Indonesia Baseline Narrative 2022  on Energy Transition and Power Sector

Synthesis Report 

September 2022

Table of Content 

1. Introduction 3

1.1. About the Project 3

1.2. The Concept of Narratives 3

1.3. Energy Transition Narratives in Indonesia 5

2. Objective and Scope of Work 5

3. Process and Methodology 7

4. Key Findings 7

4.1. Stakeholder Selection and Power Grouping 7

4.2. Assessment Matrix of Stakeholder Interests 9

4.3. Summary: Energy Transition Narratives in Indonesia 18

4.3.1. Baseline Narrative 1: “Coal must be Phased Out” 18

4.3.2. Baseline Narrative 2: “Clean Fossil Fuels are OK for Energy Transition” 18

4.3.3. Baseline Narrative 3: “Renewable Energy is Our Future, but…” 20

5. SWOT Analysis 21

5.1. Changes in Narratives, from Public to Private Ones 21

5.2. Potential Energy Champions 25

6. Recommendations 27

7. Abbreviation List 28

  1. Introduction 

1.1. About the Project

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Energy Programme supports the Government of Indonesia in achieving its national strategies and targets related to sustainable energy through a campaign entitled Clean, Affordable and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) Indonesia.

Funded by the BMUV, CASE is implemented as a consortium of four countries in the Southeast Asia region i.e., Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. CASE is anchored in Indonesia with Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas) as its political partner and implemented by GIZ Indonesia and Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR). 

With further support from international partners Agora Energiewende and New Climate Institute, CASE will propose evidence-based solutions to the challenges met by decision-makers in the design and implementation of the energy system of the future and build societal support around those solutions. 

The program is being implemented from March 2020 to February 2024 with objectives to be achieved through 3 areas of intervention—de-carbonization, renewable energy (RE) upscaling, and sustainable energy finance—and clustered in five outputs:

  • Output I: Research and Evidence: The evidence base for an energy transition in Southeast Asia is improved.
  • Output II: Transparency and Mapping: Transparency and coordination of activities related to energy transition is strengthened to maximize synergies.
  • Output III: Dialogue (non-energy sector): The dialogue on energy transition within government (and public) bodies is improved.
  • Output IV: Technical Assistance (energy sector): Capacities of key energy sector stakeholders on energy transition are strengthened.
  • Output V: Promoting public discourse: A public discourse on energy transition is established

1.2. The Concept of Narratives

Public narrative is a leadership practice of using personal values to galvanise others into action through storytelling (Ganz, 2010). It is not primarily a form of self-expressions, but an exercise of leadership by motivating others to join you in action on behalf of a shared purposes.

It requires learning a process, not writing a script. It can be learned only by telling, listening, reflecting, and telling again – over, over and over. Stories are how we learn to make choices. Stories are how we learn to access the moral and emotional resources we need to face to uncertain, the unknown, and the unexpected mindfully. 

In public sphere, stories speak the language of emotion, the language of the heart, so effective that they teach the public not only how they “ought to” act but can inspire them with the “courage to” act. And because of the sources of emotion on which they draw are in our values, our stories can help us translate our values into action. 

Against this background, CASE Indonesia team intends to:

  1. Understand the current baseline narrative, e.g., how is the energy transition seen and discussed among various stakeholder groups in Indonesia
  2. See the extent to which the energy transition topics have so far been discussed publicly or accessible by public done by CASE’s stakeholders, determined in the stakeholder mapping document. 
  3. Identify gaps in the understanding of the energy transition at the level of various stakeholders, and to subsequently intervene the narrative to the desirable conditions.
  4. Identify target narratives, supported by a consulting study “Long Term Energy Scenarios” outlining various sustainable energy transition pathways, and translate them into storylines to drive public perception on the energy transition
  5. Assess critically and systematically all potential development of publicly accessible narrative in the system, media, social media, institutional official channels,
  6. Identify current and potential energy champions that can support the narrative change in favour to CASE objectives including Key Opinion Leader(s), head of the institution, government officials, and/or public figures with relevant expertise or background covering (political) stance and attitude in relation to the Energy Transition, institutional approaches and idealism baseline towards energy transition
  7. Identify programs that have been or will be implemented by the stakeholders in accordance with the climate targets/energy transition agenda such as dialogues, webinars, trainings, knowledge products, campaigns, etc.
  8. Determine steps to drive or shift narrative before any interruption or loss related to the public discourse/dialogue and disruption of energy transition operations and plans take place.
  9. Develop a clear recommendation strategy on how to achieve the intended narratives, through which means, and targeted at which stakeholders, as part of a communication outreach

1.3. Energy Transition Narratives in Indonesia

Indonesia hosts massive RE resources spread over a wide range of different technologies on land and sea. Moreover, a 100% RET system could be technically feasible to meet its future electricity demand, according to Langer et al (2021). However, Indonesia as the world’s largest thermal coal exporter still relies 60% of its electricity coming from coal-fired power plant—and eventually lead to the low public awareness on the need for rapid energy transition into renewables. 

As part of Paris Agreement ratification, the government has started coal phase-down effort in recent decade, with several pathways and scenarios on energy transition have been prepared, supported by various organisations. Especially this year, Indonesia is also building an image as renewables-embracing country during its leadership in G20. 

However, there is uncertainty and lack of clarity on the way forward especially in the heavy bias seen among the stakeholders, related to its position as the world’s pivotal coal producer. This opens space for various players to drive their own narrative on energy transition into wide spectrum in accordance to different agendas by the stakeholders. These include RE upscaling, extension of coal due to strong coal lobbyists, gas as transitionary fuel etc.

Driving a positive narrative of the energy transition in Indonesia entails messaging around social, environmental, and economic benefits of RE based transition, and a fact-based discussion on technology choices for a green transition. To plan, implement and communicate the energy transition, policymakers, strategists, journalists, and campaigners must have a comprehensive understanding on the current narrating stance of different energy stakeholders in Indonesia. 

