Indonesia Needs not only Energy Transition, but The Accelerated One

Jakarta, May 31, 2022 – The geopolitical conflicts that have occurred in the last few months have affected a number of global situations, one of which is the condition of energy supply. European Union countries that feel the impact of the disruption in energy supply have begun to look for various alternatives, both in the short and long term. As a long-term solution, the European Union issued a new energy policy entitled “REpower EU”. Under this policy, the European Union plans to increase its renewable energy capacity to 740 GWdc by 2030 to reduce their dependence on Russia’s fossil energy and ensure its energy security.

Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, at the MGN Media Summit on Tuesday, May 31, 2022, stated that the current global geopolitical situation is indeed not favorable for the energy transition not only in Indonesia but in various countries in the world. However, after several months of ongoing geopolitical tensions, a number of countries have begun to use this momentum to break away from dependence on fossil energy and accelerate their renewable energy. Indonesia should also be able to do the same thing for instance by ensuring that the regulations made to support the acceleration of renewable energy such as the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Decree number 26/2021 are implemented.

“The weakness of this country is that the plan has been made but its implementation and enforcement is still weak, for example the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation 26/2021 regarding rooftop PV,” Fabby explained.

Fabby explained that the MEMR Ministerial Regulation number 26/2021 had not yet been implemented by PLN because several issues were still hampered, one of which was the Ministry of Finance’s compensation for PLN, whose regulations had not yet been made.

“Then maybe the DPR RI can summon the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to explain the situation and ask them to immediately design a compensation scheme for PLN,” he added.

The energy transition situation in Indonesia itself is not very encouraging. Having a renewables mix target of 23% in 2025, data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in February 2022 shows that the target has only been achieved around 11.5%. Sugeng Suparwoto, Chairman of Commission VII DPR RI which handles energy, admitted that it was difficult to pursue the renewable energy mix target, but that did not mean it was impossible.

“I have to admit this is hard, but with our extra hard work together, I am still optimistic that we can achieve it,” explained Sugeng.

PLN as a key actor, especially in accelerating renewable energy, stated that apart from providing energy, the demand side for energy must also be ensured.

“We also need to ensure that the demand for renewable energy is available. PLN itself will rely heavily on existing technology to pursue net-zero emission (NZE) and energy mix targets,” Cita Dewi, EVP Planning & Engineering for EBT at PT PLN (Persero), explained.

Cita added that his party cannot work alone to execute the acceleration of renewable energy on its own. It takes collaboration of various parties to ensure this energy transition runs.

Daniel Purba, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Investment, PT Pertamina (Persero) stated that our fossil reserves are not as large as they used to be. In terms of consumption, even though at this time fossils still dominate, in the future it will definitely change.

“Even though now, for example, fuel dominates people’s consumption, in the future electric vehicles and alternative fuels such as hydrogen will be widely used,” he said.

With this phenomenon, corporations have a need to diversify and even transform their business so that the company can be sustainable, and gain the trust of both investors and consumers.

“Pertamina itself has started to diversify its business by starting to develop hydrogen and using solar power in our operational offices,” added Daniel.

Highlighting energy policy in Indonesia, Djoko Siswanto, Secretary General of the National Energy Council, stated that Indonesia has quite complete policy instruments, starting from road maps, targets, and plans. However, according to him, it is important to measure whether we are on the right path of the various policy instruments that exist in Indonesia and if Indonesia energy security is resilient.

“Various policy schemes that currently exist put our energy security index in the ‘resistant’ category. We haven’t been able to reach the ‘very resilient’ category because of several things, including our energy (oil) imports are still high, our energy infrastructure (grid) still needs to be improved, and our NRE mix is ​​still low,” Djoko explained.

Djoko added that the government needs to resolve these issues to ensure Indonesia’s energy security and to reduce GHG emissions from the energy sector. In this way, Indonesia’s commitments to various international agreements are fulfilled.

Welcoming the Gigawatt Order of Solar Energy with Readiness of Qualified Human Resources

Jakarta, 20 April 2022One of the essential things in building a solar PV ecosystem in Indonesia is the readiness of its human resources. Measuring Indonesia’s readiness to enter the gigawatt order, the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) held a webinar entitled “Solar Energy Gigawatt Order, Is Indonesia Ready?” in the Indonesia Solar Summit 2022.

The General National Energy Plan (RUEN) targets a solar PV capacity of 6.5 GW in 2025. It opens up opportunities for high solar PV demand. RUEN also mandates the use of solar cells at a minimum of 30 percent of the roof area of ​​all government buildings, and 25 percent of the roof area of ​​luxury houses.

Anthony Utomo, Deputy Chairperson of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), views that this opportunity needs to be met with the availability of local workers to provide, install, maintain and maintain solar PV. 

“AESI in the solarpreneur program collaborates with universities so that training (related to rooftop solar PV) is available to the community, the installation can be served properly, and in the end it can create new jobs,” explained Anthony.

Ratna Muntiowati, Marketing Director, TotalEnergies Renewables DG emphasized that seeing the development of solar PV getting more and more widespread in Southeast Asia, therefore, in the near future, the solar PV market will not only be in Indonesia. Moreover, she stated that the curriculum of renewable energy should be applied in all science majors.

