Renewable Energy Must Reign Supreme in Southeast Asia

Jakarta, March 27, 2024-Southeast Asia is a world’s fifth-largest economy region in 2022. However, this economic growth comes with a concerning projection: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the region are expected to soar by 60 percent by 2050. Curbing these emissions is pivotal for global efforts to combat climate change. Unfortunately, current endeavors to promote renewable energy in Southeast Asia fall short of aligning with the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), stated at the Revision 2024 International Conference in Tokyo (14/3) that ASEAN countries have set a target to achieve a renewable energy mix of 23 percent by 2025. However, he emphasized that this target doesn’t align with the Paris Agreement’s objectives.

“To align with the Paris Agreement, the renewable energy mix needs to account for 55 percent, with variable renewable energy (VRE) contributing 42 percent. Except for Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines, others have yet to reach 5 percent VRE penetration. The good news is that in 2023, ASEAN countries will have over 28 GW of operating utility solar and wind capacity, a 20 percent increase in operating capacity since last year. Currently, they make up 9 percent of ASEAN countries’ total electricity capacity. But in order for ASEAN countries to meet the goal, they need to install more renewable energy,” Fabby remarked.

Fabby further highlighted the relatively abundant renewable energy resources in Southeast Asia, which are estimated to be 40-50 times greater than the region’s current energy needs. He suggested that utilizing floating solar power plants could be a strategic move towards decarbonizing the energy system. He elaborated on the technical potential, with reservoirs boasting 134 to 278 GW and natural water surfaces such as rivers, lakes, and seas holding 343 to 768 GW. However, he stressed the importance of conducting detailed calculations of the technical, market, and economic potential, as well as site-specific assessments to develop floating solar power plants.

Additionally, he highlighted the need for Southeast Asian countries to adopt more ambitious policies, provide robust budget support and incentives, and enact policies that attract investment. The average annual investment in renewable energy capacity should be increased by five times to USD 73 billion per year.

Fabby emphasized that Southeast Asian countries must elevate their ambitions to meet the Paris Agreement targets. As an immediate step, ASEAN should aim for a 23 percent renewable energy mix by 2025 and 40 percent by 2030.

“Various studies have shown that decarbonizing the energy system with renewable energy in Southeast Asia is feasible; however, current policies and actions are insufficient to achieve significant decarbonization by 2050. While renewable energy resources are abundant and ample, substantial investment is needed. Each country must reform policies and manage risks associated with renewable energy projects to attract and mobilize investors further,” Fabby added.

He also cautioned against perpetuating a narrative that prioritizes fossil energy as a baseload generator under the guise of maintaining energy security, while sidelining renewable energy. Such a narrative, he argued, is counterproductive and contradicts the spirit of the Paris Agreement.

Report Launch Nusa Penida 100% Renewable Energy

Replay Event


Background

The Bali Provincial Government set a vision for 2023,2023,Bali Net Zero Emissions by 2045 in August 2023 supported by non-governmental organization partners. This vision covers the electricity, transportation, and climate entrepreneurship development sectors. This ambitious target can be achieved by the Bali Provincial Government through an effective and collaborative strategy and a targeted and accountable roadmap. To ensure the achievement of these targets, the roadmap to Bali NZE was developed to formulate policies that support the growth of an optimal renewable energy development ecosystem and prepare a green workforce that will drive the transition.

According to Kemenko Marves, Nusa Penida Island, located in the south of Bali, holds five national titles, namely as a National Tourism Strategic Area (KSPN), one of the Outermost Islands, an Aquatic Conservation Area, a Bali Cattle Breeding Center, and a Renewable Energy Development Tourism Area. Nusa Penida’s strategic role can be encouraged as a pilot project to supply electricity powered by renewable energy to supply all electricity needs independently on one island. The existence of the senseinpilot project and the strategic predicate of Nusa Penida is expected to change the paradigm of renewable energy-based energy provision at a broader sense.

To support this initiative, IESR, in collaboration with partners, analyzed the potential of renewable energy (RE) in Nusa Penida that can be developed. Based on the results of the analysis, the potential for RE in Nusa Penida includes rooftop solar power plants worth more than 10.9 MWp, biodiesel power plants (castor plants and seaweed) of more than 2 MW, small-scale wind power plants, and Pump Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) capable of reaching more than 120 MW. Apart from renewable energy, the energy potential in Nusa Penida can also utilize wastewaste (Waste to Energy/WtE) at 700 kW.

