UNDP hosts an online discussion themed "Just Energy Transition towards Net Zero in Indonesia" on August 25, 2021. (Screenshot)

UNDP Forum Zeroes In on Just Energy Transition towards Indonesia Net Zero Emission

AUGUST 30, 2021

Jakarta. The United Nations Development Programme, or UNDP, recently hosted an online forum to help the government of Indonesia in cooking up the perfect plan for a just energy transition towards net zero emission.

Indonesia aims to reach net zero emission by 2060. The archipelagic country is also targeting to source 23 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has teamed up with the UNDP on a five-year climate mitigation project — the market transformation for renewable energy and energy efficiency (MTRE3). The MTRE3 will enter its final year in 2022. Earlier in June, UNDP hosted a global consultation to learn best practices on energy transition from countries with similar characteristics as Indonesia such as Poland and South Africa.

And in response, the UNDP hosted an online discussion on “Just Energy Transition towards Net Zero Emission in Indonesia” last Wednesday involving stakeholders such as the Energy Ministry and the state-owned utility firm PT PLN (Persero) among others. The discussion explored all aspects related to achieving a just yet realistic energy transition.

Attending the conference was Dadan Kusdiana, the Director-general of new renewable energy and energy conservation at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. 

“Energy transition must be just, especially for Indonesia. We are a G20 member, but are still a developing country. Indonesia still deals with issues on basic needs such as providing affordable and accessible electricity,” Dadan said.

Agus Prabowo, the Head of environment unit at UNDP Indonesia, stated on the virtual conference on Wednesday, “but what we are facing here in Indonesia is far more complex considering how vast our population is. Not to mention how they are scattered across islands."

“[Among those takeaways is on how] we must ensure infrastructure readiness, [...] as well as the economic sustainability, particularly for those that will be affected. For instance, the coal and mining industry,” Agus said.

“We also have to think of the development of green and blue jobs. And last but not least, the workability of the financial mechanism,” he added. 

During the discussion, PT PLN (Persero) explored the technical readiness for renewables. According to PLN EVP electricity system planning Edwin Nugraha Wira, the company has come up with two scenarios regarding its power plants. 

In the first scenario, PLN will phase down coal-fired steam power plants over the next decades depending on their contract expiration. The phasedown will start with the outdated subcritical power plants and eventually the more efficient ultra supercritical power plants. And by 2060, all power plants in Indonesia will generate power using clean energy.

The second scenario considers the use of carbon capture utilization storage (CCUS) technology. 

“But this technology is still in development and is costly. [...] Hopefully by 2045, this technology has matured and is not as expensive,” Edwin said.