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Indonesian energy bill promotes coal-based fuels as 'new energy'

17 Jun 2022

The draft bill classifies liquified and gasified coal as 'new energy', and is part of Indonesia's efforts to replace petroleum imports with domestic coal.

 

Indonesia’s parliament approved a draft energy bill this week—one that could deepen the country’s heavy reliance on coal. 

The New and Renewable Energy (NRE) Bill, first proposed in December 2019, aims to provide Indonesia with a regulatory framework to accelerate its development of renewable energy. However, the bill includes both “renewable” and “new” energy sources. According to Article 9 of the draft bill, new energy sources include nuclear and hydrogen power—and crucially, coal-based energy types like coal bed methane, liquified coal and gasified coal.

Eddy Soeparno, vice chair of Indonesia’s parliamentary commission on energy, said in an interview with CNN Indonesia that these downstream coal products will be processed such that the carbon content is “very minimal”. Environmental groups, however, argue that greenhouse gas emissions from coal derivatives are still significantly higher than emissions from renewables. The Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), an energy think tank based in Indonesia, is concerned that the bill caters to the interests of the coal industry.