Webinar on the Decarbonization Opportunities of Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia and Lesson Learnt from Global Experience


Replay Event


Background

Indonesia is one of the largest economies in the world and continues to experience growth. Amongst other economic activities, the industrial sector as the backbone of the economy will also be expected to grow to support the realization of Indonesia Emas in 2045. Along with the growth, the expected growth of the industrial sector will contribute to the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, which in 2021 have reached about 420 MtCO2 and are expected to double if no necessary measures are taken. Therefore, a commitment to transition towards more sustainable business and industrial practices is compulsory to control and limit the emissions to 31.89-43.2% less than the business-as-usual level in 2030, whilst ensuring the global competitiveness of Indonesia’s industry.

Small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) hold a crucial position in Indonesia’s economy and constitute the largest share of manufacturing industries in the country. According to the Asian Development Bank, in 2019, SMEs accounted for about 99% of formal business and nearly 97% of employment in Indonesia. Locally, they also foster social development and equity, contributing to rural development, community empowerment, and poverty reduction. Despite its role in becoming the engine of economic growth locally and nationally, SMEs’ financial management and technical capacitances are often left behind to be developed compared to large businesses. Moreover, as with more relaxed regulations toward SME players, emissions from this sector are often overlooked and may unfold a higher number of emissions compared to the larger industry sector. Based on IESR’s latest study, it is found that the estimated energy-related emissions of SMEs reach 216 MtCO2 in 2023, on par with the emissions generated from industry sectors nationally.

This webinar is conducted to disseminate the latest study findings of IESR and LBNL that focus on exploring decarbonization opportunities suitable for SMEs in Indonesia. Key insights for SME players, policymakers, and financial institutions will be unfolded to unlock the untapped potential of energy efficiency and decarbonization in SMEs whilst improving their business competitiveness toward the current market change. Moreover, global experience on SME decarbonization will be shared to showcase the best practices that are already implemented in China, the United States, and other significant economies in the world hence providing a best reference for retrofitting for Indonesia’s SME landscape. The webinar will be held online via Zoom and streamed on IESR’s YouTube channel. It is expected that the webinar will provide valuable insights and spark innovative initiatives amongst all stakeholders in Indonesia to start the decarbonization journey for SMEs.

Objective 

 

There are several objectives of this workshop:

  1. Disseminate and share information on Indonesia’s Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SME) landscape on its economics, energy, and waste management,
  2. Receive feedback from the SME decarbonization recommendation from relevant key stakeholders,
  3. Discuss essential and actionable steps required to implement the decarbonization initiatives for Indonesia’s SMEs, and 
  4. Discuss challenges and opportunities, and initiate collaborations to promote decarbonization and sustainable growth in selected SMEs in Indonesia.

Presentation

Exploring Decarbonization Opportunities in Indonesia’s Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – Abyan Hilmy Yafi

Exploring-Decarbonization-Opportunities-in-Indonesias-Small-to-Medium-Enterprises-SMEs-Abyan-Hilmy-Yafi

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Unlocking Energy Efficiency – Decarbonization Potentials in SMEs – Bo Shen

Unlocking-Energy-Efficiency-Decarbonization-Potentials-in-SMEs-Bo-Shen

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Decarbonization of Small and Medium Industries (SMIs) in Indonesia – Achmad Taufik

DECARBONIZATION-OF-SMALL-AND-MEDIUM-INDUSTRIES-SMIs-IN-INDONESIA-Achmad-Taufik

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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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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.

Driving the Energy Transition from the Sub-National Level

Semarang, 19 December 2023 – The annual Climate Summit (Summit) held in Dubai in November – December 2023 resulted in a number of global agreements, one of which was an agreement by 118 countries to transition and abandon fossil fuels. This agreement was born partly due to pressure from countries experiencing the impacts of climate change. 2023 was recorded as the hottest year in history.

In his opening speech for the Central Java Renewable Energy Acceleration Forum, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) stated that the simplest thing to ensure the energy transition occurs is to add renewable energy capacity to the energy mix. To massively add renewable energy capacity requires significant investment costs and comprehensive enabling conditions.

