Indonesia faces backlash as it downsizes renewable energy goals amid global climate concerns

The revised goal, proposed by the National Energy Council (DEN), aims to achieve a renewable energy share between 17 and 19 percent by the year 2025, down from the earlier target of 23 percent for the same period.

Indonesia once promised for its commitment to clean energy, is now set to slash its targeted share of renewables in the national energy mix, drawing concern from experts who see this as a significant step back in Indonesia’s ambition towards sustainable practices. The revised goal, proposed by the National Energy Council (DEN), aims to achieve a renewable energy share between 17 and 19 per cent in 2025, down from the earlier target of 23 per cent for the same period.

Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif addressed reporters on Monday, attributing the revision to the slow development of renewable energy. The energy and mineral resources minister cited the dominance of coal-fired power plants as a primary obstacle, acknowledging the challenges in transitioning away from fossil fuels.

When questioned about the plan to lower the target of renewable energy the energy and mineral resources minister said, “We have to be realistic.” He also added by saying, “We will adhere to the commitment we made, but we have to work toward it with what we have.”

The decision to lower the renewable energy target comes when global attention is increasingly focused on reducing carbon emissions and mitigating climate change. According to the ministry’s data, renewables made up only 13 per cent of last year’s energy mix of Indonesia, falling short of the target of 17.9 per cent that the government has focused on for the year to realize its 2025 target. The figure only marked a slight increase from the 12.3 per cent achieved earlier. As per the latest figure, it only increased slightly from 9.2 per cent. The move to scale back on renewable energy targets may also have economic repercussions.

The energy and mineral resources minister Arifin Tasrif also said “Our coal exports have also increased, based on rising demand and disruption of other energy alternatives.” Revising the target would lead to uncertainty and lessen investor confidence in the country, said the energy transformation program manager of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), Deon Arinaldo. He criticized the renewable energy of Indonesia which has only annually grown around 0.5 percent in the last five years. On Tuesday, he asserted to the Jakarta Post that the government needed to implement more transformation policies.