Roundtable Discussion: Prospect on Energy Transition in Indonesia Power Sector by IESR and Climate Transparency

 Figure 1 Panel discussion during the Prospect on Energy Transition on Indonesia Power Sector roundtable discussion held by IESR and Climate Transparency

On April 2, 2019, Purnomo Yusgiantoro Center attended a roundtable discussion titled “Prospect on Energy Transition in Indonesia Power Sector,” held by Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) and Climate Transparency, in Jakarta. The event addressed an interesting topic on how Indonesia could shift to a cleaner and more sustainable power sector. Fabby Tumiwa, the Executive Director of IESR, opened the session highlighting the possibility of 43% renewable energy (RE) penetration in Java-Bali and Sumatra system as stated in the IESR’s recent study titled “A Roadmap for Indonesia’s Power Sector: How Renewable Energy Can Power Java-Bali and Sumatra.”

The next speaker was Dr. Ursula F. Hutfilter from Climate Analytics, highlighted different countries’ progress to reduce the impact of climate change, especially in the power sector. She mentioned some countries, such as South Africa, Germany, and Chile were planning to end shift away from coal. On the contrary, Asia’s countries, including Indonesia, India, and Vietnam, still relied on coal power plants and their capacity are even planned to increase in the future. The third speaker was Alvin Lin of the Natural Resource Defense Council China, explaining China’s policy to strongly grow the RE capacity in China, including intermittent energy such as solar and wind energy. He mentioned that China is now shifting from the feed-in tariff system to renewable portfolio standard and auction system due to the wind and solar cost reduction.

Next, Bryce McCall of the Energy Research Center of the University of Cape Town highlighted the mismanagement of South Africa’s coal business pushes the RE’s cost to be more competitive. He also emphasized the need for the government support to the workers impacted by the coal shifting. The next speaker, Hannah Schindler of the Climate Transparency, shared German’s experience on clean energy transition. She highlighted the importance of a multi-stakeholder approach and a clear mandate by the government to successfully implement the energy transition.

The event continued with a panel discussion with Afrizal (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resource), Dr. Alin Halimatussadiah (Universitas Indonesia), Dr. Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja (Indonesian Clean Energy Forum), Tata Mustasya (Greenpeace South East Asia) as the discussant. The discussion addressed the government’s commitment to increase the share of renewable energy to 23% in 2025 as well as challenges to achieve the target. The external cost of fossil energy should motivate the development of RE in Indonesia, considering the environmental impact of fossil energy. Meanwhile, the development of natural gas infrastructure is also essential due to natural gas’s role as a transition-energy.

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