New Standards for Air Conditioning

Air conditioning can help improve people’s productivity and life quality especially those who lives in warm climates, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP, 2017). In Indonesia, the demand of air conditioner (AC) is growing rapidly as the standard of living improves. The global AC stock is expected to increase from 660 million units in 2015 to more than 1.5 billion units by 2030. The situation has led to the rising emissions of Green House Gas (GHG), particularly CO2, as AC uses fossil fuel.

Policies to control energy and environmental impact of AC is urgently needed. In 2018, the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) held the first meeting in Jakarta to integrate energy efficiency into the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) for electrical and electronic equipment (ASEAN EE MRA). Some of the components of the regional policy of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) are harmonization of evaluation methods and incorporation of Cooling Seasonal Performance factor (CSPF) using ISO 16358-1 by 2020.

In ASEAN, the potential for electricity savings from the harmonization of energy efficiency performance standards for AC is estimated to be up to 5,374 GWh per year. The GHG emissions, based on the energy mix of the countries in ASEAN, could be reduced to up to 8.965 million tons of CO2 per year (UNEP, 2010)

Many countries have been using the International Organization Standardization (ISO) standard of ISO 5151 as a reference test to measure air conditioner’s cooling capacity and efficiency. The newer standard, ISO 16358-1, allows for fixed speed and inverter air conditioners to be rated under the same metric and product category, and provides flexibility in the adoption of a country’s specific temperature bin.

In 2017, Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources issued Ministerial Regulation No. 57/2017 on MEPS for residential air conditioners that adheres to the Indonesian National Standards (SNI) on AC. This regulation adopted ISO 5151 that uses less accurate energy efficiency ratio (EER) as the indicator in measuring energy efficiency.

Following the ASEAN MRA, the government of Indonesia has revised the SNI for performance efficiency of AC split type by adopting SNI ISO 16538-1 and replaced EER with CSPF. CSPF is a newer and more accurate indicator in energy efficiency, as specified in ISO 16358-1. Many Southeast Asian countries started to adopt the ISO in recent years to become more energy efficient country that will contribute to more sustainable use of energy in the long run. Indonesia follows suit by moving towards the adoption of ISO 16358-1.

In 2018 and early 2019, Directorate of Energy Conservation at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, collaborated with USAID Indonesia Clean Energy Development (ICED) II and The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Indonesia chapter to hold a focus group discussion on AC Split MEPS revision.  The discussion aimed to draft a new ministerial regulation on the implementation of CSPF as performance indicator and new MEPS for residential and light commercial programs. The new regulation is expected to contribute to energy saving and CO2 emission reduction in Indonesia.

Government and Professional Organizations Discuss New Standards for Air Conditioners

The International Energy Agency, in its 2018 report titled “The Future of Cooling”, stated that air conditioners in homes and offices are the fastest growing use of energy in buildings and will drive peak electricity demand, especially in tropical countries like Indonesia. The report also found that by 2050, around two third of the world’s households could have an air conditioner, with China, India and Indonesia accounting for half of all units.

Indonesia currently operates 223 million air conditioners. In 2016, the share of cooling in electricity system peak loads in Indonesia reached 15 percent. Without an efficient cooling scenario, this figure will increase up to 40 percent by 2050. In the long run, more efficient air conditioners can reduce the need for new power plants to meet this peak power demand. Energy efficient air conditioners will also contribute to curbing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources’ Directorate of Energy Conservation and The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Indonesia Chapter, with the support from USAID Indonesia Clean Energy Development II (ICED II), are looking to develop stronger energy efficiency standards for air conditioners. “Right now, ASEAN countries are focusing on harmonizing energy efficiency and technology. We (Indonesia) still lag behind other countries that have already implemented conservation and energy efficiency policies in industrial sector,” said Hariyanto, Director of Energy Conservation.

The cooling seasonal performance factor (CSPF) is a newer and more accurate indicator in energy efficiency, as specified in International Standards Organization (ISO) 16358-1. Many Southeast Asian countries started to adopt the ISO in recent years to become more energy efficient and commit to more sustainable use of energy. Indonesia is following suit in a move towards adopting ISO 16358-1.

