Electrical energy is vital to support our daily lives and activities both on a household and large industry scale. However, electrical energy that is generally used in Indonesia comes from power plants that use fossil fuels. The disadvantage of using fossil fuels is that their combustion produces greenhouse gases, and that increases the concentration of greenhouse gases on earth causing an increase in the earth’s temperature or so-called global warming. Therefore, a solution is needed to switch from non-environmentally friendly fuels to environmentally friendly fuels, one of which is the use of solar thermal energy or known as solar power as an alternative energy source. In an effort to make this happen, in 2021, the Government of Indonesia through the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (“ MEMR ”) issued Regulation of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Number 26 of 2021 on Rooftop Solar Power Plants Connected to the Electricity Grid for Public Interest License Holders (“ RMEMR 26/2021 ”). However, the Director-General of New, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (“ DGNREEC ”), MEMR a few days ago through the Press Conference on Performance Achievements and Work Plans for the 2022 DGNREEC Subsector stated that the implementation of the regulation was temporarily postponed.
RMEMR Number 26 of 2021 as Revision of Previous Regulation
RMEMR 26/2021 contains a number of new regulatory provisions that revise the previous regulation, namely Regulation of the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Number 49/2018 on the Use of Rooftop Solar Power Generation Systems by Consumers of PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero) (“ RMEMR 49/2018 ”). The impetus for this revision is a form of the Government of Indonesia’s commitment to achieving the New Renewable Energy ( Energi Baru Terbarukan , “ EBT ”) target of 23% (twenty-three percent) in 2025. The revision of RMEMR 49/2018 is intended to open up opportunities for the community to more easily get electricity from renewable energy sources and increase their contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The basic considerations for the revision of RMEMR 49/2018 include:
- The addition of the capacity of the Rooftop Solar Power Plant ( Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Surya Atap , “ PLTS Atap ”) is not in accordance with the expected target;
- There are public complaints regarding the service time of PLTS Atap, which is not in accordance with the existing RMEMR, namely regarding the price difference and standard kilowatt-hour (“ kWh ”) of export-import meters; and
- Efforts to improve the PLTS Atap economic value to be more competitive with fossil energy.
With this revision, there are several new amendments to RMEMR 26/2021, as follows:
- Provisions for calculating electricity exports by the PLTS Atap customers to State Electricity Company ( Perusahaan Listrik Negara , “ PLN” ) (Persero) from previously multiplied by 65% (sixty five percent) to currently 100% (one hundred percent) as a form of providing incentives for people who install PLTS Atap (Article 6 paragraph 1). This amendment is based on a report from PLN and a survey from the MEMR that electrical energy exported to PLN by PLTS Atap customers is only 24-26%, and by industrial sectors is 5-10% of the total energy produced by PLTS Atap. The non-achievement of the export value of 100% (one hundred percent) is because the electricity produced by PLTS Atap is used first by the PLTS Atap customers, and only if there is excess production, the electricity is exported to PLN.
- Extension of the calculation period for the excess difference between the value of the Import kWh and the value of the Export kWh, which was previously accumulated from three months to six months in the calculation of the excess as a reduction in electricity bill (Article 6 paragraph 4).
- Application period for PLTS Atap is shortened from initially 15 (fifteen) days to a maximum of 12 (twelve) days for PLTS Atap Customers who make changes to the Electricity Sales and Purchase Agreement ( Perjanjian Jual Beli Listrik, “ PJBL ”) (Article 8 paragraph 2) and a maximum of 5 (five) days for PLTS Atap Customers who do not make changes to the PJBL (Article 7 paragraph 3).
- PLTS Atap customers and holders of a Public Electricity Supply Business Permit ( Izin Usaha Penyedia Tenaga Listrik untuk Umum , “ IUPTLU ”) can trade carbon (Article 28 paragraph 1).
- Service mechanism for the PLTS Atap system is required to be application-based in order to monitor the running process of the electricity system (Article 22).
- There is an expansion not only for the PLN customers but also for customers in non-PLN Business Areas, which are currently only focused on the PLN customers (Article 5 paragraph 2).
- There is a PLTS Atap system complaint center to receive and follow up complaints on the implementation of PLTS Atap, which currently no complaint center has been established (Article 26).
Reasons for the Postponement of Implementation of RMEMR Number 26 of 2021
The DGNREEC of the MEMR states that the implementation of RMEMR 26/2021 is temporarily postponed for the following reasons:
- There is a potential decrease in PLN’s revenue which will have an impact on decreasing PLN’s electricity sales. However, it doesn’t necessarily reduce PLN’s revenue because electricity that enters the PLN electric power grid can still be sold to other customers.
- There is a lack of incentives, especially related to the price of electricity sold to PLN, which is still determined by the Government of Indonesia, thus making the renewable energy industry less attractive because investment in the renewable energy business also requires large costs.
- The Government of Indonesia, especially the President of Indonesia, is still considering several factors, one of which is the rejection from the Ministry of Finance on the amendment to the provision regarding net metering of electricity exports from 65% (sixty percent) as previously regulated in RMEMR 49/2018 to 100% (one hundred percent) as regulated in RMEMR 26/2021 which is related to Presidential Regulation Number 68 of 2021 on the Granting of Presidential Approval to the Draft Ministerial Regulation/Head of Institutions (“ PR 68/2021 ”), which stipulates that all Draft Ministerial Regulations to be enacted must obtain approval from the President of Indonesia, and that causes the bureaucracy to issue ministerial regulations to take longer.
- The system from PLN and related agencies is not yet ready for the application-based service mechanism.
For now, we are still awaiting the implementing regulations for RMEMR 26/2021, and it is expected that these regulations can stimulate people to switch to renewable energy so that the Government of Indonesia’s target for renewable energy of 23% (twenty-three percent) in 2025 can be achieved.
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