After knowing the renewable energy potential of Nusa Penida, IESR also analyzed Nusa Penida’s electricity system in more depth to determine the optimal configuration of generation, transmission, and distribution systems to supply regional energy needs, including the capacity of potential renewable energy power plants, proposed locations, and network adjustment needs. The results of this analysis and study can be encouraged and are expected to become a blueprint for renewable energy-based island development and become part of the Bali NZE 2045 roadmap.

Objective 

This event was organized with the aim of disseminating the results of the Nusa Penida 100% study.

 


Presentation

Potential Mapping for 100% Renewable Energy Nusa Penida

Pemetaan-Potensi-untuk-Nusa-Penida-100-Energi-Terbarukan

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Spreading the Issue of Energy Transitions Through Journalistic

Palembang, 20 February 2024 – Indonesia increased its commitment of achieving the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in 2030 to 31.89% (unconditional) and 43.20% (conditional). The government has also issued Presidential Regulation No. 112 of 2022 concerning the Acceleration of Renewable Energy Development for Electric Power Supply Supports the Acceleration of Domestic Energy Transitions. Various government programs hopefully will help Indonesia to achieve the Net Zero Emission (NZE) target in 2060 or faster.

The media plays an important role in guarding the issue of climate change, including energy transition policies from the government. The media also played a role in building public support while providing education about the issue of energy transition. Through informative and weighty coverage, the media can help form public opinion, motivate actions, and support steps towards a more sustainable energy system.

In this regard, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) with the Palembang Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI) and the Indonesian Environmental Journalist Community (SIEJ) South Sumatra held a network of South Sumatra journalists with the theme “Spreading the Issue of Energy Transitions Through Journalistic” on February 20, 2024, in Palembang. In the event which was attended by 39 journalists from various print and online media in South Sumatra, the speakers from the South Sumatra Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Office, Sriwijaya University, and IESR took turns giving presentations.

Head of Energy Division from the South Sumatra ESDM Office Dr. Aryansyah explained that the realization of the South Sumatra renewable energy mix in 2022 had reached 23.85% or two percent higher than the 2025 target listed in RUED Province. Nevertheless, the utilization of renewable energy has only reached 989.12 MW or 4.7% of the total solar, hydro, wind, bioenergy, and geothermal energy potential of 21,032 MW.

“There are several strategies for implementing regional level energy management in South Sumatra. For example with the issuance of South Sumatra Governor Regulation Number 26 of 2021 concerning the use of battery-based electricity vehicles to support the acceleration of electric motor vehicle programs. As an implementation of the regulation, on April 25, 2022 the South Sumatra ESDM Office had an electric car unit. Another example, we are also conducting a study of potential biomass based on cow dung in Musi Banyuasin Regency, “said Aryansyah.

Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics, Sriwijaya University, Dr. Abdul Bashir explained that from an economic point of view, energy transitions will increase energy security and reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports. Energy transition can also increase economic diversification and create new sources of income that are beneficial to the surrounding community.

“In terms of policy, the government needs to set clear targets and roadmaps for energy transitions. Regulations that support the development of EBT, such as fiscal incentives and facilitate the licensing process can also be considered. The media needs to oversee this issue by providing education about the transition of energy, EBT, and its impact on the community. Conversely, the media can also voice the aspirations and concerns of the community about energy transitions, “said Abdul Bashir.

The IESR Communication Team Kurniawati Hasjanah stated that the mass media was still the main source of information for readers who wanted to explore the issue of energy transitions, followed by research, academic webinars, then influencers on social media. Interestingly, the focus of the news is still dominated by the point of view delivered by the government and business people.

“In preaching the issue of energy transitions, journalists need to understand that new energy generated from technology cannot be categorized as renewable energy, such as nuclear energy, coal gasification, and coal liquidation. Journalists also need to reveal the social and economic implications of energy transitions, including in terms of employment and affected workers. Policies related to energy transitions must be participatory since the transition concerns the lives of many people, “said Kurniawati Hasjanah.

Explore South Sumatra Energy: Promoting Renewable Energy in the Land of Sriwijaya

Palembang, February 26, 2024 – South Sumatra, also nicknamed “Bumi Sriwijaya”, is one of the provinces that achieved a regional renewable energy mix target greater than the national target. In 2022, the renewable energy mix in South Sumatra reached 23.85 percent, higher than the national energy mix target of 23 percent by 2025. To encourage greater renewable energy utilization and promote renewable energy at the regional level, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) through the Energy Transition Academy in collaboration with the Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Office of South Sumatra Province held Jelajah Energi South Sumatra on February 26 – March 2, 2024.

