E is for Energy, Environment, Ethics, Economy, Efficiency, EnergEyes & Elkington
The Four E’s of Sustainability – Energy, Environment, Ethics and Economy – are emphasised in my “Race for Sustainability” book and retain their relevance and connectivity. Our other initiative, EnergyEyes, arrived on the scene to promote renewable energy in South East Asia. We can never get enough of John Elkington, who launched his latest “Breakthrough” book and lauded the work of city Mayors. Energy Efficiency is taking on greater importance as the Indonesia Energy Conservation & Efficiency Society (I E C E S/M A S K E E I) organised its first national conference and the new Indonesian President started to cut fuel subsidies. Here’s an article specially written for us by Idris Sulaiman, an enthusiast for energy efficiency and one of the key organisers of the energy efficiency event. Read More
Article specially written for ABC Carbon Express by Idris Sulaiman, an enthusiast for energy efficiency and one of the key organisers of Indonesia’s first forum on energy efficiency last month (November 2014):
Indonesia’s Clean Energy is brimming with potential
“Why would anyone want to invest in energy efficiency measure in Indonesia?” The country has been known for low energy prices, which has been subsidized for years. It seems hardly anyone is thinking of energy-saving measures, when many top hotels, restaurants and other similar places seem to pride themselves is setting their AC to the lowest temperature to make it “attractive” for their clientele to come.
I thought I would take the time to share with you a little bit of my optimism of seeing energy-saving measures in this new era of ‘mental revolution’ and e-blusukan (community video-conference consultations) of President Joko (Jokowi) Widodo and particularly as a result of the formation of a new multi-stakeholder advocacy group on energy efficiency and conservation in Indonesia.
Even though fuel subsidies were in previous decades the order of the day, on November 18, 2014 President Jokowi has relatively been successful introducing significant cuts to the fuel subsidies which was accompanied by several welfare safety-net measures in the form of direct transfer payments to people on low income who are hit hard by the increases in gasoline prices. On top of the reduced subsidies, there have been substantial recent increases (38.9-64.7%) in industry and household electricity tariffs that have affected almost all except the electricity users from low income groups in Indonesia.
Now that subsidies have been significantly lowered in fuel prices and electricity tariffs, it stands to reason that people will closely look at energy efficiency and conservation measures as well as consider using renewable energy much more seriously. However, there is a great need for awareness raising in the potential of clean energy in terms of available technologies and their potential money savings. While the government has come forward with some necessary policies including incentives, in the area of energy-saving and renewable financing Indonesia needs to bring them in line with the rest of ASEAN countries. In countries such as Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, the government have a range of policies that actively support clean energy.
In the midst of the commotion of fuel price and electricity tariff increase, on 27 to 28 November 2014 the Indonesia Energy Conservation and Efficiency (IECES or known by the Indonesian acronym MASKEEI) held its First National Discussion Forum and Congress entitled “Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Resilience for Indonesia’s Sustainable Future” in Jakarta. The Congress elected Soedjono (Jon) Respati (CEO, Center for Sustainability, Surya University) as MASKEEI’s First Executive Director, Fazil Alfitri (CEO of Medco Power) as Chair of the Board of Supervisors and Dr. Marzan A. Iskandar (former Head, Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology-BPPT) as Chair the Board of Professionals and Experts.
The society which consists of individual professionals, companies and industry/professional organizations as well as academics aims to raise awareness and improve all efforts to achieve national energy resilience and a sustainable and equitable development through its central motto of “Enhancing Energy Productivity” in Indonesia. MASKEEI is gathering all interested parties in promoting various technologies and their applications for conservation and efficiency efforts. The society also plans to play an active role as government’s partner in developing strategic policies and support related capacity building.
The National Discussion Forum was opened by a speech from Sudirman Said, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources and followed by 18 international and domestic speakers with professionals, government policy makers and academic backgrounds. The four panels covered key topics: Policy and Regulatory Developments; Energy Efficiency and Conservation Business; Latest developments in Renewable Energy and Info-Tech Communications that supports clean energy; and Energy Efficiency in Transport and Logistics.
