C20 Urges Utilities Companies in G20 to Implement Energy Transition

press release
From left to right: Vivian Lee (SFOC), Fabby Tumiwa (IESR), Federico Lopez De Alba (CFE), Dennis Volk (BNetza), Philippe Benoit (Columbia University) photo by IESR

Bali, 30 August 2022 – As the main contributor to GHG emissions in the energy sector, Civil of Twenty (C20) Indonesia urges power utility companies to set inevitable targets, and a clear climate mitigation roadmap to reach zero emission by 2050. Civil of Twenty (C20) Indonesia invited energy experts and representatives from G20 power utility companies to discuss and urge the long-term strategy proposed by these power utility companies to accelerate the clean energy transition in their respective countries so as to align with the 1.5C pathway.

Risnawati Utami, the Sous-Sherpa of C20 Indonesia, in her opening remarks emphasized the importance of Indonesia’s leadership to promote and engage all civil societies to influence the commitment and policy of the countries’ members to adopt the human rights principles and international cooperation in mitigating the climate risks.

“The role of international cooperation recognizes the government’s responsibility to work together internationally, to urge implementation plans and strategies to reduce climate risks,” said Utami in the webinar of C20 titled “Role of G20 Power Utilities in Climate Mitigation Efforts”.

The COP27 High-Level Champion, Mahmoud Mohieldin stated about 800 million people in the world are still living without electricity access. He said that solutions to overcome the energy problem and mitigate the climate crisis are the availability of adequate policy, effective implementation, localization and financing.

“The Paris Agreement needs to be aligned and integrated with the SDG framework, otherwise we are going to be suffering from a bad refabrication and partial approach,” said Moheildin.

He expected that in COP27 which will be held in Egypt, more countries will come up with a more holistic approach towards sustainability focusing on the implementation and projectization ideas and initiatives and more of emphasis on the regional dimension, localization, and finance.

Fabby Tumiwa, Co-chair of C20 Indonesia and Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) stated that as Indonesia holds the G20 Presidency, it should take bold action in orchestrating its power utility to implement energy transition. 

“Every country has to find its own way to deal with energy transition. The utility is facing serious challenges, such as climate change impacting the operation of the energy system, customer demands more renewable electricity at an affordable price, the workforce needs to upgrade with the current skill of renewable energy, regulation to limit carbon emissions, new technology is coming up that creates uncertainty in current utility business model,” said Fabby.

Fabby added that utilities need to adapt faster since there is limited time left to combat the climate crisis. Learning and skill shares among G20 members are crucial for utilities able to implement the solution immediately.

Philippe Benoit from Global Energy Policy, Columbia University presented that as State-owned Power Companies (SPCs) play a significant role in reducing GHG emissions, the government needs to reform it by influencing SPCs with policy options and targeted interventions directly and indirectly.

“The government can support SPC low carbon action by making resources available to SPC and advocacy, external pressure. But I would say, the easiest for a government that is committed to climate policy is to exercise the government shareholder power. For example, formal directive through Board resolutions and instructions, senior management appointments and dismissals,” said Benoit.

He added that other reformations of SPC include resourcing SPC low carbon actions with clear, consistent government direction, financing, complimentary or associated infrastructure, administrative support and capacity building for SPCs.

“SPCs need to participate in low carbon transition, as partners, not adversaries, and as enablers, not just producers. Empowering SPC low carbon action is key to achieving national and global climate goals,” he said.

Joojin Kim, Managing Director of Solutions for Our Climate (SFOC) offered a G20 outlook on accommodating more renewables in the power system. 

“We are in a pivotal moment and state utilities in the G20 must show leadership to unite the international community around solutions to the climate crisis. Many G20 nations, especially in Asia, are experiencing significant curtailment of renewables. Amid the present global energy situation, curtailment poses further uncertainty and economic loss. To address such challenges, countries must establish a governance framework that will ensure fair access and compensation for technologies that contribute to grid flexibility in order to reduce fossil fuel expenditure and increase renewable energy in the power mix,” said Joojin.