“Tantangan yang kita hadapi dalam instalasi di atas bangunan ialah struktur bangunan tidak terlalu kuat. Hal ini bisa juga dimasukkan ke dalam kurikulum pendidikan.Bahkan saat ini, Standar Nasional Indonesia (SNI) untuk civil construction, sudah memasukkan ketentuan untuk instalasi solar panel. Ini yang bisa diimplementasikan oleh lembaga pendidikan. Sehingga saat ada instalasi atau desain pabrik baru (untuk PLTS atap), sudah diperhitungkan sesuai SNI,”ujarnya.

Daniel Pianka, Universitas Kristen Immanuel (UNKRIM), Yogyakarta sepakat bahwa pelatihan dan edukasi energi terbarukan memainkan peran penting dalam membangun SDM yang berkualitas. Berdasarkan pembelajaran dari pemasangan 10 kWp panel surya di universitasnya, Daniel mengungkapkan bahwa kemampuan SDM yang mumpuni dalam melakukan instalasi panel surya turut menentukan keawetan sistem panel surya yang digunakan.

“Instalasi yang belum baik misalnya menyambungkan kabel hanya dengan isolasi (perekat) akan membuat kabel mudah terbakar jika ada daya yang tinggi. Instalasi yang berkualitas akan membuat sistem surya panel bisa digunakan lebih lama,” tuturnya.

Lebih lanjut, Daniel menjelaskan UKRIM telah membangun program energi. Program ini bertujuan untuk melatih mahasiswa, yang dominan berasal dari daerah 3T (Terdepan, Terpencil dan Tertinggal) untuk menjadi teknisi, melakukan instalasi yang rumit dan merawat PLTS.

“Program ini diharapkan mampu menghasilkan SDM yang terlatih dan termotivasi untuk terjun dalam sektor energi terbarukan, menciptakan banyak proyek energi berkelanjutan, gaya hidup yang lebih baik dan emisi karbon yang rendah,” tukasnya.

Di sisi lain, Eng Purnomo Sejati, Kepala SMK Ora et Labora, BSD menuturkan pihaknya senantiasa beradaptasi terhadap dinamika sektor energi di Indonesia. Semula, sekolahnya dirancang untuk memenuhi kebutuhan SDM pembangunan PLTU 35 GW. Namun, penyesuaian target baru terkait energi terbarukan maupun rencana moratorium PLTU, mendorong lembaga pendidikan yang ia pimpin bertransformasi menuju energi terbarukan.

“Sejak tahun lalu, kami bermanuver untuk membuka area lain seperti energi terbarukan dan surya. Kami sudah melakukan penetrasi dan bermitra dengan perusahaan terkait. Kami juga ingin mengembangkan kendaraan listrik, industrial internet of things (IIOT), dan perawatan gedung dan fasilitas. Bidang ini kami lihat yang akan sustain ke depan,” papar Purnomo.***

“The challenge we often face is the improper rooftop structure that is weak for solar PV installation. This issue can also be included in the education curriculum. Now, the Indonesian National Standard (SNI) for civil construction has included provisions for the installation of solar panels. Educational institutions can take this opportunity to implement. So when there is an installation or a new factory design (for rooftop solar PV), it has been calculated according to SNI,” she said.

Daniel Pianka, Immanuel Christian University (UNKRIM), Yogyakarta agreed that training and education on renewable energy play a significant role in shaping the quality of human resources. Based on lessons learned from the installation of 10 kWp solar panels at his university, Daniel revealed that the ability of qualified human resources to install solar panels also determines the durability of the solar panel system used.

“Improper installation, for example connecting cables only with adhesive tape will lead to burning cable, as comes the high power. A quality installation will make the solar panel system last longer, “he said.

Furthermore, Daniel explained that UKRIM had built an energy program. This program aims to train students, who predominantly come from 3T areas (frontier, remote, and left behind area) to become technicians, perform complex installations and maintain solar PV.

“This program is expected to produce trained and motivated human resources to engage in the renewable energy sector, creating many sustainable energy projects, better lifestyles, and low carbon emissions,” he said.

On the other hand, Eng Purnomo Sejati, Principal of Ora et Labora Vocational School, BSD said that his party always adapts to the dynamics of the energy sector in Indonesia. Initially, the school was designed to meet the human resource needs of the 35 GW coal-fired power plants construction. However, the adjustment of new targets related to renewable energy, as well as, the plan for a PLTU moratorium, has encouraged the educational institutions he leads to transform into renewable energy.

“Since last year, we have maneuvered to open up other areas such as renewable energy and solar. We have penetrated and partnered with related companies. We also want to develop electric vehicles, industrial internet of things (IIOT), and maintenance of buildings and facilities. We look at this field that will be sustainable in the future, “said Purnomo.

The Russia-Ukraine Conflict and Its Impact on Indonesia’s Energy Sector

Jakarta, April 14, 2022 – The military conflict involving Russia and Ukraine is still ongoing. A number of direct and indirect impacts have begun to be felt by a number of countries, especially European countries because Russia is one of the main suppliers of gas and oil for a number of European countries.

Russia’s political attitude which continues to carry out military action has put the ‘customers’ of Russian oil and gas in a dilemma. If they continue to buy oil and gas from Russia, they are indirectly contributing to the financing of the war. If they don’t buy the oil and gas, their energy security is threatened. Gas and oil currently available have also increased in price, which means higher costs.