USAID ICED II and ASHRAE Indonesia Chapter held a one-day discussion on energy efficiency standards for residential AC on March 19, 2019 to support the Directorate of Energy Conservation. The thirty participants – from the Directorate, cooling industry, business association, academics, testing laboratories, and government agencies – agreed to create a working group to implement CSPF and determine the minimum energy performance standard (MEPS) for residential AC. They also aim to develop CSPF calculation procedures and measures to estimate Indonesia’s energy consumption.

Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation No. 57/2017 on MEPS for residential air conditioners adheres to the Indonesian National Standards (SNI) on AC. This regulation adopted ISO 5151, which uses a less-accurate energy efficiency ratio (EER) indicator than CSPF in measuring energy efficiency. The March 2019 discussion aimed to draft a new ministerial regulation on the implementation of CSPF as performance indicator and new MEPS for residential and light-commercial programs to reduce CO2 emissions.

Earlier in October 2018 and January 2019, the Directorate of Energy Conservation, USAID ICED II and ASHRAE Indonesia Chapter had also conducted a series of discussions and collected inputs from stakeholders to revise MEPS for split AC units. All parties then agreed to use CSPF as the energy performance indicator, because Indonesia’s MEPS are currently lower than other ASEAN countries and also lack monitoring and verification procedures.

Visualizing Rural Electrification Planning using Geospatial Mapping

Previous efforts by State Electricity Company (PLN) regional offices and regional governments to develop plans for providing access to electricity for un-electrified and under electrified villages has been done without spatial planning tools like Geographic Information System (GIS). For example, PLN regional office and North Sumatra Provincial Energy and Mineral Resources (EMR) Office have not had comprehensive data on energy needs of villages and limited access to infrastructure. GIS-produced maps, with various layers of information such as electricity network and distribution of roads and buildings, are expected to become a useful tool for PLN North Sumatra and North Sumatra provincial government in planning electricity access and developing electricity distribution infrastructure.

USAID Indonesia Clean Energy Development II (ICED II), in collaboration with PLN North Sumatra, held “Electrification Planning Training and Workshop” on March 12-13, 2019 in Medan, North Sumatra. A total of 48 staff of PLN North Sumatra and North Sumatra EMR Office took part in the training.

“This workshop is our opportunity to improve our work in electrification planning. I hope USAID ICED II will continue to assist PLN North Sumatra to achieve our target of 100 percent electrification ratio this year,” said Alamsyah Siregar, Distribution System Planning Analyst at the Planning Department of PLN North Sumatra, when opening the training.

The training shared the methodology and results of the basic study on electrification conducted by USAID ICED II in 2016 and 2018. The study was about processing and use of electrification data and geospatial mapping in assessing rural electricity needs. The training and workshop also updated the village level electrification data for North Sumatra Province. By the end of the training and workshop, PLN and North Sumatra EMR Office are expected to have better capacities in developing plans to electrify unserved areas, improve their understanding of current levels of village electricity access,  and increase management and transparency of data.

“The most important lesson was using GIS application and its features. I need the knowledge to understand village condition,” said Hendri, who works in mapping section of PLN North Sumatra.

Gustian from North Sumatra EMR Office said, “The GIS application enables us to combine data from the village potential statistics to understand electricity access in villages. Previously we only had district-level data.”

Head of Electricity Division of North Sumatra EMR Office, Karlo Purba encouraged the participants to take full advantage of the workshop. He said he hoped that PLN could create a roadmap to achieve a 100 percent electrification ratio in North Sumatra by 2020.

On the second day, March 13, 2019, USAID ICED II held “Workshop on Guidelines for the Off-grid Solar PV Feasibility Study” to strengthen the capacity of PLN and North Sumatra EMR Office in preparing eligible sites for centralized (off-grid) solar PV projects in rural areas. This workshop helped understanding real electricity needs and provided early understanding of feasibility study coverage so that participants can use the guidelines independently.

Retno Setianingsih, Senior Energy Program Specialist of USAID Indonesia, emphasized that the collaboration between USAID and Government of Indonesia is important to create effective policy, develop regulatory framework, and incentivize clean energy development in Indonesia.