Based on data from the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources, South Sumatra Province, the potential for renewable energy in this area is around 21,032 MW, consisting of solar energy of 17,233 MWp, hydro of 448 MW, wind of 301 MW, bioenergy of 2,132 MW and geothermal of around 918 MW. However, currently only around 4.70% of this potential has been utilized, with an installed capacity of renewable energy of around 989.12 MW.

Secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Agency (ESDM) of South Sumatra Province, Ahmad Gufran said, to encourage the utilization of renewable energy, his party carried out several implementations of regional energy management strategies in South Sumatra. For example, conducting a study of renewable energy potential in South Sumatra. Then, the South Sumatra Provincial Government supports the acceleration of the battery-based electric motor vehicle program for road transportation with the issuance of South Sumatra Governor Regulation Number 26 of 2021 concerning the Use of Battery-Based Electric Motor Vehicles, and encourages the private sector to participate in developing renewable energy both to meet company needs and for corporate social responsibility.

“In order to implement the energy transition, we will continue to contribute to the development of the renewable energy sector to obtain clean energy that is environmentally friendly. In the future, we hope that the utilization of clean energy can be more developed to all levels of society,” said Ahmad Gufan. 

Sub-National Coordinator, Sustainable Energy Access Program, IESR, Rizqi M Prasetyo mentioned that South Sumatra is known as an energy granary, particularly renewable energy such as solar energy. According to him, South Sumatra has the largest solar potential among other technical renewable energy potentials. However, its utilization is actually small, only 7.75 MWp in the 2012-2022 period. For this reason, IESR believes that South Sumatra can encourage the use of ground-mounted solar power and rooftop solar power by preparing supporting regulations and policies, conducting socialization about solar power in the community, and encouraging community participation to be involved in the adoption of rooftop solar power accompanied by attractive incentives. Rizqi views that the collaboration between the government, the private sector and the community is the determining factor for the success of the utilization of environmentally friendly energy.

“Based on the practice of utilizing renewable energy in South Sumatra from the private sector at the Solar Power Plant (Solar PV) in Tanjung Raja Village, Muara Enim, South Sumatra, it has been useful for irrigation of agricultural land for farmers in the village. The solar power plant has a capacity of about 16.5 Kilowatt peak (kWp), with about 525 farmers benefiting from the irrigation solar power plant and enabling harvests more than 3 times a year. The government needs to encourage initiatives from various sectors to gain benefits from the huge potential of renewable energy such as solar energy, so that more and more people can feel the impact both environmentally and economically,” said Rizqi.

Rizqi explained that IESR realizes that access to knowledge about renewable energy and its benefits tends to be limited. Meanwhile, proper understanding is needed to mobilize support for renewable energy development in the regions. Addressing the knowledge gap on renewable energy, IESR has provided an energy transition learning platform called the Energy Transition Academy that can be openly accessed by the public.

“IESR, through the academy.transisienergi.id platform, has provided various energy transition classes that are organized in an interesting and easy-to-understand manner. Not only learning about energy transition, IESR also has a special channel for everyone who wants to know about rooftop solar PV adoption by visiting solarhub.id,” Rizqi explained.

In Jelajah Energi South Sumatra, participants will be invited to see firsthand various renewable energy projects that are already running in various locations in the province, including PT Pupuk Sriwidjaja Palembang’s PLTS, Tanjung Raja Village Irrigation PLTS, and PT Green Lahat’s PLTMH. In addition, there were discussion forums and meetings with relevant stakeholders, to discuss strategic steps in accelerating the implementation of renewable energy in South Sumatra.

 

About Institute for Essential Services Reform

The Institute for Essential Service Reform (IESR) is a think tank organization that actively promotes and strives for the fulfillment of Indonesia’s energy needs, upholding the principles of justice in natural resource utilization and ecological sustainability. IESR engages in activities such as conducting analysis and research, advocating for public policies, launching campaigns on specific topics, and collaborating with diverse organizations and institutions.

Civil Society Recommendations for the Development of Indonesia’s Second NDC

press release

Jakarta, February 2, 2024 – Indonesia, under the coordination of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), has initiated the drafting process for its Second National Determined Contribution (SNDC) aimed at emissions reductions by 2030 and 2035. The MoEF intends to submit the SNDC to the UNFCCC in 2024.