Will the Russia-Ukraine war situation have an impact on Indonesia? The Clean, Affordable, and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) project held a public discussion entitled “The Geopolitics of Energy Transition” to examine the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the global energy system and lessons learned for Indonesia’s energy transition.

Fabian Hein, analyst of energy statistics and scenarios, Agora Energiewende explained that currently European Union countries such as Germany, are trying to reduce dependency on fossil energy, especially gas.

“There are two approaches to dealing with this crisis. The first is a short-term approach by replacing gas with coal and oil. Second is a long-term strategic plan by increasing the capacity of renewable energy in the energy system,” Fabian explained.

Dependence on fossil energy does not only occur in Germany, or the European Union countries. Indonesia also has a large dependence on fossil energy for both electricity generation and fuel for the transportation sector.

Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, a lecturer at SBM ITB, warned Indonesia to be careful in viewing and responding to this geopolitical issue.

“The issue of the current energy crisis is not only an imbalance between supply-demand, but there are other factors, namely war, so that energy commodity prices fluctuate and in the Indonesian context the government is in a difficult choice between providing more subsidies or increasing energy prices such as fuel,” Widhyawan explained. .

The choice of the Indonesian government to maintain the share of fossil energy and even provide subsidies through various policies is increasingly irrelevant in these times. The Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform, Fabby Tumiwa, stated that the lesson that can be drawn from the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict mainly on European countries is that dependence on one commodity is a threat to the energy security of a region.

“The IEA also criticized that European countries failed to implement the first principle of energy security, namely supply variation. Apart from depending on one type of commodity, Europe is also very dependent on one country as a supplier, this is vulnerable to the security of energy supply there,” he said.

Fabby continued, that the Russia-Ukraine conflict had a significant global impact on energy development. Renewable energy is more resilient in terms of price and supply due to its local nature. So developing renewable energy in Indonesia is increasingly becoming a necessity in the future to ensure energy security.

Showing Leadership in G20, Indonesia Needs to Increase Solar PV Development

JAKARTA, 20 April 2022 – Carrying the energy transition as the main topic of Indonesia’s presidency at the G20, Indonesia needs to show its leadership in pursuing a more massive renewable energy capacity, especially solar energy. Indonesia can also learn from the experiences of the G20 countries in encouraging the growth of solar energy and accelerating the spread of solar energy.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Indonesia and the Institute of Essential Services Reform (IESR), in collaboration with BloombergNEF and the International Solar Alliance (ISA), held a workshop to take lessons from G20 countries in encouraging the application of solar power relevant to developing countries. The workshops were also not limited to policy frameworks, fiscal and financial instruments, market readiness, and human resource development.

Ali Izadi – Najafabadi, Head of Research APAC, BloombergNEF, expressed his optimism that Indonesia has the potential to accelerate the energy transition.

“Some analysts say Indonesia lags behind other G20 countries in renewable energy, especially solar power, but I believe Indonesia can catch up. Indonesia has many opportunities to reform policies or special regulatory measures focusing on improving the energy economy and the environment,” said Ali.

In line with Ali, Rohit Garde, Senior Associate for Solar Energy Financing at BloombergNEF, said that BloombergNEF measures state policies in the electricity sector and carbon policies. For example, Germany and England have 84% and 83%, respectively, which indicates that both countries have good procedures for PV mini-grid. Meanwhile, the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) of PV mini-grid in India, China, UAE, and Chile is the lowest due to high levels of solar radiation and large-scale PV mini-grid development. Meanwhile, the LCOE of PV mini-grid in Indonesia is the highest due to its small scale and high cost of capital.

“Indonesia must increase its ambitions by revising regulations and removing development barriers,” added Rohit Garde.

One of the important issues in Indonesia’s leadership in the G20 is the energy transition. Yudo Dwinanda Priadi, Expert Staff to the Minister for Strategic Planning at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said that the power plant plan already has an Electric Power Supply Business Plan Electricity Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) 2021-2030. A greener RUPTL is a cornerstone of achieving zero carbon by 2060.

“Solar Power Plants (PLTS) have the largest optimization in Indonesia and will reach 4,680 MW by 2030. Therefore, solar energy has the most abundant potential. In addition, the cost continues to decline, and the rapid development of PV mini-grid technology has made solar power generation a priority. The development of rooftop PV mini-grid also includes better implementation and incentives for people who want to install rooftop PV mini-grid. The government has issued the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources No.26/2021, and the rooftop PV roadmap is in the process as a National Strategic Program (PSN),” said Yudo.

On the other hand, Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR and General Chair of the Indonesian Solar Energy Association (AESI), said solar energy development in Indonesia is relatively slow with several obstacles.

“In 2021, only 0.001 percent of its technical potential will be implemented. However, rooftop solar power generation has continued to increase in the last three years, and that is due to the support from government regulations. RUPTL 2021 is a signal to increase five times to 4.7 MW, and there are also other projects such as exports to Singapore, Riau Islands, and Batam. Therefore, this project has the potential for massive solar energy development,” said Fabby Tumiwa.

Fabby also added several reasons for the obstacles to the energy transition in Indonesia, such as the Domestic Component Level (TKDN).