California Power Experts Share Knowledge in Interconnecting Solar and Wind Power to PLN Grid

Indonesia is building more renewable energy power plants, especially solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind power. The electricity produced from these two abundant energies cannot always be used due to their fluctuating nature; the intermittency of solar PV and wind power poses an interconnecting challenge for utilities. State Electricity Company (PLN), the state-owned utility that manages the country’s electricity network, is tapping knowledge and expertise from California to address issues on interconnection of variable renewable energy into their power grid.

In collaboration with PLN, USAID Indonesia Clean Energy Development II (ICED II) held “Workshop of Grid Impact Study for Variable Renewable Energy Generation Plant” on March 4-8, 2019 in Yogyakarta. The study’s methodologies for system interconnection and grid integration will help PLN bring more electricity produced by renewable energy power plants into grid operation. It will lead to reliable, safe and efficient power system operation in accordance with grid code. Additionally, the study will ensure that proposed renewable energy power plants can provide as much power as planned.

“This workshop is important to learn. We have to start this study because it is crucial,” stated Amir Rosyidin, Director of Regional Business, Central Java, PLN in his keynote speech to open the workshop. He expressed his appreciation for USAID ICED II support in this training and hoped that this collaboration would continue in the future.

Afrizal, Head of Sub-directorate of Electricity Cooperation, Directorate General of Electricity, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, explained that the government is conforming with international standards in energy to increase the use of clean energy in Indonesia. “The government, as the regulator, will develop an integration system for electricity distribution efficiency according to the international standard,” he said, and emphasized the importance of collaboration between the government and other stakeholders for a successful energy transformation.

A total of 49 officials from PLN and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources took part in the training. Many of the staff from PLN were young engineers whose responsibilities are closely related to interconnecting variable renewable energy into the power grids. During the workshop, they learned through applied, hands-on exercises on various power grid scenarios, impact analysis, and appropriate mitigation measures for potentially adverse impacts.

Staff from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) shared lessons learned on methodologies for assessing potential impacts of variable renewable energy interconnection to the power grid and forecasting load demand and requirements for grid reliability. They also shared various tools for system impact analyses to ensure reliable integration of variable renewable energy.

One of three participating CAISO experts, Director of Operations Engineering Services Dede Subakti gave his advice for the young engineers. “We are undergoing unprecedented change. The world is changing. It’s either we are going to be ahead of the change or dragged by the change,” he said, referring to the increasing use of variable renewable energy worldwide.

The training concluded with PLN identifying best practices to adopt in their transmission system planning and operations to optimize grid integration of variable renewable energy.

First Biomass Power Plant in West Kalimantan Turns Palm Oil Processing Waste into Electricity

Indonesia, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, is looking at various sources of new and alternative energy, including discarded shells of the reddish-brown palm fruit, to achieve a target of sourcing 23 percent of its electricity generation from renewable energy.

To raise the nation’s renewable energy utilization from the current 13%, the Indonesian government has opened opportunities for independent power producers (IPPs) to develop renewable energy projects, especially bioenergy power plants. According to data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Indonesia’s total installed capacity of bioenergy power plants was 1,858.5 Megawatts (MW) as of January 2019. (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, 2019).

Palm kernel shells, a waste product from palm oil production, are the ideal feedstock for a biomass power plant because of their uniform size, ease of handling, ease in crushing, and low moisture content. Palm kernel shells, palm fiber and empty fruit bunches can all be burned to heat high-pressure steam, which drives turbine generators to produce electricity.

West Kalimantan Province has 1.4 million hectares of palm plantations, and is Indonesia’s fourth-largest producer of palm oil. To make use of the plant-based waste from processing palm oil, private firm PT Rezeki Perkasa Sejahtera Lestari (RPSL) invested in Siantan Biomass Power Plant (PLTBm Siantan), the first biomass power plant in the province. RPSL is 80%-owned by Jakarta-listed infrastructure firm PT Nusantara Infrastructure Tbk (META) through its subsidiary Energy Infrastructure.

PLTBm Siantan started commercial operation in April 2018, about one and a half years after signing a power purchase agreement (PPA) with PLN in September 2016. The power plant, which has the capacity to generate 15 MW of electricity and operates at a capacity factor above 85 percent, drives the local economy by purchasing feedstock from nearby palm oil plantations.