Therefore, we need to capture the recent public narratives created by energy stakeholders, on energy transition, to better understand their ‘true stance.’ We will use them as baseline narrative to form the basis to derive a communication and outreach strategy with key messages that is sustainable to the different stakeholders’ perceptions, agendas and understanding. 

  1. Objective and Scope of Work

The key intention is to recalibrate CASE Indonesia’s stakeholders map in the nation’s energy transition, and to capture the public narratives they have created based on evidence. Recalibrating also means to make sure the public narrative made by stakeholders in energy transition could be thoroughly assessed, to show their true stance or merely their formal stance under which their fossil-fuel support was disguised.

In the first phase of work, we complement existing stakeholders mapping, identify views, concerns, challenges and perceptions of stakeholders on the energy transition as shown in the 2021 public narratives. We collect the 2021 public narratives through research (desk study, interviews) and provide the supporting evidence through publicly available information. This includes statements shown on virtual platforms or captured by the media.

In the second phase of work, we summarize the conception of energy transition by stakeholder groups, to be used as CASE Indonesia’s baseline narratives. As an extra, to further enrich the analysis, we launch a fact-checking over narratives made by specific stakeholders (eight of them), who are seen playing pivotal roles in the energy transition. Their public narratives made in 2021 are confronted with those made in 2022, or with additional off-the record interviews, to see any changes in their stance regarding energy transition. 

In the third phase of work, this baseline analysis shall then function as the basis to develop a stakeholder-specific approach to driving a positive narrative on the energy transition, in particular to strengthen stakeholders’ stance on promoting renewable energy. Some recommendations are provided over outreach strategy to be implemented by the CASE programme—to support CASE Indonesia’s objectives attainment.

The result will then be used to assess stakeholders across a matrix, to distinguish them based on their power and influence to drive Indonesia’s energy transition. This will help to identify “energy champions” for future work. The ultimate objective for the CASE Indonesia project would be a customized special stakeholder management plan to eight-pivotal stakeholders, as well as campaign strategies launch to other stakeholders. This report provides recommendations for such an approach, without going so far as to detail the stakeholder management plan. 

  1. Process and Methodology
Data Collection
Analysis & Reporting
Addendum & Revision

The development process of the Baseline Narrative Assessment Synthesis Report is going through three phases in the period of July to September 2022:

The methodology used in the report is as following:

  1. Stakeholder mapping: picking out entities or organizations that have the closest relationship with energy transition policies and practices, in complement to CASE Indonesia’s initial stakeholders mapping
  2. Desktop research: finding data and evidence of narratives made by those stakeholders in the public, in the period of January 2021 to January 2022.
  3. Interview (additional): doing a covert survey to capture the true stance of highly influential or pivotal stakeholders
  4. Stakeholder analysis: mainly using Mendelow matrix to map stakeholders, based on their power and interest in Indonesia’s energy transition
  5. SWOT analysis: on possible energy champions that may support the narrative changes in favour to CASE Indonesia
  6. Stakeholder management planning (recommendation): on suitable strategies applied to special stakeholders, which are different from each other due to their proximity and their hidden agenda/perception.
  1. Key Findings

4.1. Stakeholder Selection and Power Grouping

In a bid to change the public narrative of the energy transition, CASE Indonesia takes a multistakeholder approach, as different stakeholders have different roles in national energy transition. Many individuals and institutions are involved in shaping energy policy agendas including political officials, private entities, civil society organizations, philanthropic foundation, and international institutions. It is important to identify stakeholders when trying to enact change, especially through public campaign aiming for changes in public narratives.

Regarding to energy policymaking, stakeholders are those who care about or are otherwise affected by the energy policies; it also includes those involved in creating policy as they have an interest in the outcome of policymaking. These organizations are more likely to want to get involved, or to speak up publicly, because they are the ones who will reap the benefits or experience the negative consequences of the policy outcome.

While these types of stakeholders are influential, the main difference between them lies in their primary nature in the public policy-making process. Within the framework of the CASE Indonesia project, a set of stakeholders have been identified that have a particular role in shaping Indonesia’s narrative on the energy transition.


Type of ActorPrimary NaturesExamples
Political officialsPublicPresident, House of Representatives, party member
Senior public servantsPublicMinister, Vice Minister
Mid-level public servantsPublicDirector General (Echelon 1)
Civil societiesNongovernmentalIFSR, Madani Berkelanjutan
AssociationsNongovernmentalMETI, MKI
FinanciersPrivateHimbara, banks, venture capitals
Commercial entitiesPrivateEnergy companies, SOEs, mass media
International institutionsInternationalWorld Bank, Asian Development Bank
Bilateral donorsInternationalUSAID
International NGOsInternationalGIZ, ETP

Based on that, we group stakeholders into four categories: public sector (governmental agencies), private sector (commercial-oriented firm or company running under the business rationale), local NGOs (civil societies, associations, academics), and international NGOs (donors, think tanks, etc.). This categorization is in line with CASE Indonesia’s early differentiation on stakeholders mapping.

However, as part of the calibration, we have quantified the ‘power’ matrix under the scale of 1-20 (as shown in table 2 below), where each stakeholder has been categorized in accordance to their role in policy making (from decision maker to follower) and reassessed based on the power they have in creating impactful public narratives.

As the research is basically analysing public narrative with the mass media-based evidence, then the rule of news-makers stratification applies. It means that the stronger newsmakers, such as policy makers, are most likely to have biggest influence in driving the public narrative in the media, compared to sources with less-access in policy making such as social-media influencers. 

Thus, a positive correlation between ‘power in policy making’ and ‘power in creating effective public narrative’ can be drawn here. The bigger magnitude of narrative they can create to influence the public awareness on energy transition—thanks to mass media’s filter of newsmakers, the bigger the power (in creating public narrative) they have compared to other stakeholders.