“Problems in project development such as land and regulations on the Domestic Component Level (TKDN); existing projects require solar module devices from 40% to 60%, and this has not been met by industry in Indonesia and has not received financial assistance from the state; negotiations are quite long while other countries tend to be faster. The Vietnamese government has strong political will and commitment, regulation, implementation, and incentives for tariff policies related to net metering. What is also important is the policy certainty and transmission of the State Electricity Company (PLN),” said Fabby.

Kanaka Arifcandang Winoto, the Senior Business Developer from Mainstream Renewable Power, explained how Indonesia needs to accelerate to meet the renewable energy mix target of 23% in 2025.

“Indonesia is the largest energy consumer in ASEAN, accounting for almost 40 percent of ASEAN’s total energy use. With the significant potential of solar, geothermal, wind and hydropower resources, Indonesia is well-positioned to develop in a low-carbon energy system,” he said.

According to Kanaka, Indonesia is a key player in achieving 1.5℃, so cooperation with all stakeholders is needed to identify a national roadmap for realizing economic growth and climate security.

Dyah Roro Esti, Member of the DPR, Commission VII, explained that his party is open to public input, especially on renewable energy policies that are being discussed in the DPR RI.

 “Data from DEN, Indonesia must optimize 2.5 GW, and each area has potential, both solar and wind. Therefore, it is necessary to have the motivation and political will to cooperate with local governments in optimizing and realizing this potential. The House of Representatives (DPR) is working on the New Renewable Energy (EBT) Bill and will be open to suggestions. However, the EBT Bill (RUU) is still under discussion,” explained Dyah Roro.

On the other hand, regarding policies at the regional level, Ngurah Pasek, Head of the Sub-Division of Environment and Regional Development, Bappedalitbang Bali Province, added that Bali has implemented Perda 29 of 2020 concerning the General Plan of Regional Energy (RUED) whose derivative is Pergub 45 of 2019 about Bali Clean Energy.

“Installation to regencies and cities in Bali Province, which currently has reached 8.5 MW. The target of the Bali Provincial Government regarding budget refocusing is how the installation of solar rooftop solar panels in offices or companies can run well,” he said.

The development of rooftop solar power plants is also happening in Central Java. Nathan Setyawan, Sub-Coordinator of Natural Resources and Environment, Central Java Regional Development Planning Agency, explained some progress in supporting renewable energy in his area.

“Central Java is the only province that has developed and integrated economic recovery and the use of renewable energy. In 2021, we will encourage not only provincial governments but also regents and mayors and the private sector to implement rooftop solar power plants.”

He emphasized that increasing public awareness and support from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources would encourage the use of communal solar power plants in remote areas. In addition, Nathan hopes that the availability of affordable clean energy supporting technology will help develop the local renewable energy industry.

“Hopefully, there will be a mini silicon valley to develop new renewable energy-oriented industries,” he added.***

Sticks with Biofuel Policy

In recent years, the government has been aggressively encouraging the use of biofuel as one of the main alternatives to fuel oil. However, many constraints and impacts on the economic, social, and environmental side arise in this biofuel use program.

The world’s biggest palm oil producer, and exporter, Indonesia, will push ahead with its ambitious biodiesel program even as prices of tropical oil have soared, which could increase the costs of producing biofuel. The B30 program stipulates fossil fuels must be blended with 30% palm oil. The mandate is aimed at soaking up bulging supplies in the top grower. But palm’s premium over gasoil has ballooned to record levels, driven by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that has tightened global cooking oil supplies.

“We haven’t discussed the evaluated B30 program because it is still running as planned,” Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) said. However, he said that the government could monitor crude palm oil and petroleum prices closely and will prepare options to anticipate any development without elaborating on those plans.

He continued that the problem arises because there are B40 mandates that have been postponed many times, rumors of the B40 loans, and others are skeptical if it is possible to launch B40 mandates in the current situation. But the biofuel strategy must go on because it’s also part of Indonesia energy’s strategy.

Indonesia’s efforts to increase the palm content in biofuel to 40% by 2021 were put on hold due to cheaper fuel costs and record-high palm prices. In addition, raising the blending rate would require the government to provide a significant incentive through the money it collects from palm oil export levies. As a result, road tests for vehicles powered by 40% palm biofuel may be delayed, but discussions on B40 are ongoing.

“Indonesia has several issues in launching the B40 because of the pandemic era. First, in 2020, the oil demands declined. As a result, CPO is lowered, significantly affecting the financial crisis. In 2021, there was uncertainty about the price, and the government didn’t want to give subsidies. The second problem is infrastructure. For example, part of the strategy for increasing biofuel is a refinery prepared by Pertamina in Balongan Refinery, and it’s still in development. But if these problems are solved, all the essential elements of starting the B40 this year make sense,” Fabby said.

 

The B40 plan was delayed again on high CPO prices, but Indonesia is optimistic about the year 2023 being implemented

Doubts have emerged over Indonesia’s plan to roll out B40-type biofuel this early year as the high price of CPO renders such fuel uneconomical. As a result, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has announced a delay in implementing a mandatory 40 percent palm oil-based biodiesel (B40) policy to “prioritize stability” amid rising CPO prices. 

Based on The Jakarta Post’s1 articles on March 29, 2022, Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif said that the government would continue its B30 policy – of 30% palm oil-based biodiesel – in 2022 and devise solutions to maintain the price gap between CPO and biofuel prices. He said that technically B40 is ready to be implemented and is still reviewing whether they’re prepared to produce more CPO. 

