Indonesia’s energy dilemma

Fitrian Ardiansyah, Climate Solutions Column, The Jakarta Post | Tue, 07/06/2010 9:28 AM | Environment

The increase in the base price of electricity (TDL) that starts this month reminds us yet again of the big challenges Indonesia faces when it comes to meeting the country’s rising energy demands.

Energy demand will increase in line with economic development and population growth.

Among G20 nations, Indonesia lags only behind China and India as the world’s fastest-growing economy and has a 6 percent GDP growth rate. This has led to a dramatic increase in energy consumption.

According to the Green Policy Paper released by the Finance Ministry, total energy demand is growing by around 7 percent per year, as the transport and industrial sectors grow, and as households become more affluent.

In the power sector, some analysts suggest that electricity demand grows by an average of 9 percent
per year.

In 2004, Indonesia had 25 gigawatts (GW) of installed electricity generating capacity. The current total capacity is 30.9 GW, two-thirds of which is concentrated in Java, Madura and Bali.

To meet demand, it is predicted that capacity will need to reach 100 GW by 2030.

In the transportation sector, the Transportation Ministry recorded a dramatic increase in motor vehicles.

In 2002 there were only 17 million motorcycles. In mid-2008, there were more than 40 million motorcycles, or 75 percent of all motor vehicles, according to the Road and Traffic Police.

In 2007, land transport — predominantly motor vehicles — was 47.5 percent of national fuel consumption.

The overall growing demand for energy is not balanced by growth in energy supplies and this has caused a crisis in some areas.

The Institute of Essential Services (IESR) argues that the energy situation has worsened since the 1997 economic crisis. This has been evident by more frequent fuel and electricity shortages since 2000 throughout the country.

Although still considered the largest energy producer in ASEAN, the country is struggling to keep up with its energy demand.

From the supply side, the country is the world’s leading thermal coal exporter, a substantial liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter and was, until 2004, a net oil exporter.

By 2030, Indonesia is expected to remain an exporter of natural gas and coal, but is projected to import 1.3 million barrels per day of oil.

The majority of energy sources for power generation come from conventional thermal sources — fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas, and coal — and less than 20 percent from hydroelectric sources, and geothermal and other renewable sources.

For the transportation sector, oil still dominates.

The high price of oil on the global market has led to increasing electricity-generation upstream costs and made it more expensive to produce and import gasoline.

In the case of power generation, the cost of electricity production, which is currently around 11 US cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), cannot be covered by a sales price of 6.5 cents per kWh.

Unsubsidized gasoline is sold between 74 cents and 80 cents per liter whereas the subsidized price is 49 cents.

This subsidy and incorrect price have created a burden for the state budget and contributes to wasteful patterns of energy consumption.

Former finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati stated that spending on subsidized electricity and fuel would increase to $15.77 billion in 2010, up from an earlier budget target of $11.6 billion.

Since fossil fuels are a main energy source, a dramatic increase in energy consumption has had significant environmental consequences, such as smog, acid rain and significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Although politically challenging, it is understandable that the government wants to increase the price of TDL and to gradually remove energy subsidies.

Nevertheless, the increase in price and the removal of subsidies should be carried out in a just and fair way.

The government needs to protect the poor and provide a scheme for families that still require assistance.

The exclusion of 450 VA customers (a significant number of total electricity consumers and mostly households) appears to be a good decision.

In addition, the adjustment of the price could strengthen on-going actions to conduct energy efficiency and conservation.

Some studies show that Indonesia has the chance to achieve energy efficiency, such as a 10-30 percent efficiency increase from households, 10-23 percent from commercial sectors and 7-21 percent from industry.

This may be a good time for the government to think about the provision of incentives for people or institutions that are embracing energy efficiency and conservation.

The reduction of energy consumption will help the economy and contribute towards mitigating climate change in the long term.

This policy on the demand side should also be strengthened with the government’s increase of support for the development of renewable energy.

Indonesia possesses a variety of renewable energy resources, including geothermal, solar, micro-hydro, wind and bio-energy.

Addressing the decline in conventional energy resources and the escalating concern over environmental issues will not be achieved if there is no serious support and investment in renewable energy.

This comprehensive set of different policy options that touches energy pricing, investment and social equity, if developed and implemented properly, will hopefully help Indonesia to secure its energy and ensure it is clean, renewable and sustainable.