“The complex and expensive energy transition can only occur if there are enabling conditions, including rules and regulations, support for public and private partnerships, community initiatives, and investment. Currently, to achieve the RUED target, regional funding capacity is still insufficient, so it is necessary to encourage investment,” said Fabby.

Head of the Central Java Province Energy and Mineral Resources Service, Boedyo Dharmawan, said that his party had contributed to achieving the target of 23% of the national renewable energy mix by 2025.

“In 2023, Central Java Province achieved a regional renewable energy mix of 21.2%. We will continue to encourage this capacity addition in the coming years. Apart from that, we also encourage energy conservation practices through energy and water saving movements, in government agencies and also in business entities, including energy audits,” he said.

Tavip Rubiyanto, Middle Expert Policy Analyst on Energy Substances and Mineral Resources, Directorate of SUPD I, Directorate General of Regional Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, highlighted the role of the entire OPD sector in matters of managing renewable energy in the regions.

“From the start, the ESDM Service had to coordinate with related agencies such as Environment, Transportation and Planning Services. So that RUED can be integrated into the RPJMD. “It does take effort to convince and provide understanding for Bappeda to support this EBT target, but that is what must be done,” said Tavip.

In terms of investment trends, Indonesia is becoming a global investment destination even though currently there are still several investment challenges. This was conveyed by Purwo Wiyatmanto, Head of Sub-Directorate for Promotion Strategy Analyst/ Middle Expert Investment Management, Ministry of Investment/BKPM.

“Investment in the new renewable energy sector is also increasing in demand. The increasing need for energy is also accompanied by an increasing share of renewable energy. Indonesia’s new renewable energy share of around 14.5% (below the ASEAN average) is a challenge in itself, but this is also an opportunity for growth,” he said.

From an industrial perspective, there is actually a need for clean electricity produced by sustainable energy sources. This need becomes stronger if an industry enters the global brand supply chain. Rudi Cahyono, Energy Carbon Manager, PT Selalu Cinta Indonesia (SCI) said this pressure was because his party was included in the supply chain of the footwear industry which is marketed globally.

“We are committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2030 as a consequence of our entry into the global supply chain. By 2024, the target is that we can reduce our carbon footprint by 99%,” said Rudi.

Sakina Rosellasari, Head of the Central Java Province One Stop Investment and Integrated Services Service (PMPTSP), added that her agency continues to actively promote projects that are ready to be developed by investors.

“Central Java is open to green investment, not only labor intensive, but also green economic management,” he said.

Apart from investment on an industrial scale, the use of renewable energy at the community level also needs to continue to be encouraged. Yanto, Head of Banyuroto Village (one of the Energy Independent Villages), Magelang Regency, stated that there is a lot of renewable energy potential on a small scale that can be utilized on a communal scale with the support of the local government.

“Future plans, we, the village government, are trying to increase the amount of biogas in the community, around 100 biogas digesters at least in the next 5 years and budget it in the (village fund) APBDes and are ready to collaborate with related agencies, campuses and other parties,” he said.

With 34 biogas digesters spread throughout almost the entire Banyuroto Village area, this digester has helped the welfare of the community since 2007, starting from cooking needs (reducing household cost), lighting without converters and zero waste from the results of the biogas process (solid and liquid fertilizer, bioslurry).

In 2023, the national government will make a number of important notes in the development of renewable energy. The revision of the National Energy Policy (KEN) document and the inauguration of the Cirata Floating PLTS are among the major points in the energy transition process this year.

Adimas Pradityo, Business and Commerce Development Manager, PLN Nusantara Power said that in 2024 there will be PLTS development in Central Java with a capacity of 140 MW in several locations including Batang and Pemalang. Adimas also shared PLN Nusantara Power’s experience in developing the Cirata floating PLTS.

“(One of) the challenges is explaining the PLTS concept to regulators. We really have a bottom up approach in licensing the development of the Cirata Floating PLTS,” he said.

Accelerating Renewable Energy in Central Java

Central Java plans to further develop renewable energy, with the Institute for Essential Services Reform actively collaborating on long-term planning. The Institute, together with the Central Java Government, organizes forums and activities such as “Central Java Renewable Energy Acceleration” to deepen understanding and encourage multi-stakeholder participation in the region’s energy transition.

