Mapping the Potential of Renewable Energy in Indonesia for a More Precise Energy Transition Planning

Jakarta, October 25, 2021 – In order to encourage the acceleration of renewable energy development, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) launched a study entitled “Beyond 443 GW: Indonesia’s Infinite Renewables Energy Potentials”. This study contains data on mapping the technical potential of renewable energy in Indonesia using a Geographical Information System (GIS).

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, in his opening speech hoped that this study could be a constructive input for the government and policy makers in planning and allocating their resources to utilize the potential of renewable energy as much as possible, both in terms of policy regulations and support from the State Budget.

“We hope that this potential mapping will also help local governments who are mandated to take advantage of the potential of renewable energy resources. They are also expected to encourage the use of renewable energy so that efforts to achieve decarbonization can be carried out together,” said Fabby.

This study states a total up to 7,879.4 GW (scenario 1) or 6,811.3 GW (scenario 2) renewable energy potential in Indonesia. It consists of solar (7,714.6 GW scenario 1 and 6,749.3 GW scenario 2), micro hydro ( 28.1 GW scenario 1 and 6.3 GW scenario 2), wind (19.8 GW – 106 GW), and biomass (30.73 GW).

Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini, the author of the ‘Beyond 443 GW’ study, in her presentation explained that the potential data was higher than the one stated in the National Energy General Plan (RUEN) document of 443 GW.

“The potential for renewable energy in Indonesia is very abundant, even more than what is needed to achieve deep decarbonization (or the 2050 zero emission target),” explained Handriyanti.

Through this ‘Beyond 443 GW’ study, IESR recommends the government to (1) update and review data on the technical potential of renewable energy on a regular basis as technology develops; (2) complete the necessary technical potential map with a brief analysis of the intermittent, variability, and network readiness; (3) consider a decentralized system and inter-island connections to ensure access and availability of electricity from renewable energy; (4) provide support for renewable energy technology innovations in order to open up greater utilization opportunities. 

Present as a responder, Hariyanto, Head of the Center for Research and Technology Development (P3TEK) of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, stated that the results of this study could enrich the data on renewable energy potential because the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is currently updating the technical potential data for renewable energy in Indonesia including solar, wind and solar, hydro, and bioenergy.

“From the results presented, currently there are the same numbers and there are different ones because I see there are different assumptions and scenarios. For example, the solar potential, which was originally 207.8 GW when updated, has a potential of 189 – 3,294.4 GW with various assumptions. We will still discuss with all stakeholders whether this figure can be put into practice,” explained Hariyanto.

Djoko Siswanto, Secretary General of the National Energy Council, welcomed this study and stated that the results of this study and the data currently being updated by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources could be the basis for national and local governments in developing renewable energy. According to him, the national government can use the results of the latest renewable energy technical potential mapping as a consideration in the preparation of the National Grand Strategy Energy (GSEN), which is currently being carried out by the DEN.

Meanwhile, for local governments, the results of this mapping can be used as a basis for preparing the General Regional Energy Plan (RUED).

“DEN is currently facilitating the regions to draw up Perda RUED. The results of this mapping will be very useful in drafting Perda RUED which will later become the basis for Regional Governments in developing renewables in their respective regions,” Djoko added.

Still on the same occasion, Chairman of the Indonesian Renewable Energy Society (METI), Surya Darma stressed the importance of always updating data on potential renewable energy on a regular basis.

“The rapid development of technology and the different assumptions used can make the numbers fluctuate, but that’s okay. Our task is to find alternatives so that these potentials can be realized and really utilized,” said Surya Darma.

IESR Launches the Study of Renewable Energy Technical Potential Map Study in Indonesia

Jakarta, October 25, 2021 – A comprehensive renewable energy potential map needs to be prepared to support the energy transition towards utilizing 100 percent renewable energy and achieving zero emissions in Indonesia by 2050.

