Strengthening the Solar Energy Narrative

Jakarta, 9 March 2023 – Solar energy has the potential to be developed massively in Indonesia. The Institute for Essential Services Reform in its report entitled “Beyond 207GW” states that the technical potential of solar energy in Indonesia reaches 20,000 GW. Unfortunately, the use of solar energy is still minimal. It is noted that the installed capacity of new solar energy is around 270.3 MW until 2022.

In the talk show “Bincang Energi Surya”, the collaboration of six institutions namely the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Solar Scholars Indonesia (SSI), the Indonesian Student Association (PPI) Australia, the Korean Indonesian Research Association (APIK), the New Generation Solar Energy Institute (Insygnia) ), and Solarin, Anindita Satria Surya, Vice President of Energy Transition and Climate Change of PT PLN stated that the development of solar energy is very necessary for the development of renewable energy.

“The description of the JETP scenario is first, building a large baseload such as hydropower, second, building a strong transmission network, and third, building supporting plants such as PLTS,” he explained, explaining the big picture of PLN’s plans to build renewable energy generators in the next few years.

In addition to a comprehensive investment plan for implementing the Just Energy Transition Partnership program, the development of renewable energy generators is also guided by the RUPTL. In the 2021-2030 RUPTL, it is planned that Indonesia will have more than 50% of the energy used come from renewable energy sources. Solar energy itself is planned to increase by 4.6 GW until 2030.

Widi Nugroho, Sub-Coordinator of Supervision of Various New and Renewable Energy Businesses, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources emphasized that to pursue the target of a renewable energy mix of 23% by 2025, fulfillment will be prioritized with solar energy.

“For the development of NRE generators, priority is given according to the 2021-2030 RUPTL where solar will increase by 4.6 GW in 2030,” he explained.

Based on the government’s plan, solar energy will be the main pillar of Indonesia’s electricity system with a capacity of 461 GW in 2060. As Indonesia receives the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) funding, it opens up various funding opportunities for renewable energy projects and technology research.

On the same occasion, Muhamad Rosyid Jazuli, Policy Researcher, Paramadina Public Policy Institute, stated that currently there is one main challenge from the policy side, namely the accumulation of a number of commitments that are not accompanied by derivative regulations so that progress towards achieving the promised commitments does not run smoothly.

“The high dominance of coal in Indonesia’s electricity system and the price of coal which is considered relatively cheaper is one of the challenges in developing renewable energy, especially solar,” explained Rosyid.

Rosyid also added that in addition to policies, public perceptions need to be developed in relation to renewable energy and low-carbon technologies so that behavior changes can occur. At present, renewable energy or other low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles or rooftop PV, have not become the people’s first choice. Limited information related to technology and prices that are still relatively expensive are some of the aggravating factors in society.

Bincang Energy Surya is a series of public dissemination events about solar energy. Solar energy thematic dissemination will be held regularly, every two weeks until June 2023, covering topics; Indonesia’s solar energy landscape, current policies, technology, industry, socio-economic and human resource readiness to support the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and Net Zero Emission (NZE) targets.

Solar Energy Talks: Technology, Policy and Challenges of Solar Energy in Support Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and Net Zero Emissions (NZE)

Solar Energy Talks is a series of public dissemination events about solar energy which are collectively organized by six institutions; Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Solar Scholars Indonesia (SSI), Australian Student Association (PPI), Indonesian Korean Research Association (APIK), New Generation Solar Energy Institute (Insygnia), and Solarin ( Solar energy thematic dissemination will be held regularly, every two weeks until June 2023, covering topics; Indonesia’s solar energy landscape, current policies, technology, industry, socio-economic and human resource readiness in support of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and Net Zero Emission (NZE) targets.


As a country that ratified the Paris Agreement and affirmed its commitment to the Glasgow Climate Pact, Indonesia is committed to contributing to limiting global temperature rise. In one of the IPCC models, to limit global temperature rise below 1.5oC, GHG emissions must be reduced by 45% in 2030 compared to GHG emission levels in 2010, and reach net zero in 2050 (IPCC). In this commitment, the Indonesian government has expressed its aspirations to achieve net zero by 2060 or sooner. In addition, as a follow-up to energy transition funding agreed upon at the 2022 G20 Summit, the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) secretariat has been launched by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) which one of the main agendas is transition energy through the development of renewable energy including solar energy.

