In 2021, the power consumption landscape in Indonesia was dominated by fossil-based energy sources, predominantly coal and gas, generating around 253 Terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity. The largest contributor within this was coal, providing approximately 190 TWh, with gas supplying another 56 TWh. Low-carbon sources, a greener alternative, comprised a much smaller portion of the power mix, at 56 TWh, of which the bulk came from hydropower, geothermal, and biofuels. This consumption pattern means that Indonesia’s per capita electricity generation is considerably below the global average of 410 watts per person. Given the high reliance on fossil fuels, this has potential implications for the environment, such as increased emissions and air pollution.
In order to increase their low-carbon electricity generation, Indonesia can look to successful examples from other countries. A noteworthy example is the People's Republic of China, which has effectively leveraged wind and solar energy, producing 941 TWh and 531 TWh respectively. Brazil, with a tropical climate akin to Indonesia, heavily taps into wind power, generating 94 TWh. These examples highlight the possibility of harnessing natural climatic conditions for low-carbon power generation. Similarly, nuclear energy, a reliable low-carbon source, is another area to explore. The United States and France, producing 776 TWh and 319 TWh from nuclear respectively, can serve as viable models in this regard.
Historically, Indonesia has had a somewhat fluctuating journey with low-carbon electricity generation. In the early 1980s, there was a slight decline in the hydropower generation, with a reduction of 1.6 TWh in 1982. However, the mid to late 80s and the 90s generally saw a gradual increase in hydroelectricity. In 1992, an increase of 2.2 TWh was reported, though this was followed by a dip of 3 TWh in 1997. The start of the 21st century witnessed a more consistent drive towards hydro power and geothermal energy. By 2017, Indonesia had begun harnessing geothermal power, adding 2.1 TWh to its electricity generation. Despite a slight setback with biofuels in 2017, they made a major leap with an additional 12.7 TWh in 2018. Over the last decade, despite some occasional declines, hydropower and geothermal have made steady strides, with hydropower adding 3.2 TWh and geothermal 1.5 TWh in 2020, and biofuels increasing by 2.6 TWh in 2021.