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) along with several civil society organizations have requested for revisions in the SNDC, proposing updated scenarios and targets aligned with the objective of limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. They advocate for striving to achieve the ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius, as set forth by the Paris Agreement and reinforced by the Global Stocktake decision at COP 28.

IESR also urges the government to engage public participation in the preparation process of the SNDC. Furthermore, it is essential for the government to adhere to the principles outlined in Article 4, Line 13 of the Paris Agreement and the provisions of the COP series during SNDC preparation.

Currently, the government continues to utilize the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario for calculating emission reductions. However, civil society deems this scenario irrelevant as a basis for emission calculations. Indonesia must transition to a more accurate calculation system that references relative emissions in a given year, considering a realistic trajectory of global and Indonesian economic growth.

“While the emission reduction target in the Enhanced NDC (ENDC) appears to be increasing, it still does not align with the goal of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Presently, the ENDC target only aims for a 31-43 percent reduction below BAU. If using the BAU calculation method employed thus far for setting emission reduction targets in the NDC, Indonesia’s target should be at least a 60 percent reduction from BAU for unconditional efforts and a 62 percent reduction from BAU for conditional efforts with international assistance. These figures do not include emission reductions from the agriculture, forestry, and land sectors,” remarked IESR Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa.

According to the analysis conducted by IESR, using 2022 emissions as the benchmark for target setting, Indonesia must establish an unconditional emissions reduction goal of 26 percent, equivalent to 859 MtCO2e by 2030, and a conditional reduction target of 28 percent, amounting to 829 MtCO2e with international assistance. These targets are crucial for contributing to the objective of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In addition to increasing emission reduction targets, Indonesia must also diminish the reliance on fossil energy sources such as coal and gas within its energy system. Based on calculations from the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), the coal component in Indonesia’s electricity system should be reduced to 7 to 16 percent by 2030, with the phasing-out of PLTU operations before 2040. Similarly, gas usage needs to be curtailed to 8 to 10 percent by 2030, with phasing-out operations by 2050.

Deon Arinaldo, IESR’s Energy Transformation Program Manager, emphasized that the reduction in the fossil energy mix should be accompanied by an increase in the share of renewable energy, ranging from 55 to 82 percent by 2030. However, it is worth noting that the target listed in the ENDC pertains to the installed capacity of renewable energy rather than the actual mix. IESR contends that solely focusing on installed capacity does not adequately reflect the relationship with emission reduction objectives.

“With the clarity of the renewable energy mix target in the electricity sector, it becomes possible to anticipate and even calculate the emission intensity of the electricity sector by 2030 to achieve the SDNC target. Furthermore, a significant presence of renewable energy will offer a clearer roadmap for electricity planning, specifying the types of renewable energy that should be prioritized to bridge the existing gap. With only 7 years remaining, it’s evident that solar and wind power plants, known for their shorter construction periods, should take precedence in development efforts to meet the mix target. Additionally, interventions are necessary for fossil fuel power plants, emphasizing the importance of reducing the reliance on fossil energy through various strategies such as terminating the operation of PLTU or reducing its utilization,” stated Deon.

Furthermore, IESR and other civil society organizations criticize the ENDC document for neglecting to incorporate the principle of climate justice. Civil society advocates for the SNDC preparation process to be more inclusive, ensuring climate protection for vulnerable groups and transparency throughout.

Wira Swadana, IESR Green Economy Program Manager, emphasized that the government must ensure fair distribution of the burden of emission reduction.

“Entities responsible for the highest emissions must shoulder a larger portion of the emission reduction efforts. Furthermore, the formulation of the SNDC should prioritize the principle of climate justice, which aims to mitigate both short-term and long-term risks while ensuring fair distribution of benefits, burdens, and risks, particularly for marginalized communities,” remarked Wira.

IESR and other civil society groups have outlined six recommendations for the preparation of the SNDC. First, the government should adhere to the principles of the Paris Agreement as outlined in Article 4, Line 13, and the guidelines set forth by the COP. Second, there should be a focus on integrating measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) systems tailored for developing country parties. Third, the government should abandon the use of the BAU scenario as the basis for emission reduction calculations and instead adopt a method based on relative emissions in a given year, which takes into account more precise global and Indonesian economic growth projections. Fourth, climate targets should be established in alignment with the Paris Agreement. Fifth, there should be transparent and publicly accessible monitoring and evaluation mechanisms put in place. Sixth, principles of climate justice should be incorporated and implemented throughout the process. These recommendations for the preparation of the Second NDC have been submitted to relevant ministries and institutions.