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ASEAN Grid Interconnectivity as the Start of Renewable Energy Security in the Region

press release

Jakarta, 13 June 2023 –  To reach energy security sustainably and to face challenges of global climate change, Indonesia’s chairmanship in 2023 needs to be a strong leader in the decarbonization efforts of the energy sector in Southeast Asia. region. Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) views that Indonesia can further its regional cooperation and collaboration on innovation, technology, renewable energy research, and push for clearer and enticing policies to boost investments in the renewable energy sector.

As a region, ASEAN has committed to reach a 23% energy mix target in primary energy and 35% capacity of renewable energy installed by 2025. Furthermore, to expand the regional electricity trade , integrate the region’s power grid, and to strengthen the reliability of the power grid, ASEAN is currently building the ASEAN Power Grid (APG).

The Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Fabby Tumiwa, explains that the project to interconnect ASEAN’s grid through ASEAN Power Grid (APG) could be a starting point for ASEAN member states to boost renewable energy capacity in the electricity sector and shift their dependency to fossil fuels. Indonesian chairmanship in ASEAN 2023 with one of its main focus being Sustainable Energy Security has to be utilized to push ASEAN member states to focus on efforts to decarbonize their energy systems. 

“Indonesia has the chance to lead ASEAN to transition their energy, amplifying the renewable energy mix, and to reduce fossil energy. Indonesia has given examples for other ASEAN member states to have a more ambitious target that aligns with the Paris Agreement. One of which is to push ASEAN member states to end CFPP operations before 2050 and to push agreements between ASEAN member states to build cell industries, solar modules, and energy storage (battery),” Fabby Tumiwa assessed. 

ASEAN itself has a capacity of 7.645 MW on the existing interconnecting grid in the ASEAN Power Grid project, according to a presentation from the Sub Coordinator of the Electricity Program MEMR, Yeni Gusrini, in the IESR Webinar titled Toward a Decarbonized ASEAN. In the future, the interconnection grid will be added in capacity to around 19.000 – 22.000 MW and covers a wider area.

“ASEAN Power Grid contributes towards the economic development in ASEAN by helping fulfill energy demand in ASEAN and to develop regional industry player’s growth. On the first phase, the electricity grid in Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore has been connected through the Lao PDR, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore Power Integration Project (LTMS-PIP), which has been the pioneer of the power trade mechanism that has transmitted 100 MW from Laos to Singapore, utilizing the existing interconnection,” Yeni explicated. 

IESR views that the development of an interconnection grid that accommodates the integration of renewable energy in Indonesia needs to be accelerated so that it aligns with the Paris Agreement to net zero emission (NZE) in 2050.

“Interconnection between the islands in Indonesia and between the countries in ASEAN is one of the enabling factors of renewable energy integration. The existence of this interconnection will help solve the problem of intermittency and to maximize renewable energy usage, so that if there’s an oversupply such as solar PV in the daylight built in another location, the electricity can be transmitted to another place. Before that, ASEAN member states have to keep refurbishing their renewable energy investment climate in their respective countries and regionally with a more interesting regulation framework,” explained Deon Arinaldo, Program Manager of Energy Transformation IESR. 

Deon says, Indonesia is a country with the biggest economy and energy consumption rates in ASEAN, and has a massive energy resource. With ASEAN chairmanship this year and a supportive process and regulations for energy transition at the national level such as JETP and New and Renewable Energy Bill, this will make Indonesia an example and trigger the acceleration of ASEAN’s transformation process.

IESR believes that the decarbonization efforts are not limited to the government, but also involves the participation of various stakeholders, including private sectors, civil society, and international agencies. In this spirit of collaboration, Indonesia needs to invite all parties to join in the effort to tackle climate change and create a sustainable future for ASEAN. 

The Limited Option of Clean Energy for Remote Area Residents

Consumers can choose cleaner energy sources, but what if the choice is minimal? Or even none at all?

The government’s commitment to promoting renewable energy (RE) in Indonesia dates back several years. Furthermore, the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius makes the Indonesian government more serious about shifting fossil energy to cleaner energy by focusing on developing the electricity sector with renewable energy. At the same time, based on the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) assessment for the last 2 years shows that the Indonesian government’s policies, commitments and emission reduction targets are rated Highly insufficient or even lead to rising, rather than falling emissions.