Evy Haryadi, Director of Corporate Planning of Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), Indonesia, stated that achieving Indonesia’s net-zero target by 2060 by phasing out coal and developing renewable energy needs enormous investment. 

“Indonesia needs around USD 600 billion investment for carbon neutrality by 2060. We need support from international funders. However, for early retirement initiatives, the energy transition financing scheme is not existing in the market but is green financing. Transition financing still needs some regulatory framework, especially in international financing,” said Evy Haryadi. 

This event is organized by the C20 working group of environment, climate justice, and energy transition (ECEWG). C20 is one of the engagement groups under the G20 which represents civil society voices and concerns.

Significant Roles of Subnational Governments to Lead the Decentralization of Energy Transition

press release

Bali, 30 August 2022The post-pandemic economic recovery by staying focused on making ambitious climate mitigation efforts through low-carbon development is a step that needs to be taken by local governments. The success of low-carbon development is also inseparable from planning for a just energy transition. The commitment of various parties, including local governments and communities to promoting the energy transition, is crucial considering that decentralization of the energy transition will have multiple impacts.

The Governor of Central Java, Ganjar Pranowo, said that through the Central Java Energy and Mineral Resources Office, he was actively pushing for energy transition efforts in his region. Energy transition policy instruments such as governor’s circular letters, regional secretaries, and various initiatives such as the declaration of Central Java to become a solar province in 2019, are ways to attract the private sector and the public to utilize renewable energy through the adoption of rooftop solar. Until Q2 2022, the total installed PLTS capacity in Central Java Province reached 22 MWp. The Central Java Provincial Government also supports the use of other renewable energy that is abundantly available, such as livestock manure biogas and micro hydro power plant(MHP), with government programs or encouraging community collaboration.

“Asymmetric decentralization by inclusion with (treatment-red) specifically in every location. With collective awareness, the potential for renewable energy in the area is checked and stimulated,” said Ganjar. This, according to Ganjar, will encourage a faster transformation.

Central Java’s climate commitment is also shown by starting to use electric vehicles as provincial government official vehicles.

Togap Simangunsong, Expert Staff of the Minister of Home Affairs for Social Affairs and Inter-Institutional Relations, Ministry of Home Affairs appreciated the good practices carried out by the Central Java Provincial government. He said that his party and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources are currently drafting a Presidential Regulation that strengthens the authority of regional/provincial governments in the administration of government affairs in the field of energy, mineral resources, and sub-sector of new and renewable energy.

“Through this, it is hoped that local governments can provide support in efforts to achieve the target of the new renewable energy mix as an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that local government commitments are made to accelerate energy justice following their authority,” said Togap representing the Minister of Home Affairs, Tito Karnavian in a webinar entitled “Energy Transitional Decentralization: Increasing the role of communities and local government” organized by the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) and the Central Java Provincial Government.

In addition, Chrisnawan Anditya, Head of the Planning Bureau, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said that the utilization of renewable energy potential will open up opportunities in building a green national economy and as an effort to recover the economy after the pandemic under the G20 Presidency’s theme, “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”.

“Each region has a special new renewable energy potential that can be used to improve the welfare of local communities. The difference in the potential for new and renewable energy between regions is a technical challenge, as well as a great opportunity for our energy system. This condition allows the sharing of energy based on new and renewable energy when the area experiences energy abundance or scarcity. For this to happen, an integrated electric power system (smart grid and super grid) is needed,” explained Chrisnawan on the same occasion.

Furthermore, strong leadership at the regional level will be able to mobilize the community to make the cooperation of energy transition. This was stated by Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR. He said the initiative and leadership of the local government will be able to answer the problem of access and security of energy supply by utilizing the abundant renewable energy potential in the area.

