement for coal-fired power plants to provide higher legal certainty.

“The government has gone in the right direction, in terms of making it very clear that the international commitment is based on strong high-level regulation being on the president’s regulation, the ministers are supposed to go and do a follow up on this. However there is still reluctance of the board to take risks to decide because it might be the right thing, but if there are no clear roles, instead it is assigned,” explained Melli.

ISEW is held in collaboration with the Indonesia Clean Energy Forum (ICEF), the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), and Clean, Affordable, Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE). CASE is a cooperation program between two countries: Indonesia – Germany (Directorate of Electricity, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Ministry of National Development Planning/Bappenas, and funded by the Ministry of Economy and Climate Action of the German Federation Government). Previously, discourse on energy transition in Indonesia was routinely held at the Indonesia Energy Transition Dialogue (IETD), which this year participated in ISEW 2022. First held in 2022, ISEW will last for 5 days from 10-14 October 2022 with the theme Reaching Indonesia’s Net Zero Energy System: Unite for Action and Strategy. All levels of society can participate in this activity for free on isew. live.

Learning from the US How to Seize the Climate Opportunity

Jakarta, 13 September 2022 – To combat the climate crisis, our action today will determine the economic, and sustainability of mankind in the long run. The IPCC report has already told us that the remaining time we have to hold the global temperature at 1.5 degree Celsius is limited. Global commitment to address climate change has been pushed through international forums. 

After rejoining the Paris Agreement during the Biden – Harris administration, the United States (US) is actively encouraging global citizens to tackle climate change through policies and strategic planning. Recently, the US just released new regulations i.e Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to boost the utilization of clean energy technology. The US’s target is to reduce 50-52% of GHG emissions by 2030 and use 100% clean electricity by 2035 before being net-zero emission in 2050. 

Nathan Hultman, director of the Center for Global Sustainability University of Maryland, during a public lecture session in collaboration with the Office of the President of Indonesia, and the Institute for Essential Services Reform said that he believes that we can achieve the 1.5-degree level.

“We are surely making some progress and are still on the 1.5-degree track. But our work is not done. We have more work to do especially through policy,” Nathan said.

Nathan emphasizes the need for a multi-stakeholder approach in addressing climate emergencies through the energy transition. He explained that the national government is an important stakeholder in determining the energy transition. However, in energy transition we cannot rely solely on the national government since the idea of energy transition must be embraced by many actors including the sub-national level government and even the private sectors.

“For example, in the US during the Trump administration there are not so many things (climate policy) happening, but there is some progress at the sub-national level that pushes national policy in the upcoming administration,” he explained.

Realizing that most democratic countries have similar stakeholders, this ‘All in’ approach can be duplicated in other countries. Every country is different, but each of us has the opportunity to do more.

Playing a strategic role as a G20 leader this year, Indonesia has a critical point in achieving global climate goals. By proposing a more ambitious climate pledge, accelerating renewables into the system, and adopting EVs in massive numbers, Indonesia can inspire other countries to show concrete action in addressing the climate crisis.

Every country needs to figure out its strategic way to do the transition but learning from others is a need indeed. Global commitment to support funding for energy transition must be fulfilled to assist developing countries in running the transition smoothly.

Hageng Nugroho, the Executive Staff Office of the President of Indonesia emphasizes the role of global collaboration to achieve the net zero target.

“Indonesia pledge to be net zero on 2060, and in achieving it we encounter several obstacles from technology till funding. There are at least four things that must be done by a country to avoid the harsh effects of the climate crisis. First, comply the NDC target, encourage citizen and potential stakeholder to participate’, strengthen the global partnership, and boosting the green economy development,”

Hageng added that the most important point is ensuring that the commitment is manifested into action rather than staying at policy level only.

Welcoming the Gigawatt Order of Solar Energy with Readiness of Qualified Human Resources

Jakarta, 20 April 2022One of the essential things in building a solar PV ecosystem in Indonesia is the readiness of its human resources. Measuring Indonesia’s readiness to enter the gigawatt order, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) held a webinar entitled “Solar Energy Gigawatt Order, Is Indonesia Ready?” in the Indonesia Solar Summit 2022.

