Jakarta – Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Indonesia, along with several civil society organizations (CSOs), met and discussed on June 24, 2024, in South Jakarta. These meeting focused on the progress and substance of the Draft Government Regulation (RPP) on National Energy Policy (KEN) that had been harmonized by the Ministry of Law and Human Rights on June 4, 2024. Subsequently, the RPP KEN will be submitted to Commission 7 of the House of Representatives (DPR RI) for further discussion. The Energy Law Number 30 of 2007 mandates that the KEN be established by the government with the approval of the DPR RI.

The RPP KEN has the potential to become a key energy policy document in the just energy transition process towards Indonesia’s net zero emission (NZE) target by 2060. This CSO meeting aimed to project the policy implications of the RPP KEN and its broader impacts in the future. Notable fundamental changes in the RPP KEN include the reduction of the renewable energy mix target for 2025 from the previous 23 percent to 17-19%, and to 19-21% by 2030, which is lower than the 2014 KEN target. Moreover, this policy contradicts the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) commitment to reach a renewable energy mix of 44% by 2030.

Syaharani, a researcher from the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), initiated the discussion with several critical notes on the ambiguous signals of a just energy transition in the RPP KEN. According to her, the language used in the RPP KEN remains normative and open to multiple interpretations. The use of terms such as new and renewable energy (EBET) and renewable energy (EBT) in the RPP KEN is still vague, allowing room for the dominance of fossil energy, gas, or new energy such as nuclear. Compared to the adoption of renewable energy through solar or wind power plants, the RPP KEN appears to prioritize land-based energy infrastructure such as nuclear, ammonia, and hydrogen. Additionally, the continued utilization of coal as an energy reserve indicates that this policy is oriented towards accommodating the existing dependence on fossil energy.

The use of fossil energy in this RPP KEN is also considered biased against the energy transition due to the use of non-assertive language. The continued accommodation of fossil energy with the condition of using low-carbon technology is deemed insufficient to mitigate the massive use of low-carbon technologies such as carbon capture storage (CCS) associated with coal. At the same time, there are no incentives or community-based renewable energy funding to achieve energy independence. In this regard, the RPP KEN does not address this issue at all and takes a centralistic approach. Ideally, the National Energy Council (DEN) should facilitate energy decentralization in accordance with Presidential Regulation No. 11 of 2023 on Additional Concurrent Government Affairs in the Field of Energy and Mineral Resources in the Renewable Energy Sub-sector.

The discussion, attended by several CSOs concerned with energy issues, generated various views and questions about the RPP KEN. Some efforts that can still be made include notes on the need for regulations related to mitigating the social impacts of energy management. Additionally, specific regulations related to community participation and access to information are urgently needed, especially the importance of Gender Equality, Disability, and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) perspectives as the forefront of groups potentially marginalized by policies that are insensitive to their interests. This is to ensure risk mitigation from the government’s top-down approach, so the energy transition process can provide meaningful changes.

The public needs to be concerned about Indonesia’s climate crisis resilience profile in the future. The RPP KEN does not mention the 1.5°C target agreed upon in the Paris Agreement. There is concern that Indonesia will increasingly fail to contribute to reducing the negative impacts of the global average temperature rise.

Beyond a decarbonization-oriented energy transition, Indonesia’s KEN must be linked with other applicable provisions to support the energy transition. Indonesia must be able to signal the transition from a low-carbon narrative to renewable energy. This discussion explored advocacy opportunities beyond the KEN, which are strategic in pursuing a just energy transition agenda. Aryanto Nugroho, National Coordinator of PWYP Indonesia, emphasized the importance of mapping policy documents with the correct logic. This is due to the ongoing multi-stakeholder coordination confusion in various sectors for policymakers related to the just energy transition agenda. The interrelation between the RPP KEN substance and other documents was also discussed to enable strengthened consolidation in formulating appropriate strategies for future targets.

Author: Muhammad Adzkia Farirahman
Reviewer: Aryanto Nugroho