The writer is a PhD candidate at the Australian National University, recipient of Australian Leadership Award and Allison Sudradjat Award and former program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia. He can be reached at fitrian.ardiansyah@anu.edu.au

Original link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/07/06/climate-solutions-indonesia’s-energy-dilemma.html

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Earth Hour, Hemat (Listrik) Pangkal (Bumi) selamat

Koran Tempo, Jumat 26 Maret 2010, Halaman B5

Oleh: Muhamad Suhud dan Fitrian Ardiansyah*)

Belum muncul sesuatu yang istimewa dari perhelatan akbar bulan Desember 2009 lalu terkait dengan Perubahan Iklim di Kopenhagen Denmark. Secarik kertas catatan yang dihasilkan memang sudah menekankan pentingnya upaya global untuk mengatasi dampak perubahan iklim. Namun hal ini belum menyentuh masalah utama yang lebih konkrit untuk melakukan pengurangan emisi, khususnya dari negara-negara maju.

Nasib bumi kian terancam akibat perubahan iklim. Tidaklah patut kemudian kita menjadi pesimis karena sebuah inisiatif global sebagai simbol penanggulangan perubahan iklim yang dilakukan oleh individu, kalangan bisnis, pemerintah dan komunitas di seluruh dunia kembali mendatangi – Earth Hour.

Selama 1 (satu) jam – pada Sabtu, 27 Maret 2010, mulai pukul 20.30 – kita diajak untuk memadamkan lampu di luar rumah dan gedung dan lampu serta alat-alat elektronik yang tidak dipakai.

Earth Hour ini merupakan kampanye global yang dimulai pada 2007 dan telah berhasil mengajak jutaan orang untuk berpartisipasi. Bahkan pada 2009, miliaran orang telah turut ambil bagian di 4000 kota di 88 negara di dunia.

Kota Jakarta untuk kedua kalinya akan berpartisipasi dalam kampanye Earth Hour ini. Gedung-gedung dan monumen khas Jakarta, seperti Monumen Nasional, Balaikota dan Bundaran Hotel Indonesia dan banyak gedung di kawasan segitiga emas, tahun lalu sukarela memadamkan dan akan padam lagi pada saat jam tersebut.

Lalu, apa makna dibalik gelap satu jam tersebut? Sebagian besar permintaan listrik di Indonesia berada di Jawa, dengan pangsa terbesar berturut-turut berada pada wilayah distribusi Jawa Barat dan Banten (35 persen) serta DKI Jakarta dan Tangerang (30 persen).

Ironisnya, masih banyak masyarakat yang belum mendapat akses ke energi modern, terutama masyarakat yang berada di daerah pedesaan. Sedangkan masyarakat yang sudah mendapatkan akses, yang sebagian besar berada di wilayah perkotaan, justru cenderung boros dalam pemanfaatannya.

Selain itu, porsi pemakaian Bahan Bakar Minyak (BBM) dalam sistem pembangkitan listrik PLN sampai saat ini masih sangat besar. Komposisi penggunaan BBM semakin meningkat hingga mencapai 70,7 juta SBM (setara barel minyak) atau sekitar 10,7 juta kilo liter atau 36,6% dari total bauran bahan bakar pembangkit pada 2007.

Hal ini disebabkan oleh kondisi geografis Indonesia sebagai Negara kepulauan serta pembangunan infrastruktur yang terbatas dan terfokus di Jawa yang menyebabkan daerah yang jauh dari pusat beban sangat tergantung pada BBM dalam memenuhi kebutuhan listriknya.

Jumlah pembangkit listrik dengan BBM untuk memenuhi kebutuhan listrik di luar Jawa mencapai hampir 67 persen pada 2007. Disamping itu, peran pembangkit BBM sebagai pemikul beban puncak juga berkontribusi pada ketergantungan sektor listrik terhadap BBM.

Karena itu, sektor listrik menjadi salah satu penyumbang utama dari emisi karbon dioksida untuk sektor energi. Salah satu langkah penting untuk melakukan mitigasi perubahan iklim dari sisi permintaan listrik adalah dengan melakukan Demand Side Management (DSM). Upaya ini merupakan kegiatan atau strategi untuk mengelola pemakaian energi listrik di sisi pelanggan melalui berbagai program.

Pemilihan bentuk program DSM yang tepat harus disesuaikan dengan tujuan yang ingin dicapai. Salah satu program DSM yang dapat dilaksanakan adalah penggunaan lampu hemat energi, dengan tingkat efisiensi cukup besar sekitar 10-30 persen. Program ini ditujukan untuk meningkatkan kepedulian masyarakat terhadap efisiensi energi dan juga untuk mengurangi konsumsi listrik pada konsumen rumah tangga melalui penggunaan compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) menggantikan lampu pijar biasa.

Ada beberapa tantangan yang dihadapi dalam pelaksanaan konservasi dan efisiensi energi. Pertama, paradigma yang berkembang di masyarakat bahwa Indonesia adalah negara yang kaya akan minyak dan gas bumi padahal kenyataannya cadangan dalam negeri semakin menipis.

Kedua, harga energi yang murah (karena mendapat subsidi) mempengaruhi pola konsumsi yang lebih boros. Padahal, beban pengeluaran negara untuk subsidi harga energi sangat besar dalam anggaran pendapatan dan belanja negara (realisasi subsidi listrik dan BBM 2008 mencapai 24 persen dari total pengeluaran negara).