“As we know that the B40 program was slated for implementation in July 2021 following the success of the B30 program in 2019, but it was delayed by a year as high CPO prices had made the fuel uneconomical and because of the pandemic condition, but the government had planned to conduct the B40 trial on this year and we optimistic it will be implemented on 2023,” stated Fabby.

Fabby said the government was still committed to escalating the biofuel policy and developing the development plan. As of 28 March 2022, CPO prices had risen 27.5% Year To Date (YTD). The government hopes that increasing the proportion of processed CPO in biofuel would help limit petroleum imports. Indonesia has long been one of the world’s largest crude oil and gasoline fuel importers.

In 2021, the B30 program reduced greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 25 million tons, and the government studied the technological, economic, regulatory, and supporting industry aspects of implementing B40. Fabby suggested that the government begin implementing the mandatory B40 policy in 2023.

 

The Future of Biofuel Strategy

The use of biofuel continues to be increased by optimizing the production of domestic biofuels (BBN). With this policy, it is hoped that by 2027 Indonesia will no longer import fuel to save foreign exchange and improve the welfare of oil palm farmers through the mandatory biofuel program.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) stated that the implementation of biofuel has been successful for 15 years. However, even in biofuel with a blending rate of 30 percent, some time ago, bioavtur was tested on flights from Bandung to Jakarta and vice versa. It turns out that the results are entirely satisfactory, so it can continue to be improved.

Biofuel would act as the main substitute for petroleum fuel, especially in the transportation sector. However, based on IESR’s study, the future potential of biofuel is highly uncertain due to the rapid development of alternative technologies, especially electric vehicles. The government needs to be prudent in developing the long-term plan for biofuel and putting it under the broader energy transition plan. Increasing the biofuel mandate too aggressively could risk the infrastructure becoming stranded assets. 

The energy strategy tried to integrate biofuel planning with electric vehicle adoption and petroleum refinery development. In addition, to reduce the risk of stranded assets, investment in biofuel could be directed to retrofitting existing plants for co-processing or developing biofuel refineries that are more flexible in product portfolio and transformable to other products.

 

Source: 

  1. B40 biodiesel plan delayed again on high CPO prices, 29 March 2022
  2. Critical Review on the Biofuel Development Policy in Indonesia
  3. Energy Intelligent Interview with Fabby Tumiwa 

 

Just Energy Transition Highly Required Attractive Policy, Regulation and Finance Access

Jakarta, 29 March 2022 – Just energy transition becomes one of the priority issues of Indonesia’s G20 Presidency 2022. Zooming in on a just energy transition issue, Yudo Dwinanda Priaadi, chair of the Energy Transition Working Group, explains that there are three issues related to energy transition to be accelerated i.e access, technology, and financing. 

The energy transition is about changing the whole system of energy from fossil fuel-based to renewables-based. It involves multi-sector reform to get there. Ensuring energy access is provided at an affordable cost and way is important as it is mentioned in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7 i.e affordable and clean energy. Therefore providing infrastructure of clean energy as the first step of the energy transition becomes crucial.

Technology transfer needs to be taken care of, as in Indonesia’s context, all the technology of clean energy right now was developed by other countries. To avoid Indonesia becoming only the market for other countries ‘selling’ their technology, we need the knowledge of technology and even have to be able to produce the technology by ourselves.

Fabby Tumiwa, the Executive Director of IESR, believes that the most important issue of energy transition currently is financing.

“If we have sufficient financing, we can access the technology and build the infrastructure of clean energy. At the same time we will also create a low carbon economy system in the country,” he said.

Luiz de Mello, Director of Economics Department OECD, added that there is an opportunity to make progress in a low carbon economy as the world tries to get out of the pandemic situation. According to him, there are at least three things the government should do, including mobilizing investment for low carbon infrastructure, making regulations and standards, as well as managing labor investment including training and retraining for those previously working in the fossil industry.

“On an international level we also need policy coordination as we are addressing a global issue, we need a global solution,” Luiz added.

The government also must provide a predictable regulation and framework to attract investors to invest in renewable projects. Frank Jotzo, Head of Energy, Institute for Climate Energy and Disaster Solutions, Australia National University, emphasized the importance of providing a de-risking instrument to accelerate the energy transition. 

“We realize that the investment needed (for energy transition) is enormous, yet there are a couple of things to do to figure out the way to finance the transition. For the note, it is a productive investment where most of the money goes for the upfront cost, and later we can enjoy the clean energy without too many costs needed,” Frank explained.

As the G20 President, Indonesia becomes the spotlight of its energy transition process. Masyita Crystallin, Special Advisor to the Minister of Finance on Macroeconomic and Fiscal Policy Ministry of Finance Indonesia, shares that the Indonesian Government strives for a just energy transition.

“Of course we aim for a just energy transition, meaning that stranded assets must be taken care of and the laborers who used to work in the fossil or mining industry are protected,” she explains.

Masyita also emphasized that the global policy mechanism should be ready as well to support the transition that happened per country.