17-20Policy makersThose with closest access to energy policymaking and media coverage with ultimate power to affect the nation with the energy policy: leaders, politicians, technocrats
13-16ImplementersGood access to energy policymaking and media coverage, with strong lobbying power as they are directly affected by energy policy: energy producers, electricity companies
9-12Consultative groupsAdequate access to energy policymaking and media coverage to influent the energy policy with lobbying power: academics, think tank, associations
5-8CampaignersLow access to energy policy-making, and low access to media coverage on energy, limited lobbying power but strong public narrative: activists, NGOs, journalists
1-4ObserversNo access to energy policymaking, limited media coverage on energy, but able to respond policy outcome with public narrative: public & religious institutions, bank, financiers


  1. Assessment Matrix of Stakeholder Interests

We further conduct a recapitulation of the public narrative’s findings, as part of efforts to define stakeholders’ stance over renewable energy and to categorize them for analytical purposes. In a bid to quantify their interest, three variables are used to define how big their support, and/or rejection, is on energy transition.

The three variables are: (1) stance to coal, (2) stance to clean fossil fuels—namely coal usage under the supercritical (SC) technology to capture the carbon and natural gas, as the cleanest fossil fuels but with massive detrimental methane emission, and (3) stance to renewable energies. Each of the variable contains the scale of interest, ranging from ‘anti’ to ‘neutral’, and ‘pro.’


5Anti-FF 10Pro-RE
4  8 
3Phase-down 6 
2  4 
1  2 
0Neutral 0Neutral
-1  -2 
-2  -4 
-3Co-exist -6 
-4  -8 
-5Pro-FF -10Anti-RE

Each of the stance is categorized based on the scale 0 to 5 for anti-fossil fuel, and minus 5 to 0 for the fossil fuel pros. However, we uplift the stance over renewables (by double) than that of fossil fuels (FF), to the scale of 0 to 10 for the pro-RE and 0 to minus 10 for the anti-RE), assuming that stakeholder’s public narratives on his/her public support to renewable energies reflect a way bigger interest to energy transition, compared to his/her stance (anti or pro) to fossil fuels.

A good public narrative in favour to energy transition must be better valued as it indicates their good understanding and awareness to RE, which will create more impact to the public compared to “inherited narratives” on fossil fuels—where ordinary stakeholders will tend not to up against it.

By using such quantification, the ideal interest in energy transition would lead to a total score of 20 points, coming from: pro-renewable energies (10 points), anti-clean FF (5 points) and anti-coal (5 points). Then, we categorize the recapitulation result into five bracket: RE crusader, RE endorser, collaborator, FF apologist, and FF defender, as defined below:


Anti-CoalAnti-Clean FossilPro-RenewablesTOTAL SCORENOTE
551020RE Crusader
5-2,51012,5RE Endorser
2,5-5107,5FF Apologist
0-5105FF Defender

Under such a quantification, we can draw Mendelow Matrix more accurately by referring to the Table 1 to draw the vertical axis, and the Table 3 to draw the horizontal axis of each stakeholder. Mendelow (1991) suggests we analyse our stakeholder groups based on Power (the ability to influence our strategy or project) and Interest (how interested they are in the project succeeding). 

All stakeholders may seem to have lots of power or we hope they would have lots of interest, but relatively speaking, some stakeholders will hold more power than others, and some stakeholders will have more Interest. We differentiate them in four categories: public sector (in blue), private sector (green), national institutions (green), and international institutions (orange). And here is the result:



According to our assessment, stakeholders of energy transition who are listed with high power to influence the public (through their narratives) are mostly apparatus entities, ranging from Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (Bappenas) or Ministry for National Development Planning, Kementerian BUMN (Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises), to three directorates in Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources namely new and renewable energies (NRE) directorate general (Ditjen EBTKE), electricity directorate general (Ditjen Ketenagalistrikan, dan Sumber Daya Mineral, Ditjen Minerba). 

However, most of them—according to our mapping—showed a rather weak interest for a total energy transition. Only three apparatus entities who have shown strong level of interest for total energy transition (from fossil fuels to renewables). They are Bappenas, with 17 points, followed by NRE directorate (13 points), and Gerindra (12.5 points). 

This could be well-understood as the Bappenas and NRE directorate are the spearhead of the nation’s energy transitions, pushing them to show strong campaigns and narratives to the public on the need for energy transition acceleration.

“There are many environmental issues that pose threats to water, air and even land. We are fixing all of this to be sustainable and more sustainable, and we call for a green economy and a blue economy for a blue sky.”

“The President (Jokowi) last week announced the energy transition. I don’t think there is any other choice not to be successful,” said Dadan in the New Energy Conference held online by one of the national media on Monday (26/4).

The surprise is seen on the political party Gerindra which has shown strong interest in energy transition as implied from statements made by their politician. This is related to the fact that its politician Kardaya Warnika has been active in public discussion on energy transition last year.

Member of Commission VII DPR RI Gerindra Faction, DR Jr. Kardaya Warnika as the second speaker said that enthusiasm for going to RE has been unstoppably increasing everywhere. It became one of the reasons why the House of Representative tried to push for the emergence of the RE Law.

On the opposite end, the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs (Kemenko Perekonomian) and Coal and Mineral Directorate hold the lowest point of interest, at zero. As seen from its public narratives in the period of 2021, the ministry showed a “balanced” position in energy transition: pushing for RE but at the same time tolerating fossil fuels as the national assets to maintain energy security. One of its staffs openly acknowledged the development of a steam power plant project as part of national “strategic projects.”

Assistant Deputy for Asian Economic Cooperation at the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Bobby C. Siagian said the construction of the 1,760 megawatt (MW) steam power plant is part of the 35,000 MW electricity project. We always monitor the progress of these national strategic projects.

