31 May 2021
The ASEAN Researchers Network on Energy and Climate Change (ARNECC) talks, a monthly discussion platform established under the ASEAN Climate Change and Energy Project (ACCEPT) on the published papers and articles on the energy and climate change nexus in Southeast Asia. The third monthly event was held on 31st May 2021 attended by diverse group of scholars held by ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) featured Dr. Theresia Betty Sumarno− Energy Policy Consultant at IISD, Indonesia. It discussed a journal paper entitled “Accelerating the Economic Recovery in Indonesia Post Covid-19: Justice in the Energy Transition.” It was published at Global Energy Law and Sustainability, August 2020, Vol. 1, in the Edinburgh University Press. Dr. Marlistya Citraningrum from Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) also invited as a commentator to widening the perspective of the participants.
Developing RE also help Indonesia to reach energy security and solving energy poverty problem by developing enough energy access especially in remote areas. It will be cleaner, it will reduce GHG emission to help climate-related target, create employment opportunities which will be very beneficial due to Covid-19 problem, and all together it will increase energy sustainability & economic growth. Dr. Betty also showed us the solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, and geothermal energy potential in Indonesia that can be developed but it is not significant yet. The development can be achieved by giving incentive to the RE development or reduce the subsidy to fossil fuel and change it to RE development.
The paper also talks about the potential of RE development in health sector especially for local hospital in remote areas, such as to give enough energy access to the local hospitals that will improve the services given by them. Dr. Betty gave an example of how getting enough energy access could improve the health sector like for Covid-19 patients, they do not have to travel to the bigger hospital to get the treatment for Covid-19 if there is justice for local hospitals getting the same access with other bigger hospitals. RE development will be very beneficial not only to Covid-19 but also to the health sector generally because based on WHO data, it is said that the mortality in Indonesia is quite high because of the emission problem. Last but not least, the presentation ended with 3 conclusion points, which are:
Following the response from Dr. Citra, there are several questions triggered the discussion regarding whether Indonesia’s missing the opportunity on the injection of energy transition on the COVID-19 recovery package, regional peer pressure against Indonesia’s energy acceleration plan, energy storage also part of the plan, slower growth on wind and hydro penetration compared to the Solar Photovoltaics (PV), and even debated issue over prioritizing economy or renewable energy.
Access the paper at https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/abs/10.3366/gels.2020.0018