As a strategic step in achieving this target, the installed capacity of renewable energy needs to be increased quickly and massively. With potential spread throughout Indonesia, modular (can be installed at various scales), relatively short installation process, and able to absorb local skilled workforce – solar energy (solar power plants) can become the backbone of achieving renewable energy targets, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and support Indonesia’s NZE target agenda before 2060, as well as support the JETP agenda.


  • Discuss the role of solar energy in supporting Indonesia’s Just Energy Transition Partnership (JET-P) and Net Zero Emission (NZE) targets
  • Discuss policies and implementation of solar energy policies as an effort to accelerate the energy transition
  • Discuss the energy transition roadmap, specifically solar energy, in support of the JETP and NZE targets

Driving Solar Energy Development through Gerilya

Jakarta, 1 March 2023 – The energy transition requires the participation of all parties to make it happen. The education sector is predicted to be one of the strategic pillars to ensure that there are high quality experts and technicians who are ready to take part in the realm of renewable energy development.

Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Rida Mulyana reminded the importance of energy transition and the use of solar energy.

“Currently, our electricity is 86% coming from fossil energy, and one day it will run out. With the energy transition, we want the quality of national energy security to increase, no longer depending on fossil energy. We have renewable energy sources, and they are abundant. This means that if we want the transition from fossil to non-fossil, the sources already exist,” said Rida at the launch of the Gerilya program, Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

Rida also added that the second urgent reason is global pressure on climate change mitigation. Weather is hard to predict, even in a tropical country like Indonesia. That is, because of global warming, due to the increasing amount of GHG emissions which then makes the earth’s temperature rise, not only does sea level rise, but the weather is also unpredictable, and that is already happening.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources specifically formed GERILYA (Solar Electricity Initiative Movement) as part of the Certified Independent Study and Internship Program (MSIB) as a result of the collaboration between the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and Merdeka Belajar Kampus Merdeka, Ministry of Education and Culture-Research and Technology

In the GERIYA program, students are placed in various institutions and companies engaged in various aspects of solar energy development. In his remarks on the same occasion, Director of Various Energy and EBT, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Andriyah Feby Misna stated that energy transition efforts in Indonesia need to be balanced with the availability of competent and qualified human resources.

“For this reason, the Gerilya program continues to improve itself by improving the solar energy curriculum and re-joining the fourth batch of MSIB,” explained Feby.

The intended curriculum improvement includes, among other things, the background of the participants, which initially only came from STEM majors, but now students majoring in social and humanities can join them. The time for students to be involved in projects was also extended to four months and the briefing time was shortened to one month.

A total of 2,456 applicants from 280 universities throughout Indonesia were selected, with the result that 62 students from 34 universities were declared to have passed the GERILYA selection stage. Of the number of students who passed the selection stage, 24 people or 38% of them were women. This is a form of commitment to gender equality in the implementation of the MSIB Gerilya Batch 4 program.


The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) has supported the Gerilya program since its first batch and provided a place for students to learn about policy changes related to solar energy development from the perspective of civil society through scientific studies. In batch 4, IESR will host four Gerilya students.

Indonesia Energy Transition Homeworks

(Jakarta, 12 January 2023) – By definition, the energy transition is an effort to change the energy supply from previously a coal-dependent source to cleaner energy. This is the effort that the Indonesian government continues to pursue to achieve national energy security and autonomy. However, there are still many tasks that must be fulfilled by the Indonesian government.

Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini, Research Manager of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) in the Ruang Publik KBR talk show: Energy Transition in Indonesia, How Far We’ve Come organized by Berita KBR (10/01) explained that the IESR report on energy transition monitors public readiness through surveys and government readiness through research.

“Bottom-up side has supported the procurement of cleaner energy, but based on the transition readiness framework studied in the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook 2023, the government (top-down) still has many things to improve, especially in terms of commitment and regulation,” Handriyanti said.

Meanwhile, on the same occasion, Raden Raditya Yudha Wiranegara, IESR Senior Researcher stated that from the fossil fuel side, the government has not yet paid attention to carbon emissions produced by mining, oil and gas industries.