At the same time, he expressed the ministry’s effort to shift for renewable energy despite of the high cost of investment:

Large funding is needed because energy from coal is still large in Indonesia and to shift it to environmentally friendly energy requires investment from many parties.

We found the same situation with Golkar Party—led by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto—that showed the weakest public narratives among political parties. Airlangga is a leading business figure in fossil fuel industry whose company—named PT AKR Corporindo Tbk–being the sole private fuel distributor in the country. 

His party is also the home to other coal miner tycoon such as Aburizal Bakrie and Luhut Binsar Panjaitan. One of its member launched a very sceptical stance on renewable energy development, to avoid losses in the state budget and pricy electricity.

Member of Commission VII DPR RI Mukhtarudin [from the Golkar Party] asked the government to be careful and to be wise in paving way for the transition to new and renewable energy (EBT).

While stakeholders with biggest power in creating public narratives are mostly those apparatus or government-related entities, it is such unfortunate that their interest for the ideal energy transition is unfortunately low. This is far more different from think tanks such as IESR, GIZ, Koalisi Bersihkan Indonesia, Masyarakat Konservasi dan Efisiensi Energi Indonesia (MASKEEI), Net Zero World Initiatives, Madani Berkelanjutan, and Energy Transition Partnership (ETP). They had dominated public narratives on energy transition in 2021.

This is different from the stakeholder mapping previously assessed by CASE Indonesia. The differences mainly lay on how we quantify the stakeholders’ interest by using the most ideal or radical variables: rejecting clean coal (using the supercritical technology), and even refuting natural gas. It has been widely accepted that natural gas is cleanest fossil fuel in terms of carbon emission. But, however, natural gas is still fossil fuel with high-methane gas emission.


D:\diskusi\GIZ\GIZ1\power-interest CASE.png

In general, most of apparatus in Indonesia are still heavily influenced by the interest of fossil fuel industries, making them more accommodative to them instead of vehemently opposing the dirty industries. Some of their baseline public narrative are accepting ‘coal phase-down’—and not the drastic version, called ‘coal phase-out’, seeing supercritical (SC) technology as a win-win solution to reduce carbon emission from steam power plant, and saw natural gas as Indonesia’s stallion during the transition period.

But, however, they still become the leader in public narratives of energy transition by scoring the strongest points compared to private entities, national entities, and international entities. Journalists are naturally going to quote them for any information or any progress about RE in Indonesia due to the fact that they are the authoritative sources to provide such information.

It is in line with CASE Indonesia’s mapping which put most government entities in the list of strongest stakeholders in energy transition narratives. However we tend to omit the Ministry of Finance from the strong powered-stakeholders because its public narratives, as expressed by the Fiscal Policy Agency (BKF), are not very dominant. 

Public only pay attention to them in regard to incentives policy and, while at the same time, the Finance Ministry do not give enough public narratives that talk about technical aspects such as clean coal and natural gas. Of the four variables, we found only two variables in BKF’s public narratives in 2021 (namely the stance on RE and the stance on conventional coal).

The government continues to encourage the development of NRE, especially in the electricity sector. This initiative is stated in the Government Regulation (PP) No. 79 of 2014 on National Energy Policy.

If we talk about the lowest point in the public narratives on energy transition, then we will have to look at public religious organizations such as PBNU, GKI, Walubi, Yayasan Budha Tzu Chi, and even PHDI that showed limited interest in delivering energy transition narratives. Even PBNU’s Program Manager for Climate Change Unit Hijroatul Maghfiroh publicly said that the organization currently played a little role in developing RE:

“We are quite active in implementing waste management programs, utilizing water sources. However, we have not had time to develop the use of New Renewable Energy (EBT),” said Hijroatul Maghfiroh.

Meanwhile, PHDI scored the worst in 2021 as they publicly refuted a geothermal project in Bali, as they were worried that the project will taint the sacred status of the site they culturally preserve. It does not necessarily mean that they refute RE, but it showed how they chose FF with its deadly impact to the nature rather than developing RE but in exchange to their cultural values: 

Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (PHDI) is worried that the construction of the project in the mountainous area will damage the sanctity of the temple. The Bali Provincial Government has twice issued recommendations to reject this Geothermal PLTP project. First, the era of Governor Dewa Beratha and the era of Mangku Pastika. WALHI Bali, and the Bali DPRD council also agreed to reject the project.

Based on our observation, KEIND showed zero interest with zero power as it did not have any public narrative in 2021. Meanwhile, YLKI par better, just a little better, after Tulus Abadi—its chairman—in 2021 publicly expressed his sceptical stance over the affordability of RE for the public while at the same time praising coal as the main stallion in Indonesia’s cheap electricity. Here are some of his statements:

“According to Tulus, the development of new and renewable energy is a necessity, because it has been stated as a commitment in the RUPTL. However, its implementation needs to be done with careful calculations.”

Coal as a raw material for industry or other fossil energy brings positive and negative impacts on the environment. The positive impact can generate power plants and drive an industry which in turn encourages economic growth. While the negative impact affects the environment. “And this must be suppressed as much as possible,” said Tulus Abadi, Chairman of the Daily Board of the Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) in a webinar entitled “Optimizing the Utilization of FABA PLTU Resources for Community Welfare” on Wednesday (14/4/2021)  

This old-fashioned way of thinking is most likely related to his position to guard the affordability of energy, on behalf of the consumers he is trying to represent off. And at the same time, his stance showed the reality that RE somehow still perceived as costly energy in Indonesia despite the fact that fossil fuels enjoy massive subsidies leading to their affordability.

  1. Summary: Energy Transition Narratives in Indonesia

Based on the detailed analysis of individual stakeholders above, this chapter provides a summary of the diverging Energy Transition narrative statements that exist in Indonesia today. These narrative will function as the basis to draw recommendations to draft Future Energy Transition Narratives including their Key Messages and sharpening the stakeholder engagement plan under the CASE Programme for 2023-2027 (Chapter 6).