With a considerable gap between the 2025 target and the results of the CAT Indonesia assessment showing inconsistencies with the Paris Agreement, boosting energy transition must continue to be pushed to a higher achievement rate, given the gap that is quite far from the “big” target of 23%. The government’s participation in enacting more ambitious policies and objectives in the energy transition is expected to breathe new life into cleaner energy policies for the community as the end customer.

The energy transition can, in reality, give Indonesian citizens optimism that there are cleaner and more sustainable energy sources for usage than fossil energy, energy with lower emission quality. Inclusiveness in accessing energy for all communities, especially in remote areas, is an important point in the energy transition carried out.

Is Diesel Still a Good Choice?

As is generally the case in the Adonara Island area, East Flores, NTT has power outages, diesel-fuelled generators and PLTD (Diesel Power Plant) are still “best friends” of residents there, at least for the last 4 years. Power outages that occur 2-3 times a day, for an unspecified period, make people with a “better economy” priority to have private generators. Then, what about those who do not belong to that group? Light from candles will be the main lighting in their house, or, they can enjoy electricity access from a neighbour’s generator if they are lucky enough.

The 62 units of the total 85 PLN power plants in the 2021-2030 RUPTL show the general usage of diesel power plants in NTT as a solution for delivering energy from the government. Diesel-based plants have often been used as a solution by the government to provide electricity in areas that are difficult to access. Indeed, the abundance of renewable energy types available can assist individuals in selecting greener energy sources, both small-scale (for example rooftop solar PV, biomass, and micro-hydro) and large-scale plants (hydropower, ground-mounted PV, geothermal).

In addition, this can also overcome PLN’s problems in the mobility of installing electricity networks in remote areas due to several things, including difficult location access, locations far from the existing grid and road infrastructure that has not been supported.

Capacity Development and Sustainability

If we only rely on outsiders for maintenance, especially in rural areas—which has always been one of PLN’s toughest problems in creating access to electricity—the ease of access and diversity of renewable energy growth sources will inevitably be obstructed. Without excluding the government’s right to provide electricity evenly to the community as stated in Article 2 paragraph (2) of Law 30/2009 on Electricity, the role of local communities as consumers is very large in helping the sustainability of renewable energy development.

The government should encourage local community participation in technical aspects of RE development so that in the future, local communities as final consumers are not only “recipients,” but also “experts,” with the potential to become “creators” capable of providing energy on their own.

The big knowledge gap in local communities for technical problems should be filled with capacity development by the government and expert partners with a sufficient period so that the community can be independent or with less supervision from the central, not only 1 span short program and then not continued in the next period.

One example of capacity development applied to local communities by the government and experts is The Patriot Energi program. By approximately 1 year of the program, energy independence can be increased in the community base. With a specified time, the possibility of areas that have not been fully independent should exist. However, the expectation of local communities who can explore and utilize renewable energy more deeply with qualified technical capabilities far outweighs these doubts.  It is not improbable that in the future, renewable energy technologies will be created by distant villages where the only access to electricity was provided by non-clean energy.

A Privilege That Should Not be One

That night, I was sleeping. A furry creature suddenly jumped onto the bed and landed on my feet. I almost screamed until it meowed slightly – when my eyes got used to the total darkness in the room, I finally managed to see the homeowner’s fat tabby cat. 

It was a night I spent in Kepayang, a village deep in Musi Banyuasin regency in South Sumatra. There was limited electricity in the village from a small diesel generator and it only came online from 6 PM to 10 at night to conserve fuel. And so everything went dark afterwards; several houses had their own generator but they also rarely used it past 10.

No power grids? Well, I reached the village by the river – on a small machine boat departing from Musi River in Palembang, the provincial capital city. It was a three-hour journey with a short stop at a floating PERTAMINA station along the way. Truthfully, I was scared, but it was the shortest route – land transport was even more grueling and longer. 

The villagers were wishing for better, cleaner, more affordable energy access – and while an extensive power grid was less likely to come into the village shortly, renewable energy available locally could provide them with the option. But they did not know where to start. 

I can go on with more stories (and I love telling them), but I will cut to the point: energy access, even a sustainable one, remains a big challenge in Indonesia. And when access becomes a luxury, having the option to choose an energy source is what, a utopia? 