The General National Energy Plan (RUEN) targets a solar PV capacity of 6.5 GW in 2025. It opens up opportunities for high solar PV demand. RUEN also mandates the use of solar cells at a minimum of 30 percent of the roof area of ​​all government buildings, and 25 percent of the roof area of ​​luxury houses.

Anthony Utomo, Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), views that this opportunity needs to be met with the availability of local workers to provide, install, maintain and maintain solar PV. 

“AESI in the solarpreneur program collaborates with universities so that training (related to rooftop solar PV) is available to the community, the installation can be served properly, and in the end it can create new jobs,” explained Anthony.

Ratna Muntiowati, Marketing Director, TotalEnergies Renewables DG emphasized that seeing the development of solar PV getting more and more widespread in Southeast Asia, therefore, in the near future, the solar PV market will not only be in Indonesia. Moreover, she stated that the curriculum of renewable energy should be applied in all science majors.

“Tantangan yang kita hadapi dalam instalasi di atas bangunan ialah struktur bangunan tidak terlalu kuat. Hal ini bisa juga dimasukkan ke dalam kurikulum pendidikan.Bahkan saat ini, Standar Nasional Indonesia (SNI) untuk civil construction, sudah memasukkan ketentuan untuk instalasi solar panel. Ini yang bisa diimplementasikan oleh lembaga pendidikan. Sehingga saat ada instalasi atau desain pabrik baru (untuk PLTS atap), sudah diperhitungkan sesuai SNI,”ujarnya.

Daniel Pianka, Universitas Kristen Immanuel (UNKRIM), Yogyakarta sepakat bahwa pelatihan dan edukasi energi terbarukan memainkan peran penting dalam membangun SDM yang berkualitas. Berdasarkan pembelajaran dari pemasangan 10 kWp panel surya di universitasnya, Daniel mengungkapkan bahwa kemampuan SDM yang mumpuni dalam melakukan instalasi panel surya turut menentukan keawetan sistem panel surya yang digunakan.

“Instalasi yang belum baik misalnya menyambungkan kabel hanya dengan isolasi (perekat) akan membuat kabel mudah terbakar jika ada daya yang tinggi. Instalasi yang berkualitas akan membuat sistem surya panel bisa digunakan lebih lama,” tuturnya.

Lebih lanjut, Daniel menjelaskan UKRIM telah membangun program energi. Program ini bertujuan untuk melatih mahasiswa, yang dominan berasal dari daerah 3T (Terdepan, Terpencil dan Tertinggal) untuk menjadi teknisi, melakukan instalasi yang rumit dan merawat PLTS.

“Program ini diharapkan mampu menghasilkan SDM yang terlatih dan termotivasi untuk terjun dalam sektor energi terbarukan, menciptakan banyak proyek energi berkelanjutan, gaya hidup yang lebih baik dan emisi karbon yang rendah,” tukasnya.

Di sisi lain, Eng Purnomo Sejati, Kepala SMK Ora et Labora, BSD menuturkan pihaknya senantiasa beradaptasi terhadap dinamika sektor energi di Indonesia. Semula, sekolahnya dirancang untuk memenuhi kebutuhan SDM pembangunan PLTU 35 GW. Namun, penyesuaian target baru terkait energi terbarukan maupun rencana moratorium PLTU, mendorong lembaga pendidikan yang ia pimpin bertransformasi menuju energi terbarukan.

“Sejak tahun lalu, kami bermanuver untuk membuka area lain seperti energi terbarukan dan surya. Kami sudah melakukan penetrasi dan bermitra dengan perusahaan terkait. Kami juga ingin mengembangkan kendaraan listrik, industrial internet of things (IIOT), dan perawatan gedung dan fasilitas. Bidang ini kami lihat yang akan sustain ke depan,” papar Purnomo.***

“The challenge we often face is the improper rooftop structure that is weak for solar PV installation. This issue can also be included in the education curriculum. Now, the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) for civil construction has included provisions for the installation of solar panels. Educational institutions can take this opportunity to implement. So when there is an installation or a new factory design (for rooftop solar PV), it has been calculated according to SNI,” she said.