  1. Baseline Narrative 1: “Coal must be Phased Out” 

Overall we found that 28 stakeholders, or half of them (50%) had conveyed strong narratives of the need for phasing down—as well as completely leaving out—coal. Of that number, those taking standpoint to extremely leave coal reached 26.8% (15 stakeholders) while 22.2% others (13 stakeholders) called for gradual coal phase-down.

Typical arguments and statements under this narrative are highlighting the need for reaching Paris Agreement commitment, by “shutting down steam power plant with total capacity of 9.2 gigawatt (GW)” as expressed by IESR or by “revoking plan to build new coal-based power plant” as shown by Koalisi Bersihkan Indonesia (KBI). Rockefeller Foundation has publicly announced plan to assist Indonesia to shut down some of the steam power plants.

Most of the stakeholders with strong stance against coal are mostly national and international institutions. While private entity was nowhere to be seen showing such strong stance against coal, Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (PKB) or National Awakening Party was the only public entity that called for coal abolishment.

The party rhetorically criticized Indonesia’s dependence over coal, which according to PKB politician Syaikhul Islam “like the forth stadium cancer.” The strong stance was apparently related to the Party’s independent position which were not led by figures coming from coal industry, thus they had more stakes to express political opposition against coal. 

However, the statement was made in response to Mongabay journalist’s interview, and not from the party’s official press release. It means that the voice was not pushed officially by the party in an extensive way. 

  1. Baseline Narrative 2: “Clean Fossil Fuels are OK for Energy Transition”

The second most interesting stance captured from the 2021 public narratives was the fact that half of the stakeholders (28 of them) chose to be neutral or did not make any narrative on the clean fossil fuels (either clean coal under supercritical technology or natural gas).

In details, the “abstain” stance was expressed by eleven national organizations, seven international organizations, six public entities, and four private entities. All of them did not make any narratives that showed their support or opposition against the utilization of clean coal and natural gas. More likely they chose to focus their public narratives to fight against conventional dirty coal massively used in Indonesia.

The other 16 stakeholders tended to support clean fossil fuels, leaving only 12 stakeholders voicing opposition on the utilization of the fossil fuels due to the greenhouse effect. It means that more stakeholders were supporting or accepting the consumption of clean fossil fuels, compared to those who were against it. Asian based international organization were among the supporting ones, namely the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE).

“Persistent dependence on fossil fuels means that CCS could be central to realising emission reductions from Indonesia’s energy and industrial sectors,” said the Asian Development Bank.

Under APAEC Phase II, ASEAN seeks to optimize clean coal technology by deploying more efficient, less emissive supercritical and ultra-supercritical power plants. “Aside from removing all [of the less efficient] subcritical plants, we are introducing the blending of coal and biomass or co-firing for power generation. That will [enable] affordable electricity while also reducing emissions coming from coal,” Nuki said.

The two narratives showed that they were absorbing and promoting “realistic” idea of burning the abundant coal in Asia in steam power plants equipped with supercritical (SC) and ultra-supercritical (USC) technologies. It aims to drive steam power plant developers and owners to invest on that technology rather than shutting down their dirty power plant and switch to renewable energies.

By making fossil fuels burned cleaner, they tended to bend the direction of energy transition from heading to renewables to stick with fossil fuels, as long as it emit lower greenhouse gas. While this option was not in line with most international organization, but they kept on publicly campaigning on that direction. 

  1. Baseline Narrative 3: “Renewable Energy is Our Future, but…”

The brightest result could be seen in the public narratives made for renewable energy. Most of the stakeholders (53 entities or 94.6% of them) made heart-warming narratives on the importance of RE and their open support for Indonesia to go for RE. Only two entities made narratives that reject renewable energy, namely Indonesia Coal Mining Association (Asosiasi Perusahaan Batubara Indonesia/APBI) and Indonesian Hindu Dharma Society (Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia/PHDI)

Typical arguments and statements under APBI narratives include: the government’s limited ability to develop renewable energy on massive scale, the coal potentials as Indonesia’s abundant asset, and the low cost of energy production for coal. Those three narratives were still maintained as its modalities to defend or to make coal as an integral part in Indonesia’s future energy mix.

“APBI sees the use of coal will continue until the 2040s. APBI is worried that the government will not be able to find a substitute for coal because the commodity is the cheapest fuel compared to others.”

On the other hand, PHDI in their public narratives last year rejected the development of two geothermal power plant in Bali as they worried that the project would taint the sanctity of their holy forest. Meanwhile, the geothermal project could not be launched without opening some parts of the forest and drilling some wells. Up until now, PHDI still refused the project but at the same time opened their arms wide for fossil fuels to power their daily lives.

The rejection of the Bedugul PLTP (geothermal power plant) sparked just before the final construction process, thus the construction of the Bedugul PLTP stalled before it started operating. The community’s rejection is based on the people’s belief that the mountain is a sacred area for Balinese Hindus. The plan resurfaced several years ago until it stalled in 2019, due to waves of protest from the community, Walhi, PHDI, and the Bali Provincial Government.

While, in this case, the rejection was not due to the bad nature of renewable energies or misled understanding of the good in fossil fuels, PHDI’s stance should be criticized and addressed correctly as their rejection was essentially leading to the utilization of more fossil fuels. Ultimately, such stance would lead to massive degradation of Bali’s natures which they had considered sacred.

Exception note need to be made for Indonesia Entrepreneur Chamber (Kamar Entrepreneur Indonesia/KEIND) which made zero narratives during 2021, making it impossible to define its stance on energy transition, rather than “neutral.” The business association was the only entity that stayed neutral over transition to renewable energy.

  1. SWOT Analysis

SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis is a framework that allows us evaluating Indonesia’s energy transition campaign as shown in the baseline public narratives. SWOT analysis assesses internal and external factors, as well as the current and future potentials, and designed to facilitate a realistic, fact-based, data-driven look at the strengths and weaknesses of CASE Indonesia’s potential champions among energy stakeholders. 