In essence many speakers emphasized that in order to meet the energy needs that are likely to continue to increase, the government needs to seriously support energy demand-side management as well as plan to make improvements on the supply-side. Over the next five years, the government will build a power plant to produce 35 thousand megawatts (MW), they urge that MASKEEI to actively support the government to come up with a roadmap for national energy utilization (demand-side). “Because in the past the use of energy in Indonesia was clearly wasteful. To produce one dollar of GDP in Indonesia, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), it takes 6.191 BTU of total primary energy. The intensity or the amount of energy used to produce one unit of economic output was still below the average in the Asia-Oceania and is ranked 74th, said Dr Marzan, the newly elected Chair of MASKEEI’s Board of Professionals/Experts.
Dr. Marzan who previously headed the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) added that “for the pursuit of a balanced economic growth, Indonesia should optimized its energy efficiency strategy as the production of one kWh of electrical energy costs more than the cost of saving one KWh.” He further stressed that “energy efficiency refers to the use of less energy to produce the same number or amount of useful services or the same output. Efficiency is not enough with efforts to reduce energy use, but must be accompanied by increase in energy productivity.”
No doubt that if Indonesia can achieve higher energy productivity, then offsetting increases in fossil fuel prices and in electricity tariff are now potential possible and can become national priority given the improvements in technologies. However, “energy savings should be supported by appropriate fiscal policies” said Dr. Luluk Sumiarso, the moderator of MASKEEI’s Forum. “For example, hybrid cars that cost much expensive than ordinary cars. Solar water heaters can save energy use but still considered a luxury item.”
One of the Forum’s speakers, Dr. Venny Chandra, Director of ECORIA and Sustainability Advisor of Ciputra Group remarked that “The momentum is here for us to engage with the public at-large. I believe the synergy with the private sector is under-utilised – and it was good to be able to share that with MASKEEI’s Forum. There is a great effort to pull everyone together in MASKEEI and as such this should continue”.
Incidentally, President Jokowi in his celebrated pre-election debate speech (5 July 2014) also said that “the government should dare to make policy to utilize energy potential in the most optimal and efficient way”.
MASKEEI has brought together many organizations and people working to better Indonesia’s use of energy. Many speakers suggest that Indonesia is ready for some great years ahead, though it will require hard work and collaboration in order to get the right government policies and investment climate. MASKEEI, business and other society’s stakeholders needs to pull together as a community to do this, then no doubt good things will happen as improving energy conservation and efficiency is also in the national interest and in the interest of a low-carbon global future. Then there should be little doubt that many would want to invest in energy efficiency measures along with other clean energy ventures in Indonesia.
NOTES FOR THE ARTICLE ON THE FIRST NATIONAL DISCUSSION FORUM
AND NATIONAL CONGRESS, INDONESIA ENERGY CONSERVATION AND EFFICIENCY SOCIETY
“MASKEEI harap bantu mendukung dan jangan segan-segan mengkritisi Pemerintah”
“We hope that MASKEEI can assist and will not hesitate to criticize the Government”
Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources,
Speech delivered at MASKEEI National Discussion Forum (Jakarta, 27 November 2014)
“I wanted to congratulate MASKEEI on a job well done with the National Discussion Forum (27-28 Nov 2014). I thoroughly enjoyed the event and am very excited about the impact it will have on Energy Efficiency in Indonesia”, CEO, PT SYNERGY EFFICIENCY SOLUTIONS
“Congratulations on such a successful First NDF. It was extremely valuable and exciting” CEO, OUT PERFORMERS
“The momentum is here for us to engage with the public at-large. I believe the synergy with the private sector is under-utilised – and it was good to be able to share that with MASKEEI’s Forum. Great effort to pull everyone together in MASKEEI. Well done”, Director of ECORIA and Sustainability Advisor of CIPUTRA GROUP
“Increased funding for conservation and energy efficiency will be very timely with the increasing
‘fiscal space’ after the reduction in fuel subsidies”, Head of Budgetary Policy, Fiscal Policy Agency, Minister of Finance (Kabid APBN-BKF-KemKeu )
Dr. Idris F. Sulaiman, Associate Fellow on ICT and Energy at Center for Sustainability,
Surya University, Indonesia and at Digital Divide Institute, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.
He is a member of the Board of Professionals/Experts, Indonesia Energy Conservation &
Efficiency Society (M A S K E E I.org).