“The government only monitors carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which only has a fraction of methane’s heat-trapping ability, around 29-30 times less. If there is a reduction in methane gas by only 30%, it will help abate the temperature rise by 0.5°C,” said Raditya.

Handriyanti and Raditya then discussed the upward trend of buying electric vehicles. The high price then led to the government’s proposal for subsidizing these vehicles, which is expected to stimulate public demand and lower the price of electric vehicles eventually.

However, according to them, there are several points of public resistance regarding the energy transition and the use of electric vehicles. The first is the view that fossil fuels are cheaper than renewable energy.These prices are the result of government intervention in the form of price capping, subsidies and compensation. This will surely burden the state budget when global oil prices rise. Second, there is range anxiety, which means the fear of electric vehicles inability to travel long distances.

“The government then has to work around this by increasing the number of charging stations at rest areas in-between journeys,” said Raditya.

Handriyanti and Raditya discuss the government’s progress and tasks in the matter of energy transition from a techno-economic, regulatory and funding perspective. They said that the price of renewable energy technology is becoming more affordable every year, for example, the price of solar modules is 70% cheaper than 7-10 years ago and is predicted to decrease even more. Supporting Regulations such as Presidential Regulation No. 112/2021 which stipulate ministers to make a roadmap for retiring coal-fired power plants (CFPP) needs to be supported. However, the implementation of this regulation still needs to be monitored and improved, especially considering that coal and fossil funding is currently still 10 times larger than renewable energy funding.

“The presence of international forums such as the G20 has encouraged Indonesia to make commitments towards energy transition and attract financing for those efforts. It is hoped that this financing can help Indonesia achieve its target of a renewable energy mix of 23% by 2025,” they concluded.

What is Solar Energy and How is it Developed in Indonesia?


Jakarta, December 19, 2022 – The role of energy is critical for increasing economic activity and national security. Thus, energy management, including supply, utilization, and exploitation, should be carried out fairly, sustainably, optimally, and in an integrated manner. Moreover, Indonesia has ratified the Paris Agreement and submitted its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with an unconditional target of 31.89% in 2030 with its capabilities and a conditional target (with international support) of 43.2%.

Based on the Deep Decarbonization of Indonesia’s Energy System study released by IESR, Indonesia can achieve the target of the Paris Agreement being carbon neutral by 2050. This decade is essential because Indonesia must reach peak emissions in the energy sector by 2030 and reinforce a mix of renewable energy in the electricity to 45%.

Developing the renewable energy sector is a mitigation action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and support sustainable energy. Hence, Indonesia continues to intensify the use of renewable energy. Solar energy is one of the renewable energy choices that continue to be encouraged for its use in Indonesia.

Quoted from the Sustainable Professional Development Module for Solar and Wind Energy Conversion, Ministry of Education and Culture, solar energy is obtained by converting solar energy through specific equipment into resources in other forms. Furthermore, French scientist Edmond Becquerel discovered that certain materials would give off electricity sparks when sunlight struck in 1839. Even though the sun is located about 149 million kilometresr from the earth, its rays can be used as a renewable energy source. In solar panels, the sunlight is converted into electrical energy using photovoltaic technology (photovoltaic/PV).

Based on the Indonesia Solar Energy Outlook 2023 report issued by IESR, solar power will play an essential role in deep decarbonization in Indonesia in 2060 or sooner in 2050; at least 88% of installed power capacity will come from solar power in 2050. Unfortunately, the use of solar energy in Indonesia has only reached 0.2 GWp of installed capacity and will generate less than 1% of total electricity generation by the end of 2021.

However, Indonesia’s solar energy progress can be seen from the lower price of solar PV electricity obtained through a power purchase agreement (PPA) entered into by PT PLN (Persero) with Independent Power Producers (IPP). The cost of PPA solar PV has fallen by around 78% from US$0.25/kWh to US$0.056/kWh between 2015 and 2022. For this reason, IESR predicts that at least with the addition of large-scale solar PV projects, decreasingsolar module prices, and improving the investment climate, solar PV investment per unit prices will continue to fall, approaching the world price trend. In addition, in terms of project pipeline development for large-scale solar PV, there are currently eight projects with a total capacity of 585 MWp (which have been tendered).

