Jakarta – Environmental activists call on the government to include community-based renewable energy in the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) programme funding scheme.
They hope the JETP-funded energy transition investment plan submitted to the government on Wednesday, 16 August, can accommodate community-based renewable energy generation.
350.org Indonesia Campaigner Suriadi Darmoko assessed that JETP funding is important to fund technical and management capacity building in communities that already have renewable energy plants, reactivation of renewable energy power plants, increasing power and developing electricity networks. It can also be used to build new plants to electrify villages and communities without electricity and new plants in villages and communities with renewable energy potential.
“Grant funding from the JETP to communities in addition to strengthening energy independence to meet their electricity needs also allows communities to transition their fossil energy-based electricity sources or at least reduce dependence on fossil energy-based power plants,” said Darmoko in a webinar entitled ‘Where Should JETP Money Go’.
Bhima Yudhistira, CELIOS Economist and Executive Director, highlighted community-based renewable energy development from a political economy perspective. He said there needs to be a paradigm shift in every energy transition design, where the community becomes the epicentre of renewable energy development. Studies conducted by CELIOS show that 56% of people in the agricultural sector and rural communities are more interested in the closure of coal power plants in parallel with the increase in renewable energy.
“So far, the issue of energy transition has often been a centralised discussion in large-scale companies, and the connection with communities affected by the climate crisis is often ignored. There are many funding options available that can be managed directly by communities that have clean energy potential. International funding models such as JETP are at least more directed at funding transitions at the community level,” said Yudhistira.
Lathifah Hana Gusti, a University of Indonesia Environmental Engineering student, who documented renewable energy in several corners of the archipelago, said community-based renewable energy is not only environmentally friendly but also cheap so that it can drive the community’s economy. She said communities in Gunung Sawur, Lumajang and Kedungrong, Yogyakarta, have benefited from micro-hydro-based renewable energy (MHP).
“The maximum cost of their electricity is only IDR 50,000 (USD 3.27) per month using the MHP. Besides being used to fulfil their daily needs, the electricity from the micro hydro can also be used by businesses to develop the community’s economy,” she said. (Hartatik)