Financier’s Club: Financing Solar Energy in Indonesia – Discusses Solar Energy Financing Issues in Energy Transition

Jakarta, 18 March 2022– The financing of energy transition in Indonesia, especially in the Solar PV Power Plant, needs to be mobilized immediately. The technical potential of solar energy in Indonesia is enormous. Based on a study from the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), the potential of solar energy in Indonesia is up to 20,000 GWp waiting to be harvested so that it can achieve a carbon-neutral target in 2060 or sooner, according to the government’s commitment. Financial institutions can capture various Solar PV Power Plant financing opportunities by identifying investments and risks. Identification of investments and stakes in Solar PV Power Plant financing, the obstacles financial institutions face in providing Solar PV Power Plant financing schemes, and innovative financing practices are discussed in the Financier’s Club: Financing Solar Energy in Indonesia. This activity was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources with IESR as a pre-event for the Indonesia Solar Summit (ISS) held in Jakarta.  

Opening the discussion, Sahid Djunaidi, Secretary-General of the Directorate General of Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (DG EBTKE), emphasized that the emission reduction target can only be achieved if the country makes an energy transition as a fundamental step. The vast potential and short construction period make solar energy a mainstay in providing renewable energy in Indonesia. Several banks have provided financing schemes for rooftop solar power plants, but financing innovation is still needed to encourage more massive rooftop solar power plants. Currently, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR), in collaboration with UNDP, is conducting an incentive grant program for rooftop solar PV to support the development of rooftop solar PV in Indonesia.

“The challenge in developing solar power plants is in the financial sector because of the high risk, not many markets, and the lack of financing guarantees,” he said.

Coordination in policymaking and cooperation between parties is essential to achieving sustainable finance and climate targets. This was stated by Agus Edy Siregar, Deputy Commissioner for Financial System Stability of the Financial Services Authority (OJK). 

“The climate change mitigation agenda requires large funds and cannot be met only from the state budget, but also requires financing from the financial sector,” he added.

Edy said that OJK had compiled several documents on investment in several sustainable sectors, including a green taxonomy, carbon market preparation, and banking reporting related to the financed sector. It is hoped that there will be incentives and disincentive mechanisms in the finance and financing sector.

In addition, Enrico Hariantoro, Head of the OJK Integrated Financial Services Sector Policy Group, said that OJK has been supporting banking instrumentation for a long time to support sustainability financing (POJK 51/2017 POJK 60/2017). According to him, there are several risk aspects that banks are very concerned about, including technical understanding, how to guard the ecosystem, and the payback period. Furthermore, he argues that financing schemes for Solar PV Power Plant could be more varied and innovative, for example, combining elements from facilities, philanthropy, technical, and becoming one with KPR so that it is included in customers’ comfort level bankability of financial providers. OJK always encourages the acceleration of Solar PV Power Plant financing through regulation, of course, by considering the feasibility study (FS).

On the other hand, Adi Budiarso, Head of the Financial Sector Policy Center (PKSK) Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF), said that there is an Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) to answer the challenges of the energy transition with the primary goal of shortening the economic life of the PLTU Clean Energy Facility (CEF), get additional greenhouse gas emission reductions by building a renewable energy Carbon Recycling Fund (CRF) to achieve Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and gain access to cheaper funding. 

BKF has implemented tax incentives for investments such as tax holidays, tax allowances, PPh DTP, VAT exemptions, import duty exemptions, tax and customs facilities, and exemptions from collecting PPh 22. According to Adi, the Indonesian financial system is ready to implement sustainable finance, supported by green taxonomy. In addition, BKF has conducted mapping with nine universities, associations, and stakeholders. Adi said that Regional Banks had the opportunity to help accelerate the Solar PV Power Plant development. Renewable energy has the potential to create electricity supply independently. The existence of BPR, the regional company, can be one of the doors for the entry of Solar PV Power Plant financing.

Edwin Syahruzad, President Director of PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI), who was present on the same occasion, informed the participants that PT SMI has taken strategic steps in financing Solar PV Power Plant. In addition, PT SMI has provided financing for all types of renewable energy, such as hydroelectric power, geothermal power plants, wind power plants, solar PV power plant, and biomass. However, he said that PT SMI’s commitment to the Solar PV Power Plant project depends on the pipeline project. 

“The Solar PV Power Plant pipeline is more derived from rooftop Solar PV, and I think this is a potential that must be worked on. However, the approach is slightly different from on-grid  Solar PV Power Plants because rooftop  Solar PV comes from contracts with building owners where Solar PV Power Plants are installed. The building owners can come from outside of the electricity sector. The revenue model is also quite different. It is the domain of banks with building owner customers who can expand their business opportunities using rooftop solar PV,” said Edwin.

Reflections on 11 Years of the Fukushima Accident

Jakarta, March 11, 2022 – On March 11, 2011 an earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter Scale rocked Tohoku. The nuclear reactor automatically stops operating and is replaced by a diesel generator to cool the core reactor. However, the 14-meter high tsunami that came later stopped the diesel generator and flooded the nuclear power plant. As a result 3 nuclear nuclei melt and release radioactive material. The Fukushima disaster is categorized as a level 7 nuclear disaster (the highest level made by the International Nuclear Agency), and the largest since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

Even though 11 years have passed since the nuclear reactor accident at Fukushima, the impact is still being felt by Japanese people. In addition, this incident affected a Japanese energy system which at that time was heavily dependent on nuclear plants and the development of nuclear energy around the world.

