September 21, 2022
Jakarta – Critics accuse the government of promoting electric vehicles (EVs) and stoves, but failing to ensure that the electricity they consume comes from clean sources.
The government is urging consumers to become more dependent on electricity and less dependent on oil and gas as part of the country’s energy transition, but environmentalists and researchers told The Jakarta Post that now But he says the move is just a shift from one fossil fuel to another. another.
Earlier this month, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed a presidential decree to replace hundreds of thousands of government service vehicles across the country with electric vehicles, a policy that took effect on September 13. has started or is about to operate an electric bus.
Also earlier this month, State Owned Enterprise (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir said that from next year the country will spend nearly Rp5 trillion (US$334.7 million) annually to use liquefied petroleum, which is currently heavily subsidized. said it would provide free electric stoves to millions of households. Petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking.
Separately, state-owned electricity monopoly PLN launched its own program this year to give away more than 300,000 electric stoves.
“All of these efforts will help reduce oil and gas imports,” Joko Siswanto, secretary general of the National Energy Board (DEN), told The Post on Friday, adding that the government will promote electrification to make the country more economical. He added that he sees it as a step to get closer. clean energy.
Oil and gas imports have become increasingly expensive in recent months following global supply disruptions that have led to higher prices. Indonesia has raised the price of subsidized fuel by 30% to ease the burden on the state budget, but the price of her LPG cylinder of 3 kg remains unchanged. In other words, cooking gas is well below market prices.
PLN estimates that by converting 15.3 million gas stoves to electric stoves, the government can save Rp 10.21 trillion annually with 3 kg of LPG subsidies.
Meanwhile, Indonesia Battery Corporation (IBC), an SOE set up to make Indonesia a major player in the global EV supply chain, said a 30% shift to EVs could save up to 30 million barrels of oil imports annually. I’m guessing.
Joko said the policy is hurting PLN’s finances and the state budget as power demand growth lags far behind supply growth in recent years when the country has invested heavily in generating capacity. It could also help solve the country’s oversupply of electricity, he added.
“Our challenge today is to create demand, which is why we are pushing EVs and electric stoves,” Djoko said.
Komaidi Notonegoro, executive director of the ReforMiner Institute, a Jakarta-based research firm, said on Friday that the transition pursued by the government may only help solve the cost problem, but not the environmental problem, or even more. It could be neither, he told the Post.
He explained that coal accounted for more than half of Indonesia’s 76.3 gigawatts of power generation this year, followed by natural gas, according to data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. Data show that about 17.5 GW of additional capacity will be put into the grid next year, most of it coming from coal.
“If the government wants [environmental goals]We may not be able to achieve that as we will eventually shift to coal,” said Komaidi.
Abundant coal reserves allow Indonesia to use fuel for domestic purposes at low cost, making it a viable option amid high fuel prices.
Tata Mustasha, regional climate and energy campaign strategist at Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said on Friday that Indonesia’s energy transition is far from complete as it has yet to significantly reduce its reliance on fossil fuels for power generation. “
Like EVs and electric stoves, before you decide to go all-electric, the power itself must come from renewable sources. We can’t just shift the emissions problem from oil to coal,” he told the Post.
Tata said the government may be aiming to save PLN from financial hardships caused by oversupply caused by the long-term project to add 35 GW of electricity generation capacity to the country, rather than to solve environmental problems. claimed.
Fanny Tri Jambore, an activist at the Indonesian Environment Forum (Walhi), called the country’s energy transition “halfway.” This would give the government more reason to keep most of the country’s coal-fired power plants.
The environmental activist added that the planned phase-out of coal-fired power plants would not be enough as there is limited room for renewable energy.
“Almost 80% of our electricity comes from fossil fuels, so the transition will benefit fossil fuel producers the most,” Fanny told the Post on Friday.