Kampanye Earth Hour 2010 nanti bisa dijadikan sebuah wake up call bagi banyak pihak untuk menata ulang konsumsi listriknya. Pemerintah bisa menyiapkan langkah-langkah yang terukur untuk mencapai pertumbuhan yang rendah karbon dan bagi masyarakat dapat tersadarkan bahwa implikasi atas konsumsi listriknya berpengaruh terhadap pemanasan global.

*) Suhud adalah Koordinator Energi, sedangkan Fitrian adalah Direktur dari Program Iklim & Energi WWF-Indonesia.

Simple act, big impact: Earth Hour

Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Contributor ,  The Jakarta Post   |  Tue, 03/23/2010 11:35 AM  |  Environment

A first for Jakarta: A banner on Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta reminds residents to observe Earth Hour by switching off all electronic appliances and lights Saturday, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. JP/Ricky YudhistiraA first for Jakarta: A banner on Jl. Sudirman in Central Jakarta reminds residents to observe Earth Hour by switching off all electronic appliances and lights Saturday, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. JP/Ricky Yudhistira

Climate change is attributable to human activities. Primary solutions, therefore, need to come from humans, from changes in individual behavior.

The world’s leading climate scientists, the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), state that changes in the atmosphere, the oceans, glaciers and ice caps now show unequivocally that the world is warming due to human activities.

This human-induced climate change will profoundly affect water and other natural resources, biodiversity and the economy of the globe, including across Indonesia, which, in turn, will have negative impacts on rural and urban populations across the country.

Andrea Liverani, in a background paper to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2010, suggested that when it comes to discussing climate change, solutions are normally cast in the realms of finance and technology and perceived big actors (e.g. governments and corporations), often neglecting the primal root of the problem: Individual behavior.

Changing human behavior, hence, is an essential part to tackling climate crisis.

This is true given the multitude of consumption patterns of human beings over centuries that have created enormous by-products, i.e. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions causing climate change.

Our global consumption has contributed to the release of 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)
into the atmosphere in 2007, as recorded by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency (OECD/IEA).

For instance, public utilities — the companies responsible for providing humans with daily electricity and heat — emitted 36.3 percent of the total, followed by the transportation industry with 25.5 percent.

In industrialized countries, roughly 40 percent of GHG emissions result from decisions by individuals — travel, heating, and food purchases.

In developing countries like Indonesia, consumption patterns of individuals, both living inside and outside the country, have boosted its GHG emissions.

The fast-growing demand for Indonesia’s commodities (e.g. timber, palm oil, pulp and paper) and fossil-fuel-based energy fuels the rapid growth of the country’s GHG emissions.

This is why, as consumers, individuals on a global level and in Indonesia hold a reservoir of mitigation capacity.

Individuals may find it challenging to contribute to climate solutions, since climate change may
be perceived as a big and complicated issue with lots of unanswered questions.

Nevertheless, simple individual actions on climate change can take many forms, which eventually can lead to bigger positive impacts.

Various studies have suggested that making personal choices can be an effective method of fighting climate change.

These include adjusting our travel, diet, usage of electricity and related appliances, and management of waste.

Road transportation, in which our motor vehicles are an important part, globally produced 4.8 billion tons of CO2 or 16 percent of global carbon emissions. To reduce our emissions, we can aim to leave our car at home once a week, do a car pool, choose public transportation or ride a bicycle.

A low-carbon diet — choosing local organic food that causes much less pollution and emissions — is considered an effective way to make a meaningful change for individuals.

On average, households produce around 1.14 tons of waste per year and this contributes to GHG emissions, in particular from the release of methane — a potent GHG. Effective actions can include composting our food scraps, taking our own shopping bags and reusing our old stuff.

When it comes to electricity and electrical appliances, there is a potential to make a big difference by conducting energy efficiency and conservation measures.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in collaboration with different institutions found that Indonesia could be more energy efficient, by 10 to 30 percent for households, 10 to 23 percent for the commercial sector and 7 to 21 percent for the industrial sector .

In households and commercial buildings, a difference can be made by simply switching off or adjusting lighting and electrical appliances.

Many appliances use electricity even when they are in “standby” mode, between 1 and 20 watts, with most appliances using less than 5 watts — around 45 kilograms of GHG each year for each item.

To remind that individuals, on their own or collectively, can significantly contribute to tackling climate change, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and partners conceived the global movement of Earth Hour.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change.

A year later and in 2009, Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than hundreds of millions of people and 4,000 cities in 88 countries taking part.

Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the National Monument in Jakarta, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

This year, Earth Hour 2010 takes place on Saturday 27 March between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (local time). This is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world.