Daniel Pianka, Immanuel Christian University (UNKRIM), Yogyakarta agreed that training and education on renewable energy play a significant role in shaping the quality of human resources. Based on lessons learned from the installation of 10 kWp solar panels at his university, Daniel revealed that the ability of qualified human resources to install solar panels also determines the durability of the solar panel system used.

“Improper installation, for example connecting cables only with adhesive tape will lead to burning cable, as comes the high power. A quality installation will make the solar panel system last longer, “he said.

Furthermore, Daniel explained that UKRIM had built an energy program. This program aims to train students, who predominantly come from 3T areas (frontier, remote, and left behind area) to become technicians, perform complex installations and maintain solar PV.

“This program is expected to produce trained and motivated human resources to engage in the renewable energy sector, creating many sustainable energy projects, better lifestyles, and low carbon emissions,” he said.

On the other hand, Eng Purnomo Sejati, Principal of Ora et Labora Vocational School, BSD said that his party always adapts to the dynamics of the energy sector in Indonesia. Initially, the school was designed to meet the human resource needs of the 35 GW coal-fired power plants construction. However, the adjustment of new targets related to renewable energy, as well as, the plan for a PLTU moratorium, has encouraged the educational institutions he leads to transform into renewable energy.

“Since last year, we have maneuvered to open up other areas such as renewable energy and solar. We have penetrated and partnered with related companies. We also want to develop electric vehicles, industrial internet of things (IIOT), and maintenance of buildings and facilities. We look at this field that will be sustainable in the future, “said Purnomo.

Showing Leadership in G20, Indonesia Needs to Increase Solar PV Development

JAKARTA, 20 April 2022 – Carrying the energy transition as the main topic of Indonesia’s presidency at the G20, Indonesia needs to show its leadership in pursuing a more massive renewable energy capacity, especially solar energy. Indonesia can also learn from the experiences of the G20 countries in encouraging the growth of solar energy and accelerating the spread of solar energy.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia and the Institute of Essential Services Reform (IESR), in collaboration with BloombergNEF and the International Solar Alliance (ISA), held a workshop to take lessons from G20 countries in encouraging the application of solar power relevant to developing countries. The workshops were also not limited to policy frameworks, fiscal and financial instruments, market readiness, and human resource development.

Ali Izadi – Najafabadi, Head of Research APAC, BloombergNEF, expressed his optimism that Indonesia has the potential to accelerate the energy transition.

“Some analysts say Indonesia lags behind other G20 countries in renewable energy, especially solar power, but I believe Indonesia can catch up. Indonesia has many opportunities to reform policies or special regulatory measures focusing on improving the energy economy and the environment,” said Ali.

In line with Ali, Rohit Garde, Senior Associate for Solar Energy Financing at BloombergNEF, said that BloombergNEF measures state policies in the electricity sector and carbon policies. For example, Germany and England have 84% and 83%, respectively, which indicates that both countries have good procedures for PV mini-grid. Meanwhile, the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of PV mini-grid in India, China, UAE, and Chile is the lowest due to high levels of solar radiation and large-scale PV mini-grid development. Meanwhile, the LCOE of PV mini-grid in Indonesia is the highest due to its small scale and high cost of capital.

“Indonesia must increase its ambitions by revising regulations and removing development barriers,” added Rohit Garde.

One of the important issues in Indonesia’s leadership in the G20 is the energy transition. Yudo Dwinanda Priadi, Expert Staff to the Minister for Strategic Planning at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said that the power plant plan already has an Electric Power Supply Business Plan Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) 2021-2030. A greener RUPTL is a cornerstone of achieving zero carbon by 2060.

“Solar Power Plants (PLTS) have the largest optimization in Indonesia and will reach 4,680 MW by 2030. Therefore, solar energy has the most abundant potential. In addition, the cost continues to decline, and the rapid development of PV mini-grid technology has made solar power generation a priority. The development of rooftop PV mini-grid also includes better implementation and incentives for people who want to install rooftop PV mini-grid. The government has issued the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources No.26/2021, and the rooftop PV roadmap is in the process as a National Strategic Program (PSN),” said Yudo.

On the other hand, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR and General Chair of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), said solar energy development in Indonesia is relatively slow with several obstacles.