“Indonesia’s energy transition requires the construction of hundreds or even thousands of gigawatts, renewable energy generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure and energy storage systems. But by starting to divide it into small units, the big problems can be more easily solved and carried out by more parties,” said Fabby.

He added, based on the IESR study, that the decarbonization of the energy system in Indonesia will cost USD 1.3 trillion by 2050, with an average investment requirement of USD 30-50 billion per year. This amount is 150%-200% of the current total investment in the entire energy sector.

“This investment need is costly and cannot be borne solely by the government and SOEs. But this large investment can be met if we take into account the potential of the contribution and innovation power of the community as well as the capabilities of local governments. Citizens’ contributions and innovations can mobilize funding from the government, local government and village governments, as well as funding from the private sector and non-governmental institutions,” he added.

Bali is the first province in Indonesia to have a special governor regulation for clean energy and electric vehicles. In the Governor’s Regulation on Bali Clean Energy, the Governor of Bali encourages the use of renewable energy for various sectors, especially rooftop solar power plants. This effort is carried out to realize the vision of low carbon development in Bali and concrete steps for sustainable tourism.

“Due to the pandemic, Bali’s tourism has stumbled, after the pandemic, Bali has started to rise. Several tips have been implemented, such as the governor’s regulations and circulars regarding the adoption of rooftop solar power plants. Actually, the main target is tourism, but first, do a pilot in the government,” said Ida Ayu, Expert Staff to the Governor of Bali.

The plans and steps for achieving renewable energy targets in the Regional Energy General Plan (RUED) are also carried out by the Jambi Provincial government. The Governor of Jambi, Al Haris, through the Deputy Governor of Jambi, Abdullah Sani, emphasized his commitment to work together with the central and private parties to develop regional energy transitions because the resources they have are very sufficient, only to use and transform natural resources into energy that can be enjoyed by the Jambi community in particular.

The Jambi Provincial Government through the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources has also collaborated with IESR for the implementation of RUED and energy conservation efforts within the local government. Currently, the Governor of Jambi is in the process of issuing a governor regulation for the use of PV mini-grid as a substitute for energy subsidies.

Preparing the Workforce That Will Be Affected by Reduced Demand of Fossil Energy

Jakarta, July 6, 2022 – The global commitment to reduce the use of fossil energy, as well as the increasing climate ambitions of coal-using countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, the European Union and South Africa have caused global coal demand to fall significantly.

As one of the largest coal exporting countries in the world, Indonesia needs to pay close attention to this. Coal contributes a lot to national non-tax revenues (PNBP), for coal-producing regions, the role of coal commodities for regional income can be very large.

The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) tries to see the implications of the policy of eliminating coal use and the global and domestic climate on the Indonesian economy, especially for workers in the sector through the study “Redefining Future Jobs: Implication of Coal Phase-Out to the Employment Sector and Economic Transformation in Indonesia’s Coal Region”.

This study also aims to see opportunities for economic transformation in coal-dependent areas and provide better welfare for workers. Julius Christian, the author of this study, explained that data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources showed that in 2020 there were 167,380 workers in the coal mining sector. Demographically, these workers are on average under 40 years old, so they will still be of productive age in the next 10 years.

“In terms of the workforce, because most of them are young, there is an opportunity to conduct training in preparation for entering other industries,” said Julius.

Preparing for economic transformation after the coal economy era is full of challenges but must be done. This is to anticipate the demand for coal which could drop more drastically. Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR stated that if the countries of the world had more ambitious climate action to pursue the Paris agreement targets, there would be a 20% reduction in coal demand by 2030, 60% by 2040 and 90% by 2050.

“This decline in production must also be anticipated because it will definitely affect the absorption of labor in the coal sector,” Fabby reminded.

Hendra Sinadia, Executive Director of APBI ICMA (Indonesian Coal Miners Association), also added that to target workers who are potentially affected, it is necessary to map coal reserves by company.

