Indonesia Is Considered “Dirty” Because of Its Energy Sources


Indonesia’s energy sources are considered “dirty” by developed countries. This is because the carbon emissions produced from energy sources are still very high.

Of the CO2 emissions produced by Indonesia, 42% comes from power plants, 23% from the transportation sector, then 23% from the industrial sector, and the remaining 12% comes from households.

Deputy for Coordination of Infrastructure and Transportation of the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Kemenko Marves) Rachmat Kaimudin acknowledged that power plants indeed contribute the most to producing carbon emissions.

According to him, this is because most of the energy sources for electricity generation in the country come from fossils, especially coal.

“So coal is around 60% or 2/3. Then there’s gas, diesel, and all kinds of things, so roughly we have emissions per kilowatt hour, 1 kWh, around 0.7-0.75 kilos, so 1 kiloWatt hour (produces) 750 grams of emissions. That’s high on average,” Rachmat explained in a discussion, Tuesday (29/11/2022).

The high carbon emissions have made developed countries, such as the United States, ask Indonesia to increase the development of projects that produce renewable energy. They even committed to funding Indonesia’s energy transition.

United States President Joe Biden said some developed countries are committed to funding the energy transition in Indonesia up to US$ 20 billion or around Rp. 311 trillion (assuming an exchange rate of Rp. 15,564 per US$).

This funding will be channeled through the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) initiative led by the United States and Japan. The two developed countries will lead negotiations with the International Partners Group regarding funding for the energy transition in Indonesia, especially to leave coal as an energy source for power plants.

However, Rachmat did not want Indonesia to be labeled as a dirty country. Because, when viewed in absolute terms, Indonesia cannot be said to be a dirty country.

“We said, wait, Indonesia’s power use is indeed dirty. But in absolute terms we refuse to say it’s dirty,” he said.

“We are the biggest top 10 emitters because we have the 4th largest population in the world. Let’s look at per capita, when Singapore is said to be small, (but that’s because) the population is only a few and we are many. It’s not allowed per country. It should be per capita,” explained Rachmat.

Based on its data, among the G20 member countries, currently, Indonesia’s emissions are 2.3 tons per capita, while the global average is 4.5 tons per capita.

“Try if you look at the US, Japan, and so on. They are all above the average. So we say, Indonesia is actually not dirty, because it is still far below the average. (In fact) you are the dirty ones (the US, Japan, and other developed countries),” said Rachmat.