Jakarta, 6 January 2023 – The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) is revising the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation No. 26/2021 concerning rooftop solar PV connected to the power supply grid owned by the holders of power supply business licence for the public interest (Izin Usaha Penyediaan Tenaga Listrik untuk Kepentingan Umum) or commonly referred to as IUPTLU. This change is intended to address the difficulties with installing rooftop solar PV that has occurred in the last year since the ministerial regulation was officially issued.
In the public hearing that was held on Friday, January 6 2023, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources presented substance changes, including there is no limit to the maximum capacity of 100% installed capacity of a rooftop solar power plant, but based on system quota, electricity exports are abolished (no longer counted as bill deduction), capacity costs for industrial customers is nullified (no longer 5 hours), and the transition rules for existing customers are enforced within a certain time.
“Since it was promulgated in August 2021, MEMR Reg No. 26/2021 practically does not work because PLN refuses to implement it. As a result, the government’s target of 450 MWp of additional solar PV capacity in 2022 was not achieved. This revision seems to be a meeting point between the government’s interests and PLN and accommodates PLN’s interests in reducing the potential for electricity exports from solar PV users due to net-metering regulations considering the overcapacity conditions. But AESI regrets that this accommodation has the potential to reduce the economy and interest in residential rooftop solar PV, which has the potential to grow,” said Fabby Tumiwa, Chairman of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI) in Jakarta.
Since January 2022, 10-15% rooftop solar PV capacity restrictions have occurred in various regions in Indonesia for customers, both residential on the kilowatt scale to industrial customers with capacities on the megawatt scale. This capacity limitation discombobulated the provisions of MEMR Reg No. 26/2021 (maximum 100% installed electric power) and reduced potential customers’ interest to adopt rooftop solar.
In the proposed changes to the substance of the Ministerial Regulation, the capacity limit of up to 100% will not be reinstated but will be based on a quota system with first come, first serve. This change directly responds to capacity restrictions occurring in the field. However, the technical determination of system quotas needs to be clarified, especially concerning renewable energy development plans in the regions. In addition, the period for setting quotas per 5 years is too long due to the dynamics of electricity supply technology.
AESI supports the determination of quotas by taking into account the reliability of the IUPTLU electricity network but proposes that capacity quotas be determined every 2 years, with a review conducted every six months.
Eradicating net metering by eliminating the export of electricity to the PLN grid, which applies to all customer categories without exception, will have major impacts on the residential (household) market. The current economic level of rooftop solar PV is still influenced by net metering because the household load profile is mostly at night. The absence of exports will lessen the reduction in household electricity bills and extend the payback period for purchasing a rooftop solar system, making rooftop solar unattractive for household customers.
“A market survey conducted by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) in 7 provinces in Indonesia in 2019 – 2021 shows that the economy of solar PV is an important and determining factor for residential customers to use rooftop solar. The majority of respondents also want to get savings of at least 50% and clear and fast installation procedures,” added Marlistya Citraningrum, Manager of the IESR Sustainable Energy Access Program.
The National Strategic Project (PSN) for rooftop solar PV with a target of 3.6 GW in 2025 and achieving the 23% renewable energy target requires community participation. With just a 20% market share for R2 and R3 class customers (3,500 VA and above), there is a potential of 400,000 households throughout Indonesia – equivalent to 1.2 GWp of rooftop solar if each instals a minimum of 3 kWp.
The impact on residential rooftop PV will reduce the benefits of creating green jobs through small-scale solar PV installation businesses targeting the household market segment, which has started to grow since 2018. With the potential for adoption spread across various cities in Indonesia, the residential rooftop solar PV market also contributes to the opening of green jobs, for example, technicians and installers, and the growth of MSME rooftop solar PV installers. If the latest revision of the MEMR regulation is passed with the currently proposed clauses, the growth and opportunities of these green businesses will certainly be hampered. AESI and IESR recommend that net metering be implemented for residential customers with export-import calculations which can be discussed later.
In the public hearing, there were many questions raised by solar energy developers (developers), installers (EPC companies), local governments, and rooftop PV users.
AESI assesses that instead of supporting the renewable energy transition, the revision of this regulation will hinder the addition of rooftop PV. For this reason, AESI proposes that the export of electricity from residential customers is still permitted on condition that the installed capacity is 100% of the customer’s power. This provision is reviewed within 5 years or after the residential rooftop PV reaches a cumulative 5% of the total installed capacity of generators in the system.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has opened a channel for submitting input for this process until January 13, 2023.