RENEWABLE ENERGY: Govt to summon regional leaders on energy plans

6 September 2018

More than one year after the issuance of a presidential regulation on the development of renewable energy in the country, scant progress has been seen in the regions.

In a bid to get provincial authorities more engaged in renewable energy, the central government will soon summon all governors to discuss the matter. The governors will work under the supervision of the National Energy Council (DEN), an advisory board on energy issues.

They will discuss the National Energy Plan (RUEN), which pertains to current resource conditions, energy projections for the future, goals on energy use and resource management strategies.

One of the key aims outlined in the plan is to increase the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix to 23 percent by 2025.

The national energy plan was issued in March last year in the form of Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 22, but a lack of coordination among officials down to the regional level has hampered its impact on the ground.

“Only eight of 34 provinces have implemented the provincial energy plan [RUED-P], which is one step away from being legalized,” DEN member Dwi Hary S told the press after a meeting with officials from the Home Ministry and the National Development Planning Board on Tuesday.

The eight provinces that have outlined energy plans are Bengkulu, West Java, Jakarta, East Java, Central Java, North Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara and Maluku.

After the meeting, DEN agreed with both ministries to also set up a special team consisting of officials from the Home Ministry and the Energy and Min- eral Resources Ministry with the goal of speeding up the issuance of RUED-P bylaws in each province.

Dwi added that all provinces had, in fact, outlined blueprints on energy development in accordance with the national plan. Yet, the next phase, which DEN said was much harder to complete, was to secure approval from the respective regional legislative council (DPRD).

Another DEN member, Rinaldy Dalimi, said the DEN team had been visiting several provinces to familiarize themselves with the state of renewable energy there and to convince the provincial administrations of the importance of the National Energy Plan.

“Just consider the fact that the local councils are starting discussions with local administrations about RUEN with zero knowledge. Hence, it is possible that the [formulation] of regional energy regulations might take longer than the RUEN’s creation,” he said.

Regional Autonomy Watch (KPPOD) executive director Robert Endi Jaweng said the hardest task in realizing a national policy at the regional level was to convince local stakeholders that the policy was crucial for their people.

“As far as I know, energy issues are hard to understand by the regional council. Therefore, it is important for the government to also explain the RUEN to them, not only to the provincial administration,” he said, adding national policies were typically hard to implement at the regional level due to a lack of understanding rather than a lack of commitment.

Jaweng further suggested that the central government assist the program until the RUED-P draft was included in the regional legislation Program (Prolegda), which is similar to the National Regional Legislation Program (Prolegnas) — regulations of priority.

“Beside that, the Home Ministry should take the lead in capacity-building efforts, not any other ministry, as the former is the one in charge of provincial administration,” he added.

Source: Jakarta Post – 6 September 2018