In a bid to do that, we need to keep the analysis accurate by avoiding pre-conceived beliefs or grey areas and instead focusing on real-life contexts that CASE Indonesia could use it as a guide and not necessarily as a prescription.

  1. Changes in Narratives, from Public to Private Ones

We conducted a reality-check by conducting a covert survey to eight pivotal stakeholders to understand their real stance on energy transition in 2021. However, we must warn CASE Indonesia not to share any part of this reassessment to the public, and must use it solely for internal purpose only

Those key stakeholders are considered to have great power in creating strong influential public narratives as well as in making changes in the energy transition through their role. Three of them are directorate general in the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, one representative of Ministry of SOEs, one representative of Ministry of Finance, two representatives of think tank organization, and one energy users. The list of special stakeholders include:

  • New and Renewable Energy Directorate (Ditjen EBTKE) of Energy & Natural Resources Ministry (Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral/ESDM), as the main decision maker in energy transition policy 
  • Electricity Directorate (Ditjen Ketenagalistrikan) of ESDM as the main decision maker in electricity policy
  • Mineral and Coal Directorate (Ditjen Minerba) of ESDM as the main decision maker in fossil fuels policy
  • State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) Ministry, as the main shareholder of two SOEs controlling the energy (PT Pertamina) and electricity (PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara/PLN)
  • Fiscal Policy Agency of Ministry of Finance (Badan Kebijakan Fiskal/BKF Kementerian Keuangan), as the main think tank in the Ministry of Finance to formulate fiscal policy on incentives/disincentives etc.
  • National Innovation and Research Agency (Badan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional/BRIN), as the “holding agency” of all state-controlled research houses
  • Institute for Economic and Social Research of University of Indonesia (Lembaga Penyelidikan Ekonomi Masyarakat Universitas Indonesia/LPEM-UI), as Indonesia’s biggest academics research having a close connection with National Energy Council (Dewan Energi Nasional/DEN)
  • PT PLN (Persero), as the sole-electricity buyer in Indonesia’s monopsony electricity industry

We picked the strongest standpoints from several public narratives they made on energy transition in 2021, and later interviewed them directly—and covertly—to check the consistency of their stance in 2022. Below is the matrix of their stance that shows how much the public narratives they created in 2021 have become deviant this year due to the Russo-Ukraine War which heavily disrupted the world’s energy. 

From the eight pivotal stakeholders that we have observed, five of them tend to get swayed from the initial energy transition target. It means that they have become astray after the energy disruption hit the world, especially in the Europe. The Russo-Ukrainian war that has driven Germany and Britain to come back to steam-power plant tends to change their interest on renewable energy.

The matric also brought us at an extremely disturbing points where fossil fuels are getting traction and considered to be more relevant—while renewable energies are considered less strategic—to solve short-term risk coming out from the war.


Mineral & Coal DirectorateWhen we talk about minerals for clean energy, it is a step that is in line with our efforts to produce new energy from what has been used as raw materials.We still have coal reserves for 60-65 years, mostly in Kalimantan and Sumatra. This is a big potential, like it or not, as it has a big potential as an affordable energy.Set back
Electricity DirectorateWe already have the program (EBT development).In Europe, they are “forced” to re-open power plant. That’s a bit contrary to the Paris agreement after calling us to close coal. They even asked me to export coal but that was off the record.Set back
NRE DirectorateThe President (Jokowi) last week announced the energy transition. I don’t think there is any other choice than being successfulHow will we respond? It is precisely in regard to the uncertain world. It is very important to make the transition, right? We know that fossil prices are full of uncertainties.Solid
Ministry of FinanceCoal based-energy that are non-renewable will run out in 65 years and contribute quite a lot of carbon emissions. Thus, a shift to NRE is needed to ensure sustainable energy consumption.We hope that the carbon market, which has already been piloted in Indonesia, can be implemented.Swayed
Ministry of SOEsTo reach zero carbon in 2060, the ministry to focus on partnership in RE projectsBiomass and biofuel to be main solution Swayed
PLNTo support the carbon neutral target by 2060, Indonesia needs to build NRE-based power plants of up to 250 GW. Thus, this requires a large investment up to IDR 9,000 trillion.This is just one example of how difficult it is for us to face this extraordinary challenge, after the meeting I was called directly by the president with a directive: Mr. President Director, please carry out the energy transition properly, so as not to ruin my state budget.Swayed
BRINBRIN in general has used a lot of research and innovation related to energy and more specifically about RNE to encourage the use of clean energy which is more environmentally friendly and sustainable.Innovation and research in the energy sector is much more challenging, and one of the biggest potentials is bio-energy, but even then there will be potential to compete with food. On the other hand, water, wind and solar are still very limited, intermittent in nature, and its reliability has not been as expected, especially for industry.Swayed
LPEM UIThe most likely power plants to reach NZE target in 2060 in my opinion are the solar and hydro, which seem to have great potential.I think that related to NZE in 2060, Indonesia faces many challenges, one of which is in terms of financing. The need for funding is very large and it seems that this cannot be fully met by fiscal and domestic funding, so it is necessary to attract international investment in a massive scale.Swayed

Ministry of Finance had developed narratives that tended to do a greenwashing of fossil fuels, by focusing on carbon market and biomass/biofuel. Carbon credit, according to recent studies, is sometimes considered greenwashing rather than a green investment as it tried to shift focus from energy transition to greenwashing campaign, allowing further usage of fossil fuels as long as it compensates to green-project paid from its fossil-based income.

Meanwhile, Ministry of SOEs’ public statement on biomass and biofuel is a sign that the government is losing its sharpness in eyeing the energy transition to the purely renewable energy, by choosing the biofuel—which according to European Union (UE) plays pivotal role in deforestation and GHG emission due to land-use change. 

