Indonesia will continue to build new coal plants despite the $20 billion clean energy transition billion deal it has signed with the G7 group. Going ahead with new coal-powered sites could jeopardize the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) signed at the G20 summit before it even takes off.
As part of the JETP, Indonesia will aim to cap power sector emissions by 2030 and generate 34% of its electricity from renewables by the same year.
The Indonesian government, however, will still allow the construction of new coal-fired plants, with a combined capacity of 13 gigawatts, that have already been tendered out.
Indonesia and its JETP partners (that include the G7, Denmark, and Norway) said in a joint statement that their target is to restrict the development of captive coal-fired power plants. They said the continuation of the partnership depends on not constructing coal plants where there are timely, zero-emissions, affordable, and reliable alternatives.
Grita Anindarini, program director at the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL) told Mongabay that the JETP restrictions on captive coal are still unclear. She called on the government of Indonesia to revise the policies and regulations that still allow the building of new coal plants.
The world’s fifth greenhouse gas emitter in 2019, Indonesia’s emissions come mainly from deforestation and coal burning.
The issue of captive coal plants almost stopped the clean deal with Indonesia. According to recent reports for the Council of the European Union, the main problem was a 5-gigawatt captive coal power project in Borneo. The donor group said that if the project moves ahead, that would end the deal.
As the deal is now in place, the partners will have to formulate an investment plan in the upcoming six months, including details on where the funding will come from and how it will be spent.