Jakarta will host this Earth Hour in Indonesia for the second year and hopefully other cities in this country will follow suit.

It is an excellent opportunity to reflect on this issue, but above all to begin a change of attitude toward reducing our energy consumption, and by doing so, contribute toward making a stand against climate change in the long term.


The writer is program director
of climate and energy at WWF Indonesia and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy. He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id

Original link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/23/simple-act-big-impact-earth-hour.html

New year, new climate (re)solutions?

Fitrian Ardiansyah ,  Jakarta Post, Climate Solutions Column   |  Tue, 01/05/2010 11:03 AM  |  Environment

The New Year has arrived. And 2010 has come with bigger challenges than ever for everyone and society as a whole when it comes to confronting the risk of catastrophic climate change.

At the end of last year, the Conference of Parties (COP15) – the largest gathering ever held on climate change – brought about a bitter solution, with countries present agreeing to merely taking note of a political agreement known as the interim Copenhagen Accord.

The Accord, a 12-paragraph statement of intention, mentions a global ambition to keep the average global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius. However, Professor John Sterman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) notes that the average global temperature may increase by 3.9 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100.

This would mean that up to 170 million more people suffering from severe coastal floods, 550 million more at risk of starvation, and up to 50 percent of species facing extinction, according to the Stern econo-mic review.

While we hope that COP-16 in Mexico City will succeed in securing a fair, ambitious and legally binding agreement, it is now up to governments, the private sector, organizations and individuals to address climate change.

Many scientific and technical documents state that it is still possible for developed and developing worlds to grow their economies in the 21st century while at the same time avert catastrophic consequences caused by climate change.

Halting the dire consequences of climate change is a long-term undertaking, but the first steps must be taken by governments currently in power.

For instance in Indonesia, it is certainly a good year for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his government to create and consolidate policies, incentives and actions that would reduce the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Last year, SBY pledged to reduce the country’s GHG emissions by 26 percent and prioritised three out of 15 action points in a “100 days” program focusing on climate, energy, the environment and land use.

However these action points need to be elaborated on further to provide clear direction that will enable us to halt and reverse the loss, degradation of forests and peat lands as well as boost energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Deforestation and forest and peat land degradation contribute significantly to the GHG emissions through the expansion of the forestry industry (e.g. logging, pulp wood plantation), agriculture (e.g. oil palm plantation), infrastructure development, settlement and mining.

Key regulations that are effectively enforced are required to halt destructive and illegal logging, prevent forest and land fires, preserve the remaining protected forests, and deal with the complexity of land use and spatial planning.

Domestic demand in the energy sector has been increasing faster than the average population growth.

A large amount of this demand was met by fossil fuels, contributing significantly to Indonesia’s 6-percent-a-year GHG emissions growth rate.

Providing policies and incentives to break the link between energy services and primary energy production is essential, such as prioritizing large-scale energy efficiency measures (getting more energy services per unit of energy used).

Policies and incentives are also needed to promote the growth of low-emissions technologies such as geothermal, solar PV, micro-hydro, wind and bio-energy, but within a set of environmental and social constraints to ensure their sustainability; and displacing high-carbon coal with low-carbon gas as a “bridging fuel”.

Population pressures as well as increasing consumption levels locally and overseas drive GHG emissions, often exacerbated by poor governance and inadequate land-use planning.

Therefore, besides involving different sectors and the government, a wide range of influential actors and key stakeholders need to be encouraged to contribute to the President’s pledge and program.

The private sector, for instance, needs a clear signal from the government (e.g. credible regulations) and the market (e.g. benefits for producing commodities derived from sustainable practices) that it must invest in climate solutions, which eventually can be justified to shareholders.

Companies can be encouraged to be part of sustainable development initiatives, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Although voluntary, this type of initiatives can eventually drive demand for responsibly produced commodities while gradually address environmental and social concerns.

Overall, there are plenty of climate change mitigation opportunities business can explore. Involving the private sector will not only contribute to mitigating climate change but also increase national energy security and economic efficiency.

Different actors including the government, private sector and individuals can contribute separately but have to work together to achieve substantive GHG emission reductions.

Examples of these collaborative steps already exist at the subnational level. Platforms initiated through the Sumatra Governors Declaration, the Heart of Borneo and Papua Governor’s pledge may be used as a starting point – carefully laying out a sustainable development platform addressing the need for economic development as well as environmental protection.

In the end, our future depends on all actors involved making critical decisions to achieve a low-emission economy consistent within a certain time line.

Now is the time to advance the exploration and implementation of climate solutions that will help Indonesia’s economy and its people.

The writer is program director of climate & energy at WWF-Indonesia and adjunct lecturer at Paramadina Graduate School of Diplomacy.
He can be reached at fardiansyah@wwf.or.id.

The original link: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/01/05/new-year-new-climate-resolutions.html