By: Akhmad Hanan
Papua is the eastern part of Indonesia which consists of two provinces, West Papua and Papua. According to Law No. 35 of 2008 on Special Autonomy, Papua is granted special autonomy from Indonesia’s government for both Papua and West Papua. This policy is implemented to ensure equity and prosperity of Papua including economic and regional development as well as energy equitability.
In 2019, State Revenue and Expenditure Budget Document (APBN 2019) shows that Papua and West Papua receive a special autonomy fund around 8.4 trillion rupiahs to finance education and health. There are also special autonomy funds around 4.3 trillion rupiahs for infrastructure development such as road and bridge construction, housing, transportation, public facilities, water, and energy infrastructure. This development priority is based on Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2017 concerning the Acceleration of Prosperity Development in the Provinces of Papua and West Papua.
According to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, equitable energy is defined as the condition where there are prosperity, good business climate, and high economic growth. To pursue the equitable energy, government has launched several programs such as (1) Increasing electrification ratios throughout the regions; (2) Equitable, affordable and accessible energy to reduce disparities; (3) Maintaining the supply and sustainability of the energy; (4) Maintaining the investment and economic growth; and (5) Implementing bureaucratic reform in order to create good governance (MEMR, Energi Berkeadilan, 2019).
One of the government programs to support equitable energy is the one-price fuel oil policy. This policy ensures the official selling price of fuel 6,450 rupiahs per liter for premium and 5,150 rupiahs per liter for diesel to be applied in gas stations of all Indonesia’s regions. This program was officially opened on October 17, 2016, by President Joko Widodo. Until now, there are 163 gas stations implemented one-price fuel oil policy in Indonesia with 49 gas stations located in Maluku and Papua. Pertamina, as the state-owned company, is appointed to cover the distribution cost and all the implementation cost of one-price fuel oil policy.
Besides one-price fuel oil, the government is also focused on increasing the electrification ratio in Papua. President Joko Widodo issued a Presidential Regulation Number 2017 concerning Provision of Energy-Saving Solar Energy Lights (LTSHE). LTSHE is an integrated electricity device from small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants. This program aims to provide electricity supply for the border, underdeveloped, isolated and outer areas in Indonesia such as Papua.
In 2018, the LTSHE program reached 16 provinces in Indonesia including West Papua and Papua. LTSHE has been distributed to 172,996 households with a total of 13,320 and 3,842 households in Papua and West Papua respectively. The implementation of the LTSHE program and the construction of new electricity networks in the Papua region are successfully improving the regional and national electrification ratios (ER). In 2014, Papua ER was around 77.81%, and in 2019 it increased up to 94%. Meanwhile in West Papua the ER increased from 90.52% in 2014 to 99% in 2019 (Figure 1).
Figure 1 Regional Electrification Ratio (ER) Indonesia in 2019 (MEMR, https://www.esdm.go.id/id/, 2019)
General Plan for the Development of Transmission (RUPTL) 2019 – 2028 has assigned several programs to increase ER in Eastern Indonesia including Papua, such as (1) maximizing the utilization of the renewable energy sources; (2) developing power plants, transmission and electrical substations; (3) accelerating the Papua’s rural electricity program namely Papua Light Expedition program; and (4) supplying rural electricity using “National Electricity Company (PLN) Smart Batteries” (PLN, 2019). All the programs aim to achieve equitable energy in Papua.
Apart from the one-price fuel oil and LTSHE policies which already been applied, the government through MEMR should also focus on developing sustainable and renewable energy in Papua. There should be policies to regulate the oil and gas infrastructure development and to make sure that the implementation is managed properly and in accordance with Indonesia constitution. Since Papua has significant oil and gas resources, the supporting infrastructure development will highly impact the economic growth of Papua and increase the prosperity of local people.
Furthermore, renewable energy development should also be prioritized. Papua has various potential for renewable energy resources, such as wind, water, solar, biomass and ocean energy. Currently, the use of renewable energy in Papua is still considered low. This is due to the lack of government support and high investment cost needed to build renewable energy infrastructure. The strong collaboration between local and central government is highly important to achieve equitable energy in Papua and increase the utilization of renewable energy.
The equitable energy in Papua will minimize the prosperity disparity problems and the conflicts that often threat national unity and integrity. Prosperity and equity approaches in Papua is one of the key to national development. The fifth precept in Pancasila implies that every Indonesian society should be aware of the same rights and obligations to create social justice in their lives. This statement becomes the basis of the development of the energy sector in Papua. Equitable energy in Papua will prove the equitable energy in Indonesia.
MEMR. (2019). Energi Berkeadilan. In MEMR. Jakarta: MEMR.
MEMR. (2019, August 16). https://www.esdm.go.id/id/. Retrieved from Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources: https://www.esdm.go.id/id/
PLN. (2019). RUPTL 2019 – 2028. In PLN, RUPTL 2019 – 2028. Jakarta: PLN.
Presidential Instruction No. 9 of 2017 concerning the Acceleration of Prosperity Development in the Provinces of Papua and West Papua.
*This opinion piece is the author(s) own and does not necessarily represent opinions of the Purnomo Yusgiantoro Center (PYC)