Central Java Stakeholder Gathering 2022


Since 2019, IESR and the Provincial Government of Central Java have continued to work together in the energy transition sector. There is a significant positive impact from the cooperation that has been carried out, in 2022, IESR and the Provincial Government of Central Java will renew their collaboration which is marked by the signing of a Joint Agreement on the Development of Renewable Energy for the Energy Transition. This is a form of multistakeholder institutional action to encourage Indonesia’s decarbonization system.

The contribution of religious parties, especially local governments, in supporting development that is oriented towards low carbon development and a green economy needs to be increased through various instruments, such as; policies and regulations, incentives, and some other supporting instruments to guarantee a just energy transition process. In addition, IESR also sees that regional policymakers and the general public have an important role in the smooth energy transition. Therefore, it is hoped that with the renewal and expansion of the scope of cooperation between IESR and the Provincial Government of Central Java, it is hoped that various policy stakeholders can work together in supporting the energy transition and regional decarbonization.

The expansion of the scope of cooperation as outlined in the joint agreement document (KSB) covers the energy, industrial and environmental sectors. The energy sector together with the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) on increasing the mix of renewable energy, especially solar energy. The industrial sector together with the Industry and Trade Service (Disperindag) to increase the implementation of renewable energy in the industrial sector. The environmental sector together with the Environment and Forestry Service (DLHK) reduces greenhouse gas emissions through the management of waste and waste into renewable energy. In addition, the expansion of the scope of cooperation also involves Regional Owned Enterprises (BUMD), and Central Java Petro Energi (JPEN) to accelerate the construction of PLTS in Central Java.

IESR work plans and programs with each Regional Apparatus Organization (OPD) of Central Java Province have been prepared and compiled in the 2022 KSB update. Several approaches and initial studies have been carried out and discussed together to obtain an up-to-date picture of the energy transition landscape in the regions to develop a plan of directed action and an equitable transition at the local level.

Considering the continuity and smoothness of plans and work programs on renewing cooperation between IESR and OPD of Central Java Province, it requires a strong commitment from various parties as a manifestation of the contribution of the role of local government in integrating energy transition issues into regional development plans. input, collaboration, and participation from various parties are widely open to push the energy transition agenda in the regions.

Therefore, IESR in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Central Java will carry out dialogue and public dissemination with related stakeholders under the title “Central Java Stakeholder Gathering 2022” to strengthen commitment, roles and joint responsibilities for implementing work plans and programs as well as a form of dissemination local government in encouraging community participation in the energy transition.


  1. Presentation of the progress of the cooperation between IESR and OPD Central Java Provincial Government.
  2. Presentation of activity plans in collaboration with IESR and OPD Central Java Provincial Government in 2023.
  3. Dissemination of local government commitments and best practices on energy transition by various parties and stakeholders.

The Potential Role of the Industry and Community Sectors in Accelerating a Just Energy Transition

Semarang, 10 November 2022 – The energy transition has become the focus of many parties lately. It’s not only the government that has the responsibility to provide clean and affordable energy for the entire community, the industrial sector is also starting to switch to clean energy through various efforts. For companies, today’s global product competitiveness is also determined by how the manufacturing process is carried out efficiently and by using sustainable energy sources. The collaborative action of various sectors in the use of renewable energy will support the acceleration of the energy transition on a national level.

To take a closer look at various initiatives from the industry and community sectors, the Central Java Provincial Energy and Mineral Resources Office in collaboration with the Institute for Essential Services Reform organized the “Jelajah Energi Terbarukan” activity on November 10-11 2022. This activity visits several destinations focused on industries and villages that utilize renewable energy potential. This is the second activity, after last June a similar activity was carried out with a focus on different destinations.

The journey started by visiting CV Jaya Setia Plastik, in Demak, to see how the children’s toy industry saves electricity by installing a 470 kWp on-grid rooftop solar PV.