As we can see above, LPEM UI has also changed their course a bit, from optimistic stance to reach net zero emission (NZE) target in 2060 (by focusing on solar and hydro-based energies in Indonesia) to pessimistic one saying that massive funding is needed to reach the target. 

Even PLN, as we can see from the statement of PLN President Director Darmawan Prasodjo, admitted that President Joko Widodo had warned him not to run for renewable energy so hastily that ruin the state budget—due to the current situation (stagflation anf Russo-Ukraine War).

Two stakeholders, Mineral & Coal Directorate as well as Electricity Directorate are seen to have changed their stance drastically. They are now getting more eager to reverse back to exploit coal for affordable source of energy and electricity in Indonesia. The Electricity Director General Rida Mulyana even claimed to have received notes from Germany about coal import proposal. This, according to him, showed how the global world had turned to fossil fuel in a bid to survive from the current challenges.

Only one pivotal stakeholder maintains its positive stance on energy transition, namely NRE Directorate. Despite the fact of energy disruption currently hampering the world, The Director General of NRE Dadan Kusdiana said the current conundrum on fossil fuel even gave stronger basis for Indonesia to develop renewable energy. He said that the very reason for energy transition acceleration exactly lies on the uncertain volatile price of fossil fuels.

  1. Potential Energy Champions

Amid the swing stance of the key stakeholders, we conducted SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis on the stakeholder of energy in Indonesia, to see the potentials (as well as the risks) of conducting campaign program in the future, by looking at three baseline public narratives mentioned above. 

As we already know, there are several potentials in energy transition in Indonesia, as it is happening to be the largest country, and the largest market, with significant role in G20. With 270 million+ population, Indonesia promises a robust growth in energy consumption making it a good market for NRE. Not to mention the fact that the country has mountainous potential in NRE.

There are, however, several risks in the country’s energy transition namely the Russo-Ukraine war factor that put fossil fuels—especially coal and gas—back on track. This has led to the swayed narratives previously held by the main stakeholders in energy transition. 

On the other hand, the gloomy economic outlook in 2023 will make it uneasy to make people (energy users) adapt with the costly structure of NRE, as fossil fuels are still cheaper compared to NRE—thanks to plenty of subsidies provided—with strong lobbies launched by the producer to make sure fossil fuels are still used.


Public Sector In a good position to decide energy policies, with stronger international support & role thanks to G20 Many politicians come from fossil fuels-related business, that may lead to policy biasStronger & closer international supports for energy transition, especially from G20Increasing price of coal, and gas may lead to increasing lobby for fossil fuel exploitation
Private SectorDirect involvement &  well-positioned to participate deeper & more intense in energy transition program, considering their position as the biggest user of electricity in IndonesiaMore  pragmatic (market  & business orientated) in putting their stance,  role, &  commitment  for energy transition, unreliable supports especially those affiliated with fossil fuel conglomeratesMore funding to phase down steam-power plant, such as the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) and the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM), allowing extra income from shutting down coal-fired power plantFossil fuels business may thrive which will trample energy transition efforts, due to global winter & Ukrainian & Russian war that may lead the world to a hunting party for the abundant fossil fuels
National OrganisationHaving better access to media, more dedicated stance and commitment in pushing energy transitionLimited capacity in creating more massive public narratives, with uncoordinated efforts in pushing energy transitionRising energy price is a good reason & valid ground for voicing more support for energy transition into NRERecession may affect their narratives from swift energy transition to situational one
International OrganisationStrong unchanged commitment that will be vital to keep advocating energy transition policy despite any challengeLack of flexibility to collaborate with private entities & heavily lobbied public entities in formulating “win-win solution”G-20 Bali declaration has created stronger tie for energy transition collaboration with local stakeholders in IndonesiaLikely, shorter funding due to crisis, which needed to support energy transition campaign especially in Indonesia

The problem with Indonesia’s energy stakeholders—especially in public entities—are the fact that many politicians or political parties run by businessmen earning their fortune from fossil fuels business. Thus, if there is any legitimation for fossil fuels usage then it will most likely impact the legality of energy policy. With their strong lobbying power, the public organization might be influenced to support their stance & lower level of commitment for energy transition.

While the two stakeholders likely to be affected by the dynamics in global energy market, international organization are seen arising as the new champion in pushing public narratives for a more consistent energy transition program. The G20 Bali declaration has paved a strong basis for this stakeholder to advocate the commitment signed in the event by pushing public organization to accelerate efforts and commitments to phase-down coal as previously agreed in the G20. They might represent the international financing providers to further push the realization of ETM and JETP.

This peculiar advantage is not seen in public organizations, as most of them are basically providing public narratives on energy transition based on local perspective and agenda—which unfortunately will be more tolerant with “win-win solution” by allowing fossil fuels to further play pivotal role, rather than directly shifting to NRE. We can refer this tendency to the second baseline narratives found in the report: “Clean Fossil Fuels are OK for Energy Transition.”

  1. Recommendations

The key to revolutionize energy transition in Indonesia will be on the effective campaign strategies and effective approaches which directly involve the most important stakeholders to ensure them for a deeper engagement on the issue. At the same time, other stakeholders who play pivotal roles in public campaign are expected to keep endorsing for energy transition.

Each of the stakeholder needs different plan of ‘stakeholder management’, thus it is important to correctly draw the map of CASE Indonesia stakeholders, based on their true stance on energy transition issue. We need to calibrate the map of stakeholders already created, ranging from the public institution, private sector, to international organization. 

From there, CASE Indonesia may implement the best strategy that fits the need for influencing them and/or endorsing a campaign strategy that specifically aims their stance, in a bid to change their public narratives into another advocate of energy transition. In the end, all the stakeholders are expected to fully hold more massive public narrative on energy transition.