Since the tragic incident, the world’s nuclear generating capacity has continued to decline, and countries have reviewed their long-term energy plans. Germany, for example, decided to phase-out nuclear power plants; the last 3 nuclear power plants will be retired at the end of 2022. Several other countries are also planning to phase out nuclear power plants in 2025 – 2030. The World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021 noted that Japan had temporarily suspended the use of nuclear plants and even reached 0 in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, the Government of Japan began operating its nuclear plants again, and currently 10 nuclear power plants are operating and supplying 3.9% of Japan’s energy mix.

Tatsujiro Suzuki, Professor and Vice Director of the Research Center for Nuclear Weapon abolition at Nagasaki University (RECNA), in a webinar entitled “The Dynamics of Development of Nuclear Power Plants After the Fukushima Accident” which was held Friday, March 11, 2022, said that the impact of the Fukushima accident had not been completed until today. A number of areas in Fukushima are still closed, although the area affected is reduced. Contamination of water and agricultural products is still happening today.

“From the operational point of view of the nuclear plants that are currently running, there are additional costs to ensure the operational safety of each plant,” explained Suzuki.

JCER (Japan Center for Economic Research) estimates the need for recovery after the Fukushima accident to reach 322 – 719 trillion USD. This figure is higher than the Japanese government’s estimate of 74.3 – 223.1 trillion USD. The government’s calculation is lower because the cost of final disposal of waste is not included in the calculation.

The Japanese public’s perception of nuclear power plants also changed direction after the Fukushima accident. More than half of the Japanese population (56.4%) stated that nuclear power plants should be discontinued and closed immediately.

Member of the National Energy Council, Herman Darnel Ibrahim, highlighted the increasing investment costs of nuclear power plants, and their high security risks.

“The LCOE of nuclear power is considered high at 8-12 cents USD according to the world nuclear agency, even reaching 12-16 cents USD according to Schneider. The existence of a nuclear power plant also creates a feeling of insecurity for the surrounding population,” explained Herman.

Nuclear power plants (PLTN) are discoursed as one of Indonesia’s strategies to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 or sooner. With the massive utilization of renewable energy (75% of renewable energy variables are included in the electricity grid), the development of energy storage systems to reduce the cost of developing renewable energy will make the downward trend of LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) for solar and wind energy with batteries thus make it more economical than the cost of building a nuclear power plant.

M.V Ramana, Professor and Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues of British Columbia University, agrees that nuclear power plants carry major risks. Currently, there are no nuclear plants with ‘zero risk accident’, even the SMR (Small Modular Reactor) technology which is considered safe, still has the potential for accidents.

“Technically, there is no universal design for various places and geographical situations for the construction of nuclear power plants. The risk of accidents, and radioactive waste requires a system that is designed contextually with the local location and situation. This requires an in-depth study,” explained Ramana.

Ramana alluded to the growing perception of nuclear power as a solution to the problem of climate change because it can produce energy with low emissions. According to him, the cost of building a nuclear power plant is higher than currently available technologies, such as solar or wind power plants, which are safer and more affordable.

Ramana explained that statistically, the number of nuclear plants in the world continues to decrease. One of them is because nuclear power is no longer economical. The peak of the development of nuclear power plants was more than 3 decades ago, after that the number of power plants built continued to decline.

“In the future, even in the most optimistic scenario, nuclear plants will only contribute 10% to the global energy mix,” Ramana explained.

Encourage Regional Level Energy Transition Acceleration through the Regional Energy Forum (FED)

Jakarta, 23 February 2022 – Through their respective authorities, local governments play an essential role in achieving national development targets related to renewable energy (RE) development to support the acceleration of the energy transition in Indonesia. In collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), the National Energy Council (DEN), the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) organized the Regional Energy Forum (FED) in accelerating the energy transition at the regional level.

Secretary-General of the National Energy Council (DEN), Djoko Siswanto; Member of the DEN, Musri Mawaleda; and the Director-General of New, Renewable Energy, and Energy Conservation, Dadan Kusdiana, as resource persons in this virtual activity. Also present were the Head of the ESDM Service and the Head of Provincial Bappeda throughout Indonesia, who conveyed the development of the use of Solar Power Plants (PLTS) in their area.

IESR Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa, in his remarks, said that the Regional Energy Forum is part of a series of road-to- Indonesia Solar Summit (ISS) 2022 activities. “This FED activity is motivated by the net-zero emission target. (NZE) in 2060 or sooner, because the potential for solar energy in Indonesia also reaches more than 3,400GW so that it can be the spearhead to achieve NZE 23% of EBT in 2025, “said Fabby.

In his presentation, Musri said that Indonesia has committed to climate change mitigation efforts through ratifying the Paris Agreement as stipulated in Law no. 16 of 2016 and further reaffirmed the commitment in the Glasgow Climate Pact, which aims to limit global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius. This commitment has consequences, especially in the development direction of low-carbon development.

“The government has made several efforts to mitigate climate change in the energy sector, namely the fulfillment of the renewable energy mix target of 23% by 2025, the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 29% and 41% with international assistance, the NZE target in 2060 or more fast, and setting a target for adding new renewable energy plants (EBT) to 51.6% or around 20,923 MW as stated in the 2021-2030 Electric Power Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) document. Specifically for solar power plants (PLTS), the target for constructing additional power plants by 2030 in the RUPTL reaches 4,680 MW or 22% of the total NRE power generation capacity,” said Musri.

