IESR laments the government’s omission of coal-powered plants’ early retirement plan in JETP document

Jakarta – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) regrets the removal of the plan to end the operation of coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 5 GW that was previously contained in the draft document in the Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP) document in the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) cooperation to achieve a just energy transition.

The elimination of this programme was allegedly carried out due to unclear funding sources from the Investment in Global Recovery (IPG). “IESR assesses that the elimination of the plan to end the operation of this coal-fired power plant will make it difficult for Indonesia to achieve the net-zero target in 2050 and increase the renewable energy mix after 2030,” said IESR Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa in a written statement.

In the current JETP scenario, emission reductions are planned by reducing the use of coal-fired power plants. Therefore, achieving the new renewable energy mix target of 44 per cent by 2030 can be achieved by increasing the operating flexibility of PLN-owned coal-fired power plants, reviewing private coal-fired power plant contracts, and supporting regulations to accelerate the development of renewable energy in Indonesia.

Renewable energy development plans that give a significant portion to Geothermal Power Plants (PLTP) and Hydropower Plants (PLTA) are of concern, given PLN’s priority in this scenario. However, geothermal projects require a development time of 8 to 12 years, while hydropower can take 6 to 10 years.

“The elimination of the plan to end the operation of 5 GW of coal-fired power plants before 2030 due to the lack of funding support is regrettable. This makes Indonesia’s JETP even further away from the Paris Agreement target,” said Tumiwa.

IESR appreciates the changes proposed by the Government in the CIPP document, whose draft was made public to encourage public consultation, especially the increase in the renewable energy mix target of 44 per cent set for 2030. This target represents a significant increase compared to the previous target of 34 per cent, as contained in the JETP joint statement last year.

However, one of the points of concern is the setting of a net zero emissions (NZE) target in the electricity sector by 2050. “This is not in line with the Paris Agreement, which encourages the end of the use of fossil plants by 2040,” said Tumiwa, adding that what is more worrying is that the emission reduction target is only focussed on the emissions of PLN grid-connected power plants.

In this case, the focus does not include the electricity sector’s overall emissions, which could reach 250 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030. This does not include emissions reduction targets from captive power plants. Taken together, these emissions targets make the overall peak emissions target much higher than projected during the JETP negotiations last year. (Hartatik)

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