*****

Among all the privileges I have and have had, gaining access to (relatively) good electricity access is one thing I took for granted. As it is one of the essential services, it should not be a privilege to some – but when I had the chance to understand Indonesia (somewhat in the whole sense of inequality) by coming to numerous remote villages across Indonesia, including Natuna islands (do you have any idea where that is?); a helicopter view or a number showing nearly universal electricity access simply does not cut it.

In 2019, IESR probed energy access quality in two provinces with the least electrification ratio in eastern Indonesia using the multi-tier framework (MTF) developed by The World Bank’s ESMAP. The findings corroborated our initial hypothesis: access does mean quality and Indonesia’s current access indicator, the electrification ratio (ER), is no longer sufficient to promote productive uses and development. Over 70% of households surveyed received only Tier 1 electricity access; they only have power for 4-hrs/day and it can only be used to power small devices such as lamps and radios.

Prior to the study, we had argued that the government’s LTSHE program (distribution of energy-saving lamps kit to remote, unelectrified communities) should not be claimed as electrification, but rather pre-electrification, due to its very limited use for daily and productive uses. It is also important to redefine energy access and to look at and measure access beyond connections. Our recommendations include optimizing the use of local renewable energy, as renewables have proven to be a democratic energy source, and renewable technologies, including solar energy that has entered Indonesia’s mainstream energy policy, are much cheaper than costly grid expansion and diesel generators.

The luxury of choosing your energy source 

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a commotion on Twitter over Apple iPhone’s newest feature: Clean Energy Charging. It is only available in the US and per its official explanation: “…your iPhone gets a forecast of the carbon emissions in your local energy grid and uses it to charge your iPhone during times of cleaner energy production.” Comparing how we choose clean energy in Indonesia and the US is definitely an apple vs. orange debate – so let’s take a close look into Indonesia’s journey towards energy democracy.

Indonesia has a rigid, vertically integrated power system with one state-owned company, PLN, having sole operational authority over power generation, transmission, and distribution (for us muggles, it is effectively a monopoly). Okay, technically there are independent power producers and private companies having a business license (“wilayah usaha” or “wilus”) – but most of us individual consumers get electricity from PLN (then for the sake of discussion, I will refer to consumers as PLN’s consumers). Our power generation is still dominated by fossil energy (and ~60% from coal), so it is not hard to deduce that the electricity we are using now is also fossil-based. 

It was 2013, the year when consumers could “legally” pick their own energy source – through rooftop solar PV installation. That year, PLN’s president director issued an internal regulation permitting parallel operation of consumer’s rooftop solar PV with PLN’s grid. The terms: net-metering, 1:1 export import tariff, minimum bill applied. No big launch, not even a proper socialization – but it was one hell of a milestone.

At the individual level, solar energy is the only feasible renewable energy source we can utilize to power our activities (I have one on my roof!). And with this in mind, IESR began the groundwork to mainstream solar energy in Indonesia’s energy landscape in 2016 – playing a significant part in the issuance of the  first ministerial regulation on rooftop solar PV, driving active involvement of diverse stakeholders in promoting solar energy, pushing for better regulations (the OG ministerial regulation had been revised twice and replaced once), and until now, battling a setback as the ministry attempts to “limit” rooftop solar PV penetration.

We believe that energy is an essential service (among five: sandang, pangan, papan, colokan, paketan), and we firmly support the notion that consumers have the right to choose their energy source – renewable, more sustainable ones capable of delivering high-quality energy access. It should not be a privilege or a luxury. Between 2019 – 2021, we asked people across Java-Bali if they were willing to shift to solar energy – and there is a market potential (early adopters and early followers) of 13% in Greater Jakarta, 19% in Surabaya, 9.6% in Central Java, and 23.3% in Bali. Businesses also have similar interests: 9.8% market potential in Central Java and 21.1% in Bali. They are no small numbers, yes? 

Now, are current policies, business practices, narratives, even our own personal perspectives and lifestyles – sufficient in supporting the rights for us consumers, society, to choose our own sustainable energy sources? 

I had a hard time summarizing this long writing – so I just want to say thank you for reading this in full and for supporting our work. You can help us even more by sharing this with others.

 

Till we meet again.