Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Opening of the 10th Indonesia EBTKE ConEx of 2021, 22 November 2021, at the State Palace, Jakarta

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 22 November 2021
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Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Good afternoon,
May peace be upon us all,
Om Swastiastu,
Namo Buddhaya,
Greetings of Virtue.

Distinguished Ministers,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

During the G20 Summit and the COP26 in Glasgow, we only discussed how the global scenario to head towards energy transition. Last year, actually we had started discussing it but we had not found the formula, the scheme. This year, we discussed once more the same issue, but the scheme [of the energy transition] has not been found yet. [assistance amounting to] USD100 billion has been promised, but we do not know yet the source of the money.

When I was at the G20 Summit and at a meeting with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, I said that “Indonesia will achieve net zero emission by 2060.” “Can Indonesia meet the target faster? Other countries by 2050,” Well, that’s ok; if they are all talk and no action, I can do the same,” I replied. What kind of roadmap we have?

Indonesia has a great strength in renewable energy sector. [We are able to generate] 418 Gigawatts from hydropower, geothermal, wind, solar panel, biofuel, ocean current, and so on. We have a great potential. However, we have to remember and I have also talked to global leaders that we have signed contracts that coal-fired power plant (PLTU) must start working.

The question is, what kind of scenario? For example, there is funding, investment, but the price is still more expensive than coal. Who pays for this gap? Who? This has not been calculated. The state? All of us? It is impossible. How many hundreds of trillions? It is impossible. Do we need to put a burden on the people and increase electricity rate? It is impossible. There will be a lot of protests, shocks as the rate increases. An increase of 10 – 15 percent, made people demonstrate for three months. What if it doubles? It is impossible. The question is, what kind of scenario we have? That is what I have been ordered to Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, and Minister of State-owned Enterprises.

Please [provide] concrete scenario with real calculations. Once again, real numbers and calculations. If we can carry out this energy transition, there must be an increase in price. The question is, who is responsible for that? The Government? Public? Global society? Do they want to cover all of these? It is not something easy, but our country has a great potential. For the example, hydropower from rivers. Indonesia has 4,400 large and medium rivers that we can use to generate hydropower. But the investment [of this sector] will be huge. Okay, then let us try the first two rivers. I said to Coordinating Minister, “Kayan River [in North Kalimantan], Mamberamo River [in Papua].”

We have calculated that Kayan River can generate 13,000 Megawatts and Mamberamo River can generate 24,000 Megawatts. Then, please find investors who want to invest there. If there are investors, do not place them on the PT PLN’s grid. Make their own grid, then prepare the industry, are there investors who want to invest. So, next month we will carry out groundbreaking of the Green Industrial Park in North Kalimantan province whose energy is generated from hydropower, from Kayan river.

A lot of industry players are waiting for us even though we are just trying to realize it. I was so surprised. All they want is that the products are marked as green products with more value, with higher price than products made from fossil energy. If it works, perhaps the scenario will be easier. But if it does not work, it is also impossible if we expect other countries to cover this gap. It is impossible, trust me. We have spoken with the World Bank, with investors from the UK when we were in Glasgow. The question must be same, who is responsible for it?

To that end, I order all of you to think how this energy transition scenario can run with detailed calculations. The sooner the better. So, we are not just talking, “Oh, Kayan River can generate hydropower. Geothermal can be [built] on this mountain.” Yes, we can, I know that everything can be done, but who will cover the numbers that I have said earlier? This is our big question in term of energy transition and later we will re-discuss this theme at next year’s G20 Summit in Bali.

I do not want all of you to say, “Oh, our leader will talk to G20 leaders.” I do not want to talk the same topic like previous years. I want to talk about what kind of scheme, what we can do. If there is an answer, it means we can carry out energy transition. If there is not, we do not have to talk about that.

Once again, I order all of you to give report with detailed calculations, how much is the increase, how much is the gap that must be covered by Indonesia. It is great if all of you can found it, then we can formulate it. Let me know, “Sir, it can be solved from this side or another side.” That is what we hope for. If the result has been found, I can report it later at the G20 Summit, in Bali next year.

That concludes my speech on this auspicious occasion. And by saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, this afternoon I officially inaugurate the 10th Indonesia’s New and Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (EBTKE) ConEx of 2021.

I thank you.

Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (AP/MMB)

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