Responding to the challenges of global energy disruption, where some countries are eyeing to reverse back progress by reactivating steam power plant, the need for massive campaign to create strong public narratives supporting energy transition are getting more urgent. Especially, as the reality shows us that most of the energy-related positions in the government are chaired by public figures arising from fossil fuels industry or related to the fossil fuel tycoons. This creates a bias in the rule-making process of energy that badly affect the pace of the transition. 

CASE Indonesia should work with other stakeholders to pinpoint the current situation as an extra reason why we need to develop NRE more urgently. Showing the green aspect and nature friendly of NRE is getting less relevant now amid the current slowing global economy. People tend to think for short term, such as this: how to manage to pay the electricity bill—which currently increases. 

However, this situation could be a blessing in disguise for those who have already strong policies on renewable energies, allowing them to propose the clean energy as solution in terms of affordability. NRE might not be cheap, but it does not mean unaffordable. 

CASE Indonesia could help to provide such affordable NRE by bridging a path between financiers or banks to the end users (customers) to provide long term financing for home base on-grid solar panel. This could help people to slash their bill while at the same time doing the energy conservation and accessing the NRE service. Thus, a more massive campaign launched to the government should aim on incentive provisions. Massive campaign on the financing term to the public is also needed, as well as raising awareness on the danger of climate change if people reversing back to fossil fuels. 

As the Indonesian government is facing problem with budget, the Western countries should work hand-in-hand to fill this gap by providing long-term soft loans which will be channelled to banks and end users to make NRE more affordable for them. The ultimate target is not on the Return on Investment (RoI), but rather on creating massive global demand for solar panel products, services, and technologies. This, in turn, might create multiplier effects and help Western countries’ manufacturing sectors to recover from the impact of the current situation.

The pandemic and Russo-Ukrainian war indeed have created problems for the world energy. However, CASE Indonesia could turn this situation into opportunity by using the G20 Bali Declaration as a tool to force energy stakeholders in public and private sectors to abide by it. CASE Indonesia should reach the donors involved in the partnership (such as ETM and JETP), and act on behalf of the donors to reach the public and private sectors with the right cooperation, effective projects, and the right public narratives aiming for the right stakeholders under the right approach—formulated to suit with each of their power and interest.

  1. Abbreviation List
ACEAsean Center for Energy
ADBAsian Development Bank
AIESECAssociation Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales
AJIAliansi Jurnalis Independen (Independent Journalist Alliance)
AspermigasAsosiasi Perusahaan Minyak dan Gas (Association of Indonesian Oil and Gas Companies)
BappenasBadan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (National Development Planning Ministry/Agency)
BPPTBadan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (Technology Assessment and Implementation Agency)
BRINBadan Riset dan Inovasi Nasional (National Research and Innovation Agency)
BUMNBadan Usaha Milik Negara (State-Owned Enterprise)
CIFORCenter for International Forestry Research
DENDewan Energi Nasional (National Energy Council)
Ditjen EBTKEDirektorat Jenderal Energi Baru Terbarukan dan Konservasi Energi (Directorate General of New Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation)
Ditjen MinerbaDirektorat Jenderal Mineral dan Batu Bara (Directorate General of Mineral and Coal)
DPPIDirektorat Pengendalian Perubahan Iklim (Directorate of Climate Change Control)
ETPEnergy Transition Partnership (UNOPS)
FIREFriends of Indonesia Renewable Energy
GerindraPartai Gerakan Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia Movement Party)
GolkarPartai Golongan Karya (Party of Functional Groups)
GKIGereja Kristen Indonesia (Indonesia Christian Church)
HimbaraHimpunan Bank Negara (Association of State Owned Banks)
ICWIndonesia Corruption Watch
IESRInstitute for Essential Services Reform
LPEM UILembaga Penyelidikan Ekonomi dan Masyarakat, Universitas Indonesia (Institute for Economic and Social Research, University of Indonesia)
KADINKamar Dagang dan Industri Indonesia (Indonesia Chambers of Commerce and Industry)
Kemenko PerekonomianKementerian Koordinator Bidang Perekonomian (Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs)
Kementerian ESDMKementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources)
KLHKKementerian Lingkungan Hidup dan Kehutanan (Ministry of Environment and Forestry)
KBIKoalisi Bersihkan Indonesia (Indonesia Clean-up Coalition)
KPIKoalisi Perempuan Indonesia (Indonesia Women Coalition)
KPKKomisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (Corruption Eradication Commission)
MASKEEIMasyarakat Konservasi dan Efisiensi Energi Indonesia (Indonesia Energy Conservation and Efficiency Society)
METIMasyarakat Energi Terbarukan Indonesia (Indonesia’s Renewable Energy Society)
NasdemPartai Nasional Demokrat (Democratic National Party)
NUNahdlatul Ulama (Revival of the Religious Scholars)
NZWNet Zero World
OJKOtoritas Jasa Keuangan (Financial Services Authority)
PHDIParisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (Indonesian Hindu Dharma Society)
PDI PPartai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuangan (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle)
PLNPT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (National Electricity Company)
PKBPartai Kebangkitan Bangsa (National Awakening Party)
RFRockefeller Foundation
RMIRocky Mountain Institute
SDALHSumber Daya Air & Lingkungan Hidup (Water Resources and Environment)
SRE ITSSociety of Renewable Energy (SRE) Insitut Teknologi Sepuluh November (ITS)
SMIPT Sarana Menara Infrastruktur
SNVNetherland Development Organization
UGMUniversitas Gajah Mada
UIUniversitas Indonesia
WALUBIPerwakilan Umat Buddha Indonesia (Indonesia Buddhist Council)
WRIWorld Resources Institute
YLKIYayasan Lembaga Konsumen Indonesia (Indonesian Consumers Protection Foundation)

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Clean, Affordable and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia

Gandabhaskara Saputra Full name Full name
Communications Advisor Position Position Email Email
+62213915885 Tel Tel