In March 2019, PLTBm Siantan, which is about one-hour drive from the province’s capital Pontianak, hosted 36 participants for a workshop that PLN and USAID ICED II held. This workshop aimed to improve PLN staff capacity to review feasibility studies, especially for bioenergy projects from IPPs. Through the workshop, the participants had the chance to learn how a biomass power plant operates, from receiving and burning of the feedstock to electricity production.


Enhancing Knowledge in Reviewing Bioenergy Projects

Among the highlights of the recent training on bioenergy feasibility studies review for staff of the State Electricity Company’ (PLN) regional offices were the Bioenergy Feasibility Study Review Guidelines that USAID ICED II developed for PLN, and feedstock for bioenergy power projects.

Regarding the review guidelines, most participants were eager to find out more about scoring key aspects to determine project feasibility. The participants suggested the scoring tools to be improved by adding reference system or history to simplify the search process. They hoped the review guidelines would be available online for more efficient review process.

In terms of the bioenergy project feedstock, many participants were keen to know how project developers address the challenges in providing stable supply of feedstock (fuel) for bioenergy power projects. The source of feedstock, especially wood, has become a concern as it needs to be legally-sourced and in sufficient quantity to power the bioenergy project for the life of its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).  A PPA contract can be up to 30 years.

Bioenergy power projects can obtain feedstock from associated production forest or palm oil plantation and processing waste or through a long-term feedstock supply agreement with third parties. The bioenergy project feasibility study needs to demonstrate the continuous availability of the feedstock source to avoid supply shortages that will translate to power plant outages or reduced production.

Participants from PLN offices in West Nusa Tenggara, Bali, West Kalimantan, South and West Sulawesi, Banten, East Java and East Nusa Tenggara, took part in the three-day workshop in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. During the training, many participants asked critical questions and appreciated the new knowledge they gained.

“We’ve been wondering about feasibility study, how to evaluate the study and how long it takes to design one. Through this workshop, I learned that it takes a lot of time to produce a proper feasibility study,” said a participant from PLN West Kalimantan.

Other participants expressed their struggle in reviewing bioenergy proposals because they did not know where to begin. “This workshop really opens my perspective about reviewing feasibility study.  For the next step, I will use the tools that ICED II taught,” said a participant from PLN headquarters.


Applying New Tools to Help PLN in Reviewing Bioenergy Project Feasibility

In the past few years, Indonesia has been pushing for the development of new and alternative energies to diversify primary energy sources for its electricity generation and to reduce reliance on traditional fossil fuels. Biomass, biogas and municipal waste are among alternative energies being actively explored and have attracted investment in the country’s electricity sector.

The emergence of various new and alternative energy power plants, however, pose a challenge for the State Electricity Company (PLN), which is assigned by the government to buy electricity from independent power producers (IPP).

PLN employees need to have expertise in reviewing feasibility studies proposed by the IPPs who develop biomass, biogas and municipal waste power plants. A feasibility study is important for power plant project development because it will determine smooth construction progress, operations and maintenance.

USAID Indonesia Clean Energy Development II (ICED II) has developed guidelines to assist PLN staff in reviewing bioenergy feasibility studies on their own. These guidelines incorporate various factors, such as interconnection to PLN’s grid, the proposing company’s competency, financing capacity, and issues around feedstock and bioenergy system concept design.

To roll out the guidelines and to promote adoption of the guidelines by PLN staff, in collaboration with PLN, USAID ICED II held a workshop February 27 to March 1, 2019 in Pontianak, West Kalimantan province. The workshop aimed to build the capacity of PLN staff in reviewing the feasibility studies of bioenergy power projects carried out by IPPs.

“During the feasibility study evaluation, we have to make sure that those power plants can remain in operations for many years,” said Novalince Pamuso, Senior Manager of PLN West Kalimantan Regional Office.

A total of 36 participants (nine women and 27 men) from PLN regional offices in West Nusa Tenggara, Bali, West Kalimantan, South and West Sulawesi, Banten, East Java and East Nusa Tenggara attended and actively participated in the workshop. On the last day of the workshop, the participants visited Siantan Biomass Power Plant, which has the capacity to generate 15 MW of electricity.

USAID ICED II and PLN have conducted similar training to apply the Guidelines for biogas power plant in November 2018, while an additional training to apply the Guidelines for waste-to-energy will take place in Batam, Riau Islands province in April 2019.