Musri said that the support and efforts of local governments, especially the ESDM Service and Bappeda, were needed in accelerating low-carbon development and realizing the targets stated in the RUED matrix or accordance with the capabilities and potential of the local area. He also emphasized that one of the easiest and cheapest power plants to build with and with great potential in Indonesia is solar power.

Secretary-General of the National Energy Council, Djoko Siswanto, said that until now, there are still 12 Provinces that are finalizing the Regional Regulation on the Regional Energy General Plan (Perda RUED), 5 of them are in the process of facilitating the registration number at the Ministry of Home Affairs, 3 Provinces have submitted the draft RUED Provinces in the Program Formation of Regional Regulations (Propemperda) in 2021 and 2022 have also discussed with the Regional People’s Representative Council (DPRD). Four new provinces will discuss with DPRD.

Furthermore, Djoko explained that several governors had issued Governor Regulations (Pergub) and Regional Regulations related to clean energy, electric vehicles, PLTS, and made solar panels mandatory, especially in housing, apartments, and buildings. Some of these provisions are used as the basis by governors to make regulations in their respective provinces.

Director-General of New, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, Dadan Kusdiana, said that solar energy development is part of achieving the target of 23% of the renewable energy mix by 25. He is optimistic that this target can be achieved considering Indonesia is very ready and complete planning. However, he said that in terms of management, things might be delayed, so a more significant portion of rooftop solar power plants is needed as a safety net so that the 23% target can be achieved.

“In the development plan has three main groups: rooftop solar power plants with a 2025 target of 3.61 GW. Then the two large-scale PLTS with a 2030 target of 4.68 GW and floating PLTS with a potential of 26.65 GW. Apart from the issue of PV mini-grid revitalization, it is not only rooftop PV mini-grid; in the regions, several technical problems are not minor in number for operations and maintenance. We will also think about the technical implementation for revitalizing renewable energy plants, especially PLTS,” added Dadan.

The ESDM Office from several regions was also present in the discussion. One of which was the Central Java ESDM Office, represented by the Head of New and Renewable Energy, Eni Lestari. According to Eni, increasing understanding of renewable energy at the grassroots level and encouragement from local governments can help accelerate the development of renewable energy.

“The Central Java provincial government will create an energy instructor at the regional level so that each village can have a guide to understand and adopt renewable energy. The regional secretary’s circular in 2021 that the business, industry, and government building sectors to contribute to the utilization of rooftop solar power plants already exists and can be carried out,” said Eni.

He also added that the financing scheme for PLTS in various sectors is still an obstacle. Therefore, the accelerated renewable energy in the regions cannot rely on the APBD alone but requires contributions from multiple sectors, including the private sector.

In line with Eni, Irfan Hasymi Kelrey from the ESDM Office of NTB said that local governments can encourage renewable energy development with regulations. Still, its implementation requires support and concrete steps from the community in various sectors, especially the private sector.

“Currently, we are drafting the Green Energy Governor’s Regulation related to utilizing all renewable energy, including its potential. We have also distributed a circular for hotels to install rooftop solar power plants in Kab. Sumbawa and Kab. Bima this year is in the process of 10MW. From some of these things, we are optimistic that the West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) NZE target will be achieved faster than Indonesia,” said Irfan Hasymi Kelrey, NTB’s Energy and Mineral Resources Office, when sharing his regional plans and achievements.

Going a step further, the Bali Manpower Office for Energy and Mineral Resources, Ida Bagus Ngurah Arda, revealed that Bali was the first to have Pergub No. 45 of 2019 concerning Clean Energy and will issue a circular with a broader scope, not only in the BUMN or government sector which includes all sectors, involving the private sector, including individuals (rooftop PLTS). Ida also said that the construction of PLTS in various forms continues in Bali.

“Currently, there are several PLTS developments, namely 3.5 MWp in Nusa Penida and 400KWp on the Bali-Mandara toll road,” said Ida.

Meanwhile, Expert Policy Analysis as Coordinator for ESDM affairs, SUPD I, Directorate General of Development, Regional Development (Bangda), Ministry of Home Affairs (Kementerian Dalam Negeri or Kemendagri), Tavip Rubiyanto revealed the challenges faced in being able to synchronize central and regional programs as well as integrating the Regional Energy General Plan (RUED) into the Regional Medium-Term Development Plan (Rencana Pembangunan Jangka Menengah Daerah or RPJMD).

“Local governments can use several instruments, for example, the governor’s instructions, to encourage the acceleration of ET. Regarding codification and budget nomenclature, issues related to NRE budgeting in the regions will refer to Minister of Home Affairs Regulation or Permendagri No. 50. And currently, Bangda is preparing to encourage local governments to integrate RUED into the RPJMD and ESDM Renstra documents to be operationalized in regional planning. So that the RPJMD 2023-2026 can be a way to insert several steps to achieve the ET target,” said Tavip.

The results of the Regional Energy Forum are a follow-up to the Governor’s Forum on Energy Transition (Governor’s Forum), which is one of the events leading up to the 2022 Indonesia Solar Summit. The Indonesia Solar Summit (ISS) is the culmination of a series of multi-stakeholder events to mobilize Indonesia’s solar energy investment potential and accelerate the use of PLTS to achieve the National Energy Policy’s targets (KEN) RUEN. ISS was organized to open up the market and support the development of the solar energy ecosystem in Indonesia and as an ingredient of the G20 presidency in Indonesia.