Indonesia’s renewable energy technical potential data still refers to the General National Energy Plan (RUEN) of 443.2 GW. This data has not been updated since 2014. Moreover, the RUEN data is also much lower than the actual potential of renewable energy.

“The suboptimal data on the potential for renewable energy will affect the perspective, strategy, and decision making on the use of renewable energy in Indonesia. This data confusion will make the government and business actors unable to plan optimally the energy transition in Indonesia, and formulate policies to accelerate the use of renewable energy. Updating data is significantly strategic for the executives to plan Indonesia’s energy transition,” explained Fabby Tumiwa, Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR).

IESR uses GIS to update solar, wind, and water technical potential data. Considering the variability and intermittent issues of these three types of renewable energy, IESR also examines the potential of biomass and pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) for complementing it. As a result, Indonesia has a total technical potential of solar, wind, hydro, and biomass energy of 7,879.43 GW and 7,308.8 GWh for PHES. 

“Biomass and PHES can be used as complementary sources to overcome the intermittent and variability issues of solar, wind, and water energy. Our calculation results show that the biomass potential reaches 30.73 GW. However, its efficiency is only 20-35%, so it requires PHES,” said Handriyanti Diah Puspitarini, Senior Researcher and Lead Author of the Study “Beyond 443 GW Indonesia’s infinite renewable energy potentials”.

This magnificent potential if utilized optimally will be able to meet all energy needs in Indonesia. The study of Decarbonization of Energy Systems in Indonesia, conducted by IESR and published last May, projected that energy capacity needs will reach 1600 GW by 2050. By utilizing 100% renewable energy, Indonesia can meet the electricity demand of 1600 GW and achieve zero emissions by 2050. Based on the study, its main contribution comes from 1,492 GW of solar PV (88% of the primary energy mix), 40 GW of hydropower, and 19 GW of geothermal and supported by optimal storage capacity.

The study “Beyond 443 GW Indonesia’s infinite renewable energy potential” also contains detailed data on the technical potential of solar, wind, water, biomass, and PHES in 34 provinces in Indonesia. This data can be adopted by the central and provincial governments to more aggressively promote and develop renewable energy projects that are decentralized according to their most prominent potential. Yet, it is still interconnected between islands and provinces to balance their energy supply.

“This renewable energy potential map can be further developed by considering the development to operational costs so that it can provide a more precise outline to stakeholders about the optimal location of renewable energy to be developed. Furthermore, the development of renewable energy can be realized with the support of the right policies and regulations,” added Handriyanti.

Through this study, IESR recommends that the government, first, improve data on renewable energy potential as the reference for planning in the energy and development sector, and conduct regular reviews as renewable energy technology matures. Second, the government and experts need to complete the technical potential map with a brief analysis of the network’s intermittent, variability, and grid readiness, including predictions of climate conditions in the next few years. Third, the government and stakeholders should start considering the development of the decentralized system and inter-island connections as a way to provide electricity from renewable energy that is accessible to communities throughout the island, especially remote areas. Fourth, the government needs to give more support to various renewable energy technology innovations so that they can open up opportunities for utilizing the huge potential of renewable energy.

Table : Technical Potential of Renewable Energy in Indonesia


Technical potential

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Solar photovoltaic (rooftop, ground mounted, and floating)

7,714.6 GW

6,749.3 GW

Micro- to small-hydropower, with capacity ≤ 10 MW

28.1 GW

6.3 GW

Onshore wind power

106 GW at 50 m hub height and 88 GW at 100 m hub height

25 GW at 50 m hub height and 19.8 GW at 100 m hub height

Biomass power (only from crop wastes and wooden biomass)

30.73 GW

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

7,308.8 GWh

The study “Beyond 443 GW Indonesia’s infinite renewable energy potential” can be downloaded at the link

The video of launch of the study “Beyond 443 GW Indonesia’s infinite renewable energy potential” can be watched on Youtube IESR Indonesia at