PLTS Atap di CV Jaya Setia Plastik
PLTS Atap di CV Jaya Setia Plastik

“Currently, what is actually installed on our roof is 1,300 kWp, but we have not used the other 470 kWp connected to PLN because we are currently constrained by regulations that limit the installation of rooftop PLTS to a maximum of 15% of the total installed power,” Wahyu representative of CV Jaya Setia Plastik explained. 

Djarum Kretek Oasis, which is located in Kudus, Central Java, also experienced similar challenges. Having several types of green industry initiatives such as the use of biomass boilers, rooftop PLTS, water storage ponds equipped with wastewater treatment facilities, Djarum is still determined to continue to increase its renewable energy capacity.

“Our roof area can still accommodate more solar PV, but due to regulatory limitations we have not been able to add capacity,” said Suwarno, Deputy General Manager Engineering at PT Djarum.

The limitation of rooftop PV capacity has become a concern of various parties because it has become one of the obstacles for consumers, especially the industrial sector, to install or increase the capacity of their rooftop solar. Currently, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and PLN are in the process of revising the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources’ decree no. 26/2021 which regulates the installation of rooftop PV for PLN consumers.

Apart from utilizing solar rooftop, Djarum Oasis has also designed a sustainability scheme for its factory comprehensively covering various aspects, one of which is by utilizing the pruning trees of ‘trembesi’ (Samanea saman) planted on a number of toll roads as part of its CSR, as wood chips for biomass boiler fuel.

The first day’s journey continues towards the waste-to-energy plant Putri Cempo, which is in the Surakarta area. This plant has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with PLN and will be on COD at the end of 2022. Elan Suherlan, Director of PT SCMP (Solo Metro Citra Plasma) explained, Putri Cempo waste-to-energy plant exists to overcome the waste problem in Surakarta city which can no longer be accommodated by the Waste Processing Site. PT SMCP, which won the tender for the plant construction, started its construction in 2021.

“Later Putri Cempo waste-to-energy plant will produce 5 MW of electricity and will be distributed to PLN,” said Elan.

What needs to be observed is a clear calculation of the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from this waste-to-energy plant.

The first day of “Jelajah Energi” was closed by visiting Krendowahono Village, which has utilized biogenic shallow gas for 30 households. Biogenic gas is produced from organic compounds such as plants and grasses that decompose with the help of bacteria. Because it comes from residues of organic compounds, biogenic gasses are generally found in shallow soil layers. Since its amount is relatively small and dispersed, biogenic gas must be compressed (increased pressure) so that it is easy to flow and use.

Several villages in Central Java have quite a lot of potential for biogenic gas, including Gabus Village, in Ngrampal District, Sragen, Rajek Village, in Grobogan, Bantar, and Pegundungan Villages in Banjarnegara, which can be used as an alternative energy source for cooking. The biogenic gas utilization installation is also relatively low and can be used communally.

Solihin, head of RT 6, Krendowahono Village, explained that the discovery of swamp gas started with residents who were going to make a well for a water source but when water was found at a certain depth, the water could actually catch fire.

“After we reported it and a team came to check it, turned out that this gas can be used for households,” he said.

Mrs. Uni, one of the beneficiaries of the swamp gas, admitted that by using the swamp gas she could save on cooking fuel quite significantly.

“Usually in a month I can use 4 of 3 kg of LPG gas, now it’s only 1,” she said while showing her kitchen. Uni admits that she still uses LPG gas as a fuel reserve for cooking because the stove from swamp gas only has 1 burner.

Currently the local communities are designing an operational system for the swamp gas network, starting from the operating hours of the machine, the amount of contributions, and maintenance costs.

ISEO 2023 Launch: Indonesia Needs Clear Targets and Effective Implementation to Develop Solar Energy

Jakarta, 27 October 2022 – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) launched the Indonesia Solar Energy Outlook 2023 report. This report was originally part of the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook (IETO) which has been routinely published every year since 2018. Starting this year, the solar energy section is made in a separate report to provide a more in-depth report on the development of solar energy in Indonesia and the supporting ecosystems that solar energy needs to grow in Indonesia.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, in his remarks at the Shine Bright: Advancing G20 Solar Leadership event organized by IESR with the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and in collaboration with the International Solar Alliance, and the Indonesian Solar Energy Association, stated that solar energy prices remain competitive despite the existence of increase in the price of raw materials for the manufacture of solar panels. Fabby also emphasized the importance of developing the solar industry for both Indonesia and all G20 countries which are in the spotlight in efforts to reduce global emissions.

