The Long Lists of Challenges to Deploy Massive Renewable Energy in The Energy Mix to Pursue Zero Emission
4 September 2021
Indonesia, as a country situated in the Equator, has an abundance of renewable resources that can be converted into energy. Earlier this year, Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) launched a report on the potential of solar power in Indonesia, which reaches 7,700 GW by excluding forests, protected and agricultural areas. This huge potential can be harnessed by installing only 1,492 GW to pursue net zero emission in 2050, as stated in the IESR report on deep decarbonization of Indonesia’s energy system. The main key to achieve this target is shifting more than 90% of primary energy demand into electricity powered by 100% renewable energy in 2050. However, deploying such huge renewable energy in the energy mix is not an easy task since there are a lot of challenges to be tackled.
In the technical aspect, the variability of weather conditions affects highly on the intermittent production of solar-, wind-, and hydropower, or so called as Variable Renewable Energies (VREs) and potentially disrupts the power system stability, consequently. One of the solutions to this issue is the inclusion of energy storage in the system, such as batteries and Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES). The technical potential of PHES in Indonesia, itself, can reach 821,000 GWh, according to the study done and published by Australia National University in 2019.
Apart from the intermittency issue, the socio-economic aspect also has complex matters that must be solved first before deploying this massive renewable energy capacity in Indonesia. The first example is the limited funds and investment supporting renewable energy projects from local and international entities because the main focus domestically still lies in the coal industry and that there are no attractive offers from Indonesia’s government for renewable energy investors. In terms of technologies’ cost, the local technologies are still more expensive and not competitive than the imported counterparts, due to the unreadiness of producers. Moreover, the difficulty of acquiring land for renewable energy projects adds another issue in the list of challenges on accelerating renewable energy deployment.
Those issues can be solved starting with harmonizing ideas, vision, mission, and also by agreeing on pursuing a more ambitious target to make a better livelihood in the country with higher life expectancy and prosperity. We invite you to join Indonesia Energy Transition Dialogue 2021 on 20-24 September 2021 to listen and engage in a more in-depth discussion on the opportunities and challenges in reaching deep decarbonization in the energy system of Indonesia, together with experts from different backgrounds. This topic specifically will be expanded further in a session titled “Overcoming Challenges in Renewable Energy Deployment” on the third day of IETD 2021 with speakers from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, state-owned enterprise, experts from IESR, and more.