Hydrogen-Powered Vehicle Development Gains Global Spotlight, Indonesia Yet to Embrace Potential

Toyota hydrogen car
Toyota hydrogen car (photo: toyota-europe)

Presently, there is a global spotlight on the development of hydrogen-powered vehicle as an environmentally friendly solution for fuel-based transportation. Despite this international focus, Indonesia has yet to earnestly explore the potential of hydrogen-powered vehicles to address environmental and energy challenges.

Around the world, various nations are actively developing hydrogen supplies as an energy source, especially within the automotive sector. Notably, neighboring countries like Malaysia and Australia are making strides in this field.

Regrettably, Indonesia has not followed suit, with the government failing to take substantial actions to adopt hydrogen as a serious energy source.

Eniya Listiani Dewi, a Senior Researcher at the National Innovation Research Agency’s Center for Energy Conversion and Conservation, disclosed that at least 40 countries have crafted a roadmap for hydrogen development. Many of these nations have extensively researched the potential and distribution of hydrogen as an energy source, particularly in the transportation and industrial sectors.

“Hydrogen is emerging as the energy of the future, despite its historical use in industries such as fertilizer production. Especially for Indonesia, the potential to produce hydrogen is quite abundant,” expressed Eniya during a recent seminar at Gadjah Mada University titled “Acceleration of the Hydrogen Ecosystem Development in the Industrial and Transportation Sectors towards Net Zero Emission (NZE) 2060 in Indonesia.”

Further elaborating, she pointed out that neighboring countries like Australia and Malaysia have become hydrogen exporters, supplying this renewable energy to Japan and Singapore.

Since 2019, Malaysia, through the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), has been constructing a hydrogen production network along with a distribution line serving the transportation and automotive sectors.

While other developed nations have targeted hydrogen as a pivotal step in reducing carbon emissions, especially hydrogen-powered vehicle in the automotive sector, Indonesia has not made significant strides in advancing hydrogen development. This is despite the vast potential of Renewable Energy-Based Hydrogen (EBT hydrogen) from Hydroelectric Power Plants (PLTA) in regions such as North Kalimantan, Aceh, West Sumatra, North Sumatra, and Papua.

The government claims that Indonesia has the potential to generate electricity from EBT with a capacity of 3,000 gigawatts (GW), but only about 12.5 GW of this potential is currently utilized. Therefore, the government is optimistic about increasing electricity production from EBT sources to reach 21 GW, in line with the Power Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) of PLN 2021–2030.