“Developing cooperation in solar manufacturing among G20 countries will secure the supply of solar module and cell production, balance systems to meet future demand, and reduce product monopolies.”

On the same occasion, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Arifin Tasrif, emphasized the need for support from the industry and local solar module manufacturers to meet the requirements for the Local Content Requirement (LCR) considering that Indonesia has mineral materials to make solar modules and batteries.

“Easy access to financing, incentives, and other financing facilities is very important to provide the cost of a feasibility study and increase investment in renewable energy, one of which is solar,” said Arifin.

Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance, said that to make solar energy the energy of choice, three things that must be taken as strategic steps. First, providing the latest information, analysis, advocacy, and establishing relationships with various parties. Second, providing adequate resources so that solar energy investments ‘flow’ is important because investors will assess and weigh various situations that can affect the return on their investment capital.

“ISA approved the creation of a solar energy financing facility that provides risk capital guarantees,” explained Ajay.

Ajay added, the third step, it is important to build the capacity and capability of various parties who handle the development of solar energy such as policymakers, operators, and regulators.

Daniel Kurniawan, the lead author of the Indonesia Solar Energy Outlook 2023 report, presented some findings from this report. One of them is that although solar energy is getting more and more attention until Q3 2022 only 0.2 GWp of solar has been built.

“Based on the 2021-2030 RUPTL, PLN plans to add 3.9 GW of solar energy in 2025, of which 2.45 GW will be procured under the IPP scheme and 1.45 GW will be auctioned directly by PLN. However, until Q3 2022 there are only eight IPP projects with a capacity of 585 MWp,” explained Daniel.

Presidential Decree number 112/2022 which was issued in September 2022 is expected to provide fresh air for the energy transition in Indonesia, at least with regulations on renewable energy prices and instructions to accelerate the termination of coal-fired power plants.

To encourage the acceleration of the use of solar energy, the ISEO 2023 report recommends some steps, including PLN which can arrange a schedule for renewable energy auctions, especially solar for 2023. Previously, the government had to set ambitious and binding targets for renewable energy in certain years, for example 30% in 2025-2030, 90% in 2040, and 100% in 2050. With a target like this PLN must make room for solar energy in the PLN network.

“The IEA analysis shows that the Java-Bali and Sumatra systems can accommodate 10% of solar energy from their total capacity with flexible PLTU operations,” explained Daniel.

Although the system is technically capable of handling solar energy variability, the main challenge in realizing greater solar penetration is contractual inflexibility (particularly due to the take-or-pay clause in the coal plants power purchase agreement with the IPP as well as the primary energy supply contract for gas).

Daniel also added, considering the readiness of the domestic solar manufacturing industry, the percentage of Local Content Requirement (LCR) needs to be adjusted for a limited time, for example until 2025. While preparing the domestic manufacturing industry for decarbonization.

Finally, ISEO 2023 also recommends that PLN review the policy on limiting the installation of rooftop solar PV.

Henriette Faergemann, Environment, Climate Action EU Delegates to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, stated that it is important to create an ambitious and consistent energy transition policy to provide a strong signal to investors and financial institutions so that they are interested in participating in financing the energy transition.

“There is good progress for Indonesia in formulating its policies, but there are still many things that need to be done and improved if Indonesia wants this (energy transition) to happen quickly,” Henriette explained.

Joshua Wyclife, Chief of Operations International Solar Alliance, agrees that structural change is needed and this change starts with policy. Joshua also stated that this ISEO report is one way to increase awareness for various parties about the current situation of solar energy development in Indonesia.

“One way to maximize solar potential in Indonesia is to increase the level from awareness to advocacy, by various parties through various ways such as workshops, facilitating training programs with existing resources,” said Joshua.

Meanwhile, Rahmat Mardiana, Director of Electricity, Telecommunications, and Information at the National Planning Agency (Bappenas), stated that this report would be studied further considering that Bappenas is currently preparing national development planning documents such as the RPJP and RPJM, one of which is about the energy transition strategy.

