Jakarta – The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) and The Rockefeller Foundation released an analytical report recommending the cancellation of coal-fired power plants as a cost-effective way to cut global emissions. The report, Delivering Indonesia’s Power Sector Transition, states that nine coal-fired power plants in Indonesia could be cancelled with minimal impact on stability, affordability and the electricity grid, and could avoid an estimated 295 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
“If built, the nine coal-fired power plants, most of which are still in the financing stage, would contribute nearly 3,000 megawatts (MW) of coal capacity, or about 20 per cent of the total planned additions in Indonesia,” IESR Executive Director Fabby Tumiwa said in a written release at the end of May.
The study recommends reducing coal power plant development through cancellation of planned, agreed or pre-determined power plants as one of the most cost-effective and environmentally positive approaches to accelerate an equitable energy transition in Indonesia.
“Based on a multicriteria scoring system, we identify power plants that could be cancelled, and then assess the legal, financial, system resilience, energy security and carbon emissions implications of these interventions. Our team uses satellite imagery to track the progress of power plant construction over time,” Tumiwa said.
More than two-thirds of Indonesia’s electricity currently comes from burning coal, and with PLN predicting an additional 13,822 MW of coal-fired capacity by 2030, Indonesia has the third largest planned coal-fired power plant in the world, after China and India. At the same time, through the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), Indonesia also aims to peak energy sector emissions at 295 million metric tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions in the energy sector by 2050.
Rockefeller Foundation’s Managing Director for Power and Climate, Joseph Curtin, revealed that there are around 950 coal-fired power plants planned or under construction around the world, which, if built, are predicted to emit around 78 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere over their lifecycle. In many cases, he said, there are better options available to policymakers, utilities, regulators and system planners that could accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. This analysis can also be replicated in other countries with large coal pipelines. (Hartatik)