RI promotes use of renewable energy for transportation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has begun to develop and encourage the use of biofuel for transportation, including aviation, in an effort to promote renewable energy and reduce the impact of climate change and greenhouse gasses.

For the development and use of renewable energy in the transportation sector, two ministries have established cooperation to develop and use biodiesel for aircraft and for other types of transportation.

The two ministries involved in the utilization of renewable energy in the transportation sector are the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

"The initiative to utilize biodiesel for aircraft and renewable energy use is part of the government efforts to carry out its commitment to maintain the environment," Transportation Minister Evert Erenst Mangindaan said on Friday.

The government, through Presidential Decree No. 61/2011 and Presidential Decree No. 71/2011, has provided a legal basis for ministries and institutions to participate in development in the energy sector.

Therefore, Minister Mangindaan is encouraging the utilization of renewable energy in the transportation sector, expressing hope that it will boost the development of up-and-downstream transportation industries.

"The utilization of biodiesel as a renewable energy in the transportation sector will also drive the development of local content industries. It will promote research technology applications on the development of upstream and downstream production and distribution," the minister said on Friday.

He added that the development and use of renewable energy in the transportation sector would increase job opportunities and open new economic activities.

Further, he said, all stakeholders needs to reinforce institutional software systems, regulations, human resource capacities, business processes and modern governance.

Mangindaan said the Ministry of Transportation had also cooperated with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which has encouraged Indonesia to become the first country to lay down the legal basis for the use of biodiesel as fuel for aviation. Indonesia has set a renewable energy mix target of two percent in 2016, three percent in 2020 and five percent in 2025.

During the G20 meeting, the Indonesian government pledged to cut its greenhouse emissions by 26 percent in 2020 through its own efforts and by 41 percent with international support.

He said that, in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization, the government had laid down a strategic framework in the handling of the impact of climate change and greenhouse emissions.

The strategies included the development of mobile facility designs, technologies, efficient energy and fuel consumption facilities, air traffic management and fuel efficient shipping.

The minister said it was a challenge for the country to create a successful program. It needs to be supported with positive attitudes and professional work by national and international individuals, groups and resources.

"I need to remind us all that the international community in the aviation field continues monitoring our endeavor, hoping that Indonesia will become a role model for the utilization of global aviation biofuel and renewable energy," the minister said.

Further, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has issued ministerial decrees to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse emissions and to conserve energy based upon the governments target to achieve a five percent renewable energy mix in 2025.

According to Mangindaan, the cooperation is being carried as part of the framework of global and national strategies and polices in the fight against the impact of climate change and in mitigating greenhouse effects as put forward by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during an earlier G20 meeting.

Chief of the National Council for Climate Change (DNPi) Rachmat Witoelar said Indonesia remained committed to lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020 through its own efforts, and by 41 percent with international assistance

"Moreover, our forestry sector has significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions," he said, when announcing the results of the 19th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 19 UNFCCC) in Warsaw, Poland, recently.

Rachmat, who is also former environment minister, said Indonesia had appealed to both developed and developing nations to participate in combating climate change by committing themselves to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier, Public Works Deputy Minister Hermanto Dardak said green infrastructure must become an important aspect of development in Indonesia in the future, particularly because of the urgency of handling the impact of greenhouse emissions on the global environment.

"Green infrastructure must become an important aspect. In the future, infrastructure must be energy efficient, sustainable and eco-friendly," he said.

He added that the polices taken by the government would now determine the use of resources in the future. The same is true for investment polices, since they would have an impact in the future.

"Sustainable and environmentally friendly infrastructure should be an important aspect in development," Hermanto said, in a written statement made available to Antara.

Therefore, he expressed his hope that policies made by the government should be focused on people-oriented green infrastructures.

In the meantime, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik said Indonesia had abundant renewable resources which