“With our commitment to achieve the RUEN, Paris Agreement, and NZE targets, of course we must provide reliable electricity at affordable prices, and gradually fossil power plants will be replaced by renewable energy,” explained Rahmat.

Dewanto, Vice President of Various Energy PLN, said that PLN continues to support the development of renewable energy.

“The Business Plan (RUPTL) is a tangible manifestation of PLN’s support for new and renewable energy. According to the RUPTL, until early 2023 PLN will auction almost 1 GW of renewable projects,” Dewanto said.

ISEO 2023 Launch: Encourage The Use of Solar Energy in Indonesia

Jakarta, October 27, 2022 – The use of solar energy in Indonesia needs to be accelerated. Clear rules, support for the solar PV component production industry, and capacity building in response to human resources needs in the solar energy sector also need to be prepared.

According to data from Indonesia Solar Energy Outlook (ISEO) 2023, the installed capacity of Solar PV has increased from 43.9 MWp in 2021 to 63.5 MWp in September 2022. This number is relatively small compared to other ASEAN countries, especially Vietnam, which already belongs to the Gigawatt order.

Senda Hurmuzan Kanam, Chair of Electrical Survey and Testing Center, MEMR, measures that the installed capacity of PLTS in Indonesia is still in its early stages, around 200 MW-400 MW. He stated that Indonesia needs a closer look at Vietnam, which can install about 10 – 20 GW of solar panels annually.

“Compared to Vietnam, Indonesia is far behind. We need to look for demand opportunities for renewable energy, especially solar PV. Currently, we have an incentive program for rooftop solar systems under a Sustainable Energy Fund (SEF) grant to attract more electricity consumers to use rooftop PV mini-grid,” Senda said at the Advancing G20 Solar Leadership event and the launch of the ISEO 2023 report organized by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, and in collaboration with the International Solar Alliance, and the Indonesian Solar Energy Association.

Similarly, a member of the National Energy Council (DEN), Herman Darnel Ibrahim, mentioned that solar energy development in Indonesia is still running slowly and relatively stagnant. He argues that Indonesia needed a more transparent plan to achieve the target of 23% of the renewable energy mix by 2025 by utilizing solar power.

“At least the Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) needs to show the solar energy program, all renewable energy clearly, and mention its potential locations. Currently, the existing RUPTL only discusses all renewable energy nationally and does not mention its possible areas in detail. Moreover, the government can calculate the new economy by location and network costs. So it’s better to build a resource inventory first,” Herman stated.

Although there are several challenges to accelerating solar energy, Andhika Prastawa, Chairman of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), said solar panel production continues to grow under certain conditions. For example, Indonesia provides a clear incentive for consumers to use domestic solar panels rather than abroad. In addition, Andhika stated that there are two ecosystems to accelerate solar energy: the utilization ecosystem and the industrial ecosystem. 

“Ecosystem utilization, namely solar power, can be used in large or isolated systems. So we can extend access to electricity to all rural communities in the country. Then, the growth of this industrial ecosystem is closely related to its utilization ecosystem. To grow the industrial ecosystem, a market that can absorb solar modules is needed,” Andhika explained.

Meanwhile, Anthony Utomo, Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), explained that solar PV is necessary because of the decarbonization movement and the net zero emissions (NZE) approach. However, there are several challenges to intensifying solar energy.

“There are two challenges facing Indonesia. The user’s (customers) readiness to use solar PV, so we need consistent and massive education. It aligns with the National Energy Master Plan (RUEN) 2017, which became a shared consensus. It mandates a reduction in energy intensity, containing 30% of government buildings being encouraged to use solar PV, 25% luxury homes, and industrial downstream. Second, the competencies of solar PVinstallation personnel to develop the electrical system installation of the solar power plant. There is a need to provide solar preneurs or green MSMEs so that they can welcome the phenomenon of using rooftop solar PV in all regions, ” Anthony said.

The Institute for Essential Services Reform has consistently noted the progress and challenges of developing solar energy in the energy transition framework in the Indonesia Energy Transition Outlook (IETO). However, in 2023, IESR launched a progress report on solar power in Indonesia separately in the Indonesia Solar Energy Outlook (ISEO) 2023.