Indonesia’s energy security is threatened by the rising fuel prices. We urgently need to switch to renewable energy as a sustainable solution.
The rising fuel price in Indonesia amidst rampant inflation has provoked anger. Currently, the price of pertalite reaches IDR 10,000 per liter, diesel IDR 6,800 per liter, and Pertamax IDR 14,500 per liter. This decision potentially will make millions of Indonesians become even more vulnerable, especially those living below the poverty line who will bear the brunt of the rising price. Mass demonstration is inescapable and has gone as far as the House of Representative. This issue, finally, brings back questions about energy security in Indonesia.
Indonesia has a prosperous energy potential. The potential of clean and dirty energy supply is supposed to be plenty to accommodate citizens’ needs. Indonesia has 60 oil fields that have been operating for decades. Furthermore, we also have 180 billion tonnes of coal.
Likewise, Indonesia’s renewable energy is varied and also has a potential. According to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia has 4,80 kWh/m2/day of solar energy, 3-6 m/sec wind energy, 450 MW hydro energy, and 50 GW biomass. Moreover, we also produce 3 GW nuclear energy. Those energy sources produce electricity that can power our infrastructures and transportation.
Indonesia is categorized as “resistant” in energy security, scoring 6.7 out of 10. This is such an irony, since we have a multitude of energy sources. So, why aren’t we categorized as “very resistant”?
A country’s energy security rank is decided by 4 factors: accessibility, acceptability, availability, and affordability. With these indicators, we will have to boost accessibility and acceptability (green energy) to be very resistant. Now, geopolitic and geography limit energy accessibility. The government also does not prioritize green energy development.
Indonesia’s energy vulnerability is also influenced by people’s consumption patterns. Today’s society is very dependent on fossil energy, because it’s mostly affordable as it’s supported by fuel subsidies. If renewable energy is subsidized, maybe people will prefer renewable energy. Meanwhile, the oil and coal business is still very profitable, so naturally it attracts many investors. As a result, government policies are still inclined to develop fossil energy potential.
The rising fuel price heavily influences national energy security. The more difficult it is for people to access energy, the less secure we are. People’s ability to purchase fuel is important to maintain the resistance. On the other hand, the government have to increase the price following the global market price. If we depend on importing fuel, this will be an eternal problem.
There are some solutions to strengthen Indonesia’s energy security. First, we need to boost energy supply since the demand always increases every year. To boost the supply, we have to stop our dependency on limited fossil energy. With Indonesia needing a more sustainable solution, we have to transition into renewable energy soon. The government, community, and industry actors have to work together to strengthen the human resource, technology, capital, and markets. Now, the government targets 23% more renewable energy use in 2025. This is good news for environmental sustainability that has been threatened by unsustainable energy production and consumption for years.
Second, the government has to implement equal access to energy sources for the community. Many Indonesia areas, especially remotest, outermost, and lagging areas (Indonesian: Terdepan, Terluar, Tertinggal or 3T) are struggling in providing energy. This limitation gives an opportunity to provide renewable energy supplies that are more accessible than fossil energy for 3T residents.
Third, we as consumers also need to be more efficient in how we consume energy. We have to use energy responsibly. Fossil fuels are limited, while renewable energy transition takes time. So, energy efficiency is an intermediate solution to maintain energy security. We can save energy and use energy appropriately. The way we consume and produce energy in a sustainable way decides national energy security.