TuK Indonesia: Energy transition still far from expectation

Jakarta – Indonesian civil society organisations criticise the government for poor progress on the country’s energy transition, calling it ‘far from expectation’.

Head of TuK Indonesia’s Campaign and Public Education Department, Abdul Haris, in a public discussion on the future of equitable energy transition, said that in the last ten years, coal-powered power plant (PLTU) licenses have increased. The increase happened despite the government announcing that it would stop the operation of PLTU and replace it with new renewable energy (NRE).

“There has been an increase in the use of new coal energy in Indonesia in the last ten years. So, it contradicts that we are trying to reduce energy sourced from fossil energy, such as coal,” he said.

Haris said the portion of renewable energy is only 33% of the government’s target of 27.28 GW of power plant infrastructure in the next five years, while the rest comes from plants that use fossil fuels.

Ongoing natural resources exploitation

Haris said the high number of mining licenses signals the continuation of natural resources exploitation and pushes back the target of the energy transition. He said, “Until 2022, there are 7,000 mining permit applications.”

The Global Energy Monitor said by 2023, there will be 53 coal-fired power plants under construction in Indonesia. When completed, the total capacity is estimated to reach 14.49 gigawatts (GW).

Coal-fired power plants still under construction are primarily located in Central Sulawesi, with an accumulated capacity of 5.24 GW. New coal-fired power plants with large capacities are also under construction in North Maluku, Banten, South Sumatra and West Java.

According to Global Energy Monitor, most of the unfinished power plants in Indonesia are power plants that are exclusively used to supply industrial energy needs, such as the aluminium, cobalt, and nickel processing industries related to the supply chain of batteries and electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources stated that the NRE mix in Indonesia by the end of 2023 had only reached 12.2%, far from the NRE mix target of 23% by 2025 and 34% by 2030. (Hartatik)

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