“So that the transformation process is effective and efficient, we can map the reserves for each company so that we can see how long their operating life will be. For small companies, maybe in 2030-2040 their operational period will be finished so it can be prioritized for their workers to receive training,” explained Hendra who was present virtually at the focused group discussion launching the study “Redefining the Future Job”.

Making Room for Renewable Energy

Jakarta, 15 June 2022 – Indonesia has committed to no longer build coal except those already in the contract process. At COP 26, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources said that Indonesia is ready to retire 9.2 GW of coal-fired power plants if there is international assistance. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is targeting old power plants whose efficiency has decreased. To pursue the 23% energy mix by 2025, apart from executing the plan to add renewable energy capacity in the RUPTL, at least 18 GW of solar energy is still needed until 2025 to meet the 23% renewable energy target in the national energy mix.

Another alternative that can be taken is to integrate renewables into the current electricity system by modifying the CFPP to be more flexible. In the latest IESR’s report, entitled Flexible Thermal Power Plant: An Analysis of Operating Coal-Fired Power Plants Flexibly to Enable the High-Level Variable Renewables in Indonesia’s Power System, it is explained that flexible CFPP’s operations can be carried out in Indonesia by retrofitting the CFPP unit first.

The retrofitting process will make the CFPP operation more flexible by reducing the minimum load. This is done to reduce operational costs that arise due to the increase in the start-up/shutdown process as a consequence of the increase in renewable energy variables in the grid. Two countries that have carried out CFPP operations flexibly are Germany and India.

“In Germany the CFPPs being retrofitted are the old ones. One of the strategies taken is to provide incentives for thermal power plants. Meanwhile in India, flexible CFPP operations are still in the pilot project stage, and currently preparing market policy instruments like what has been done in Germany,” explained Raditya Wiranegara, author of the Flexible Thermal Power Plant report.

Raditya added that the cost of generating flexible coal power plants is lower than gas turbine or combine cycle so that it can be considered as an option for generating power in the transition period efficiently and making room for renewable energy.

Bayu Nugroho, Director of Electrical Engineering and Environment, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said that it is possible to operate this flexible power plant in Indonesia, but some preparations need to be made beforehand.

“To achieve NZE 2060 we have to make various efforts. One of them that the government is currently preparing is a carbon tax mechanism. This scheme can also be done, we (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources) need to mix everything so that it can run optimally,” explained Bayu in the panel discussion during the report launch.

Arief Sugianto, VP of PLN’s RUPTL Control, stated a number of prerequisites if we want to make the coal fleet in Indonesia operate flexibly.

“First we need to think about what incentives will be given to the CFPP which will be operated flexibly, and who will bear the subsidy,” he said.

Arief added, in the context of PLN, which uses a take or pay scheme in buying and selling electricity with an IPP, it is rather difficult to directly implement this flexible PLTU operation because the initial retrofit costs will burden the government or customers.

With the current state of coal still dominating electricity generation in Indonesia, there are several steps the government can take to increase the renewable energy mix, including reducing coal capacity and operating CFPP flexibly.

“We see that there are 5 GW of old coal capacity (above 35 years) as low-hanging fruit that can be retired immediately, because its efficiency has decreased and is full of emissions,” explained Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR.

Fabby added that operating the CFPP flexibly can open up some space for renewable energy to enter the grid.

Dimitri Pescia, Program Lead Southeast Asia, Agora Energiewende, reminded that flexible coal power plants are not a clean energy source even though they may produce less emissions than ordinary coal power plants.

“Flexible power plant is not a clean energy source, but it provides space for renewables to be  integrated into the grid efficiently, so it can be used as a temporary solution to transition to a renewable energy system,” said Dimitri.

Dimitri further explained that the technology used in flexible CFPP operation is quite complex and still produces emissions, so the carbon price instrument is an important element to maintain a balance and we must immediately switch to a renewable energy system.

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