Will Indonesia Become A Green Energy Exporter?

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Indonesia is approximately 280.22 million people[1]. In 2020, 96.95% of the people in this archipelago country in Southeast Asia had  access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Indonesia’s economy was ranked 16th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of palm oil, coal, gold, natural gas, ferroalloys, coconut oil, stearic acid, and lignite.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Indonesia signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to a to a 29% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business-as-usual.

In 2020, the Indonesia announced new regulations to encourage investment in new renewable energy projects, including simpler pricing systems and eliminating the laborious negotiation process with the state-owned utility.

In 2020, the state-owned utility, PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara used coal (62.0 %), renewable energy (18.1 %), natural gas (17.6 %), and oil (2.3 %) to generate electricity in Indonesia[6]. Hydropower, geothermal and biomass are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Indonesia.

Recent renewable energy projects in the Indonesia include:

  • 3,500 MW Solar + 12,000 MWh Energy Storage Project – In April 2022, renewables developers Quantum Power Asia and Ib Vogt announced plans to build a solar plus energy storage project in the Riau Islands, an Indonesian province located between Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula.
  • 2,200 MW Floating Solar Project – Singaporean solar company, Sunseap is continuing work on a massive floating solar project at the Duriangkang Reservoir on the island of Batam. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 1,040 MW Energy Storage Project – PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara is continuing work on the Upper Cisokan Pumped Storage Power Plant in western region of the island of Java. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2025.
  • 145 MW Floating Solar Project – United Arab Emirate renewable energy company, Masdar and Indonesian energy company, PT PJB are continuing work on a floating solar project on the Cirata Reservoir in western region of the island of Java. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2023.


Fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal) were first exported from Indonesia in the late nineteenth century. In 1885[7], Royal Dutch Shell began exporting crude oil. In 1977[8], Indonesia began exporting liquified natural gas (LNG). In 2000[9], Indonesia became a major exporter and consumer of coal.

In 2021, Indonesia was the 2nd largest coal[10], 12th largest natural gas[11], and 29th largest crude oil[12]exporting country in the world. Exports of fossil fuels are the foundation of Indonesia’s economy. 2020, Indonesia exported[13] U.S. $15.6 Billion in coal and U.S. $5.71 Billion in liquified natural gas (LNG).

Indonesia has vast renewable energy resource potential, including geothermal, onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, and biomass. Indonesian government studies show the country’s renewable energy resource potential has the capacity to replace all of the nation’s fossil fueled (coal, oil, and natural gas) fueled power plants.

Indonesia is now actively developing the nation’s vast renewable energy resources for domestic power and zero-carbon energy export, including electricity by marine cable to Singapore and production of green hydrogen. Indonesia is now becoming a green energy exporter.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.




[1] Indonesia Population (2022) –  October 28, 2022, www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, Access To Electricity (% Population) – Indonesia

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Indonesia

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges – India

[6] Our World In Data, Indonesia: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] Indonesian Petroleum Association – Indonesia Overview

[8] Inkwood Research, Indonesia Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Market

[9] King Coal: How Indonesia Became The Fossil Fuel’s Final Frontier by Nithin Coca, 17 March 2021

[10] Coal Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[11] Natural Gas Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[12] Crude Oil Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[13] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Indonesia Exports

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