Energy transition is becoming an increasingly popular word in 2022. This is a good sign to spread the issue of energy transition to more and more people. We are currently living in a time that requires fast action to deal with the climate crisis that is already happening right in front of our eyes. The energy transition is a systematic solution to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which are the cause of the increase in the earth’s temperature, causing the climate crisis.
Various groups of scientists such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have warned that our time to contain the rate of increase in Earth’s temperature is getting shorter. Currently the earth’s temperature has increased by 1.1 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times, and the whole world is trying to contain the rate of increase in the earth’s temperature no more than 1.5 degrees.
To achieve this goal, by 2030 we must cut 45% of global GHG emissions. As one of the world’s largest emitter, Indonesia is responsible to reduce emissions, especially in the energy and land use sectors.
From the energy sector, to reduce GHG emissions and in line with the 1.5-degree goal, Indonesia must retire 9.2 GW of coal plants by 2030 and gradually retire all coal capacity by 2045. The decrease in the number of coal capacity must also be accompanied by an increase in renewable energy generation massively as well as improving the quality of transmission and distribution networks.
Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR, in the Young Voices forum organized by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) stated that if Indonesia continues to develop fossil energy, emissions from the energy sector will continue to increase.
“If we continue to develop fossil energy, our emissions will increase by three times. To avoid this, the coal fleet must be retired, and renewable energy must be added,” explained Fabby.
Kuki Soejachmoen, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Indonesia Research Institute for Decarbonization (IRID) highlighted the inconsistent energy transition policies at various levels.
“There are some policies that do not support each other. For example, in international forums we are committed to transition, but there are no supporting policies and enabling environment. Thus, the commitment cannot be carried out,” explained Kuki.
Kuki also added that Indonesia is in a period of development which means that the demand for energy is predicted to continue to rise, if energy development is still based on fossil fuels, of course this will make Indonesia’s emissions continue to rise.
Melissa Kowara, activist for Extinction Rebellion Indonesia, assessed that, although the term energy transition has become increasingly popular, the policy is still not visible.
“Although the Indonesian government and countries in the world have made the energy transition a priority issue, in practice they have not realized the energy transition and some even tend to be ‘misguided’, such as the plan to use CCS/CCUS for coal power plants,” said Melissa.
Responding to this, Fabby Tumiwa said that public encouragement is indeed needed for policy reform for the energy transition.
“Currently there are several policy changes, which if implemented properly can help us carry out the energy transition. Here, one of the roles of the public can be to monitor how the government implements these rules and also to remind them when there is negligence,” concluded Fabby.