“In 2021, only 0.001 percent of its technical potential will be implemented. However, rooftop solar power generation has continued to increase in the last three years, and that is due to the support from government regulations. RUPTL 2021 is a signal to increase five times to 4.7 MW, and there are also other projects such as exports to Singapore, Riau Islands, and Batam. Therefore, this project has the potential for massive solar energy development,” said Fabby Tumiwa.

Fabby also added several reasons for the obstacles to the energy transition in Indonesia, such as the Domestic Component Level (TKDN).

“Problems in project development such as land and regulations on the Domestic Component Level (TKDN); existing projects require solar module devices from 40% to 60%, and this has not been met by industry in Indonesia and has not received financial assistance from the state; negotiations are quite long while other countries tend to be faster. The Vietnamese government has strong political will and commitment, regulation, implementation, and incentives for tariff policies related to net metering. What is also important is the policy certainty and transmission of the State Electricity Company (PLN),” said Fabby.

Kanaka Arifcandang Winoto, the Senior Business Developer from Mainstream Renewable Power, explained how Indonesia needs to accelerate to meet the renewable energy mix target of 23% in 2025.

“Indonesia is the largest energy consumer in ASEAN, accounting for almost 40 percent of ASEAN’s total energy use. With the significant potential of solar, geothermal, wind and hydropower resources, Indonesia is well-positioned to develop in a low-carbon energy system,” he said.

According to Kanaka, Indonesia is a key player in achieving 1.5℃, so cooperation with all stakeholders is needed to identify a national roadmap for realizing economic growth and climate security.

Dyah Roro Esti, Member of the DPR, Commission VII, explained that his party is open to public input, especially on renewable energy policies that are being discussed in the DPR RI.

 “Data from DEN, Indonesia must optimize 2.5 GW, and each area has potential, both solar and wind. Therefore, it is necessary to have the motivation and political will to cooperate with local governments in optimizing and realizing this potential. The House of Representatives (DPR) is working on the New Renewable Energy (EBT) Bill and will be open to suggestions. However, the EBT Bill (RUU) is still under discussion,” explained Dyah Roro.

On the other hand, regarding policies at the regional level, Ngurah Pasek, Head of the Sub-Division of Environment and Regional Development, Bappedalitbang Bali Province, added that Bali has implemented Perda 29 of 2020 concerning the General Plan of Regional Energy (RUED) whose derivative is Pergub 45 of 2019 about Bali Clean Energy.

“Installation to regencies and cities in Bali Province, which currently has reached 8.5 MW. The target of the Bali Provincial Government regarding budget refocusing is how the installation of solar rooftop solar panels in offices or companies can run well,” he said.

The development of rooftop solar power plants is also happening in Central Java. Nathan Setyawan, Sub-Coordinator of Natural Resources and Environment, Central Java Regional Development Planning Agency, explained some progress in supporting renewable energy in his area.

“Central Java is the only province that has developed and integrated economic recovery and the use of renewable energy. In 2021, we will encourage not only provincial governments but also regents and mayors and the private sector to implement rooftop solar power plants.”

He emphasized that increasing public awareness and support from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources would encourage the use of communal solar power plants in remote areas. In addition, Nathan hopes that the availability of affordable clean energy supporting technology will help develop the local renewable energy industry.

“Hopefully, there will be a mini silicon valley to develop new renewable energy-oriented industries,” he added.***

Boosting Confidence for Solar Investors in Indonesia

Jakarta, 7 April 2022 – Located on the equator, Indonesia is blessed with abundant yet (unfortunately) untapped solar energy potentials. The Institute for Essentials Services Reform’s study titled, “Beyond 207 Gigawatts: Unleashing Indonesia’s Solar Potential” shows that based on land suitability there are 3 – 20 TWp solar potentials that may generate power up to 4,7 – 27 TWh annually. The huge potential is sadly not followed by proper utilization. The MEMR noted that until the end of 2021 total PV capacity in Indonesia is only around 200 MW. 

Fabby Tumiwa, the Chairman of Indonesia Solar Energy Association and the Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform, during the South Korea Renewable Energy Investment Forum, said that the solar market outlook looks promising especially since the end of 2021 when PLN announced its recent Business Plan (RUPTL) in which it gives spacious slot for renewable energy.

