A man rides his motorcycle with the background of a coal-fired power plant in Tangerang district, Banten, on April 27, 2020. (Beritasatu Photo/Ruht Semiono)

PLN to Gradually Retire Coal-Fired Power Plants

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

JULY 14, 2021

Jakarta. State-run utility firm PLN recently announced its ambitious plan of retiring its coal-fired power plants in a bid to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

According to PLN president director Zulkifli Zaini, PLN has designed a roadmap to gradually retire the coal-fired steam power plants over the next few decades. 

PLN will first focus on the outdated subcritical plants, seconded by the more efficient supercritical plants. The last to retire are the so-called ultra supercritical power plants, which possess even more efficient technology.

“We have a room to remap on how [we can operate] renewable power plants, while also maintaining the necessary plants to balance the intermittent nature of renewable energy,” Zulkifli told the Investor Daily Summit 2021 on Wednesday.

The roadmap shows a plan to replace 1.1 gigawatt of coal and gas-fired power plants with renewables in 2025. 

PLN will then enter the first phase of retiring its one-gigawatt-worth subcritical plants in 2030, followed by the shutting down of the 9-gigawatt of subcritical plants in 2035. The electricity firm will then proceed to the 10 gigawatt-worth of supercritical plants in 2040. The gradual retirement of ultra-supercritical plants of 24 gigawatt will kick off in 2045. 

“The last retirement of the five-gigawatt-worth ultra supercritical plants is to take place in 2055. [We will reach] the phase out of all-coal powered plants by 2056 as they will be replaced with renewables,” Zulkifli said.

“Starting 2022, there will be no new contracts for steam power plants. PLN will only carry out contracts whose PPA [power purchase agreements] have been signed and reached financial close.”

The national energy production currently stands at 300 terawatt-hour.

There is an additional 120 terawatt-hour coming from a 35-gigawatt plant project. The fossil fuel-dominated plant will operate until the PPA ends, according to Zulkifli. 

PLN projects the number will rise to 1,800 terawatt-hour by 2060 and thus, leaving a gap of 1,380 terawatt-hour. PLN plans to fill in the gap with renewable energy.

"We will also remain committed to the renewable energy target of 23 percent of the total energy mix by 2025," he said.

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