“Solar becomes government focus in RUPTL to reach the 23% RUEN target in 2025 as well the net-zero emissions in 2060 or sooner. Approaches on various types of PV i.e floating, and rooftop need to be done through the regulation improvement,” Fabby said.

Eka Satria, CEO of Medco Power Indonesia, shares his perspective on the current energy transition happening in Indonesia. He believes that the success of energy transition should be driven by policy. 

“Energy transition needs a different environment. We cannot just leave it to the market mechanism where people choose what kind of energy they want to have. Especially in the beginning, policy-driven action is needed,” Eka explained.

Eka added that the best practice in countries that have started the energy transition early is always initiated by the Government that sets up a policy to drive both energy providers and energy consumers to shift to renewable energy.

Byeongwoo Jeon, Managing Director of Global Business Department KEPCO KDN, shares his appreciation that renewable energy development in Indonesia is gaining traction yet a set of challenges still follow. 

“Land acquisition is our number one challenge. In the area where energy demand is high, we usually experience land shortages to install solar PV,” he said.

Jeon also highlighted the complex process to get financing for renewable energy projects. The current regulation such as the required local content and the process to get PPA (power purchase agreement)happening in the lengthy process makes renewable projects hard to get financing.

Fabby Tumiwa added that besides the PPA process that should be shortened, consistent regulation is also important to give investors and the business sector confidence in planting their capital in Indonesia’s renewable energy projects. 

“PLN must also implement the recent Ministerial Regulation number 26/2021 about rooftop solar customers to accelerate rooftop PV adoption,” he said.

The current MEMR’s regulation no 26/2021 about rooftop solar PV contains some improvements from the previous MEMR regulation no 49/2018 such as the 1:1 export-import tariffs, a longer reset period, and a shorter period to obtain approval for construction, but is not yet implemented by PLN though it is officially released by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources as per January 2022.

Sticks with Biofuel Policy

In recent years, the government has been aggressively encouraging the use of biofuel as one of the main alternatives to fuel oil. However, many constraints and impacts on the economic, social, and environmental side arise in this biofuel use program.

The world’s biggest palm oil producer, and exporter, Indonesia, will push ahead with its ambitious biodiesel program even as prices of tropical oil have soared, which could increase the costs of producing biofuel. The B30 program stipulates fossil fuels must be blended with 30% palm oil. The mandate is aimed at soaking up bulging supplies in the top grower. But palm’s premium over gasoil has ballooned to record levels, driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that has tightened global cooking oil supplies.

“We haven’t discussed the evaluated B30 program because it is still running as planned,” Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) said. However, he said that the government could monitor crude palm oil and petroleum prices closely and will prepare options to anticipate any development without elaborating on those plans.

He continued that the problem arises because there are B40 mandates that have been postponed many times, rumors of the B40 loans, and others are skeptical if it is possible to launch B40 mandates in the current situation. But the biofuel strategy must go on because it’s also part of Indonesia energy’s strategy.

Indonesia’s efforts to increase the palm content in biofuel to 40% by 2021 were put on hold due to cheaper fuel costs and record-high palm prices. In addition, raising the blending rate would require the government to provide a significant incentive through the money it collects from palm oil export levies. As a result, road tests for vehicles powered by 40% palm biofuel may be delayed, but discussions on B40 are ongoing.

“Indonesia has several issues in launching the B40 because of the pandemic era. First, in 2020, the oil demands declined. As a result, CPO is lowered, significantly affecting the financial crisis. In 2021, there was uncertainty about the price, and the government didn’t want to give subsidies. The second problem is infrastructure. For example, part of the strategy for increasing biofuel is a refinery prepared by Pertamina in Balongan Refinery, and it’s still in development. But if these problems are solved, all the essential elements of starting the B40 this year make sense,” Fabby said.

 

The B40 plan was delayed again on high CPO prices, but Indonesia is optimistic about the year 2023 being implemented

Doubts have emerged over Indonesia’s plan to roll out B40-type biofuel this early year as the high price of CPO renders such fuel uneconomical. As a result, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has announced a delay in implementing a mandatory 40 percent palm oil-based biodiesel (B40) policy to “prioritize stability” amid rising CPO prices. 

Based on The Jakarta Post’s1 articles on March 29, 2022, Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif said that the government would continue its B30 policy – of 30% palm oil-based biodiesel – in 2022 and devise solutions to maintain the price gap between CPO and biofuel prices. He said that technically B40 is ready to be implemented and is still reviewing whether they’re prepared to produce more CPO. 

“As we know that the B40 program was slated for implementation in July 2021 following the success of the B30 program in 2019, but it was delayed by a year as high CPO prices had made the fuel uneconomical and because of the pandemic condition, but the government had planned to conduct the B40 trial on this year and we optimistic it will be implemented on 2023,” stated Fabby.

Fabby said the government was still committed to escalating the biofuel policy and developing the development plan. As of 28 March 2022, CPO prices had risen 27.5% Year To Date (YTD). The government hopes that increasing the proportion of processed CPO in biofuel would help limit petroleum imports. Indonesia has long been one of the world’s largest crude oil and gasoline fuel importers.

In 2021, the B30 program reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 25 million tons, and the government studied the technological, economic, regulatory, and supporting industry aspects of implementing B40. Fabby suggested that the government begin implementing the mandatory B40 policy in 2023.

 

The Future of Biofuel Strategy

The use of biofuel continues to be increased by optimizing the production of domestic biofuels (BBN). With this policy, it is hoped that by 2027 Indonesia will no longer import fuel to save foreign exchange and improve the welfare of oil palm farmers through the mandatory biofuel program.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) stated that the implementation of biofuel has been successful for 15 years. However, even in biofuel with a blending rate of 30 percent, some time ago, bioavtur was tested on flights from Bandung to Jakarta and vice versa. It turns out that the results are entirely satisfactory, so it can continue to be improved.

Biofuel would act as the main substitute for petroleum fuel, especially in the transportation sector. However, based on IESR’s study, the future potential of biofuel is highly uncertain due to the rapid development of alternative technologies, especially electric vehicles. The government needs to be prudent in developing the long-term plan for biofuel and putting it under the broader energy transition plan. Increasing the biofuel mandate too aggressively could risk the infrastructure becoming stranded assets. 

The energy strategy tried to integrate biofuel planning with electric vehicle adoption and petroleum refinery development. In addition, to reduce the risk of stranded assets, investment in biofuel could be directed to retrofitting existing plants for co-processing or developing biofuel refineries that are more flexible in product portfolio and transformable to other products.

 

Source: 

  1. B40 biodiesel plan delayed again on high CPO prices, 29 March 2022
  2. Critical Review on the Biofuel Development Policy in Indonesia
  3. Energy Intelligent Interview with Fabby Tumiwa 

 

PLN Should Follow Global Transformation to a Cleaner Energy

Kendari, 7 February 2022 – The world is facing major changes in response to the increase in the earth’s temperature which has increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial era. Various global commitments have been agreed to limit the increase in the earth’s temperature to no more than 2 degrees Celsius by the middle of this century. The rise of the global temperature is caused by carbon emissions produced by burning fossil fuels, one of which is in the energy sector.

Indonesia is committed to reducing its emissions by 29% with its own efforts and 41% with foreign assistance, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2060 or sooner.

Dr. Kuntoro Mangkusubroto, senior energy observer, during the “Seminar Pertambangan” – mining seminar, celebrating Indonesia’s National Press Day, said that the energy sector plays a crucial role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“But keep in mind, it doesn’t mean that the net-zero emission issue will only become a burden for PLN because it is related to energy issues. It needs collaboration from various parties to ensure that the 2060 target is achieved,” he concluded, ending his keynote speech.

PLN has a big role in creating a market for renewable energy. To achieve the target of renewable energy, the involvement of the private sector is needed. Therefore, policies and a conducive investment climate need to be orchestrated.

Dadan Kusdiana, Director General of EBTKE at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said that Indonesia is still aligned and on track to meet the international agreement commitments, but there are options for various accelerations.

“We have compiled a national roadmap to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060, and we keep looking for possible options to accelerate existing targets,” he stressed.

Specifically from the electricity sector, Evy Haryadi, Director of Corporate Planning at PLN, stated that his party was currently in a dilemma. On one hand, currently available power plants at affordable prices are fossil generators (coal power) that produce high emissions, replacing them with renewable energy plants requires a huge investment.

“We see a declining trend in electricity prices from renewable energy such as solar and wind currently ranging from 18-21 cents per kWh, compared to coal (6-8 cents/kWh) for now electricity from renewable energy is still more expensive.”

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), reminded that PLN needs to be careful in looking at investment trends in the electricity sector. The commercial and industrial sectors make clean energy the main need and prerequisite for investing in a country.

“Coal-fired power plants are not the cheapest power plants. Government subsidies through the DMO (Domestic Market Obligation) scheme keep coal prices at USD 70/ton, making the price of electricity from PLTU look cheap. Even though the price of coal in the market currently reaches USD 150/ton,” he explained.

Fabby continued, if the coal price of USD 150/ton is transferred to PLTU, the cost of electricity generation will increase by 32% – 61%.

Energy system disruption is happening all over the world. To ensure the reliability, affordability and sustainability of Indonesia’s energy system, PLN must carry out a transformation. This transformation will also reduce the risk of stranded assets for PLN and IPP (Independent Power Producer). As technology develops, it is estimated that in the next few years the cost of installing solar PV and batteries will be cheaper than the operating costs of a coal-fired power plant.

To achieve the common goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2060 or sooner, increasing the capacity of renewable energy must be carried out. The currently operating coal power plant needs to be managed wisely and gradually reduced. The Indonesian government’s plan to phase down 9.2 GW of coal-fired power plants through the Energy Transition Mechanism scheme is the right step, but the government has the opportunity to take more aggressive steps.

Indonesia Needs Inter-island Electricity Interconnection for 100 Percent Renewable Energy Development

Jakarta, 26 January 2022 – The energy sector which is dominated by fossil energy accounts for ⅔ of global emissions. In order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions exponentially, massive use of renewable energy is an important thing to do. One of the efforts to empower 100 percent of the technical potential of renewable energy, which is widely spread across all provinces in Indonesia, is the construction of an interconnection of the archipelago’s electricity network. 

Jisman Hutajulu, Director of Electricity Program Development at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, in the HK Experts webinar (26/1/2022), stated that the government through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has plans to connect the grid system between islands in Indonesia.

“This is to support the 2060 net-zero emission plan. One of the things we want to encourage is the use of NRE, but many NRE sources are far from the many demand sources in Java. So we have to transmit that energy to our load center,” Jisman explained.

Jisman said that his party encouraged PLN to complete interconnections within major islands in Indonesia, which is expected to be fully completed in 2024, later to be connected between islands gradually.

Jisman admits that building this transmission system takes a lot of investment. So the ministry is making a study about priority, to analyze and determine which transmission will be built first. Furthermore, Jisman also mentioned the potential inclusion of this transmission development plan in the Problem Inventory Draft (DIM) of the NRE Bill to ensure the priority of the work.

On the same occasion, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, believes that this interconnection system should be seen as an investment, not a burden from the choice of shifting to clean energy.

“According to IESR, Indonesia has abundant renewable energy potential. For solar alone, the potential can reach 7,700 GW with the largest potential based on land suitability, located in East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan,” said Fabby. 

Fabby also revealed that the initial investment needed for grid interconnection development until 2030 is still relatively small, around USD 3.3 billion because there is no inter-island integration yet. However, the required investment will increase in 2040 and 2050, respectively at USD 34.8 billion and USD 53.9 billion.

Other benefits that Indonesia can enjoy from inter-island grid interconnection include increased reliability and concentrated power reserves.

“For instance, excessive power reserves in Sumatra can be sent to Bangka, and vice versa,” said Fabby.

In addition, an integrated inter-island network can reduce investment requirements for developing new power generation. According to him again, the interconnection of the grid will create a diversity of generation mix and supply security, which is different from fossil energy systems that only come from one energy source. Furthermore, Fabby explained that if this interconnection system is already running, the cost of generating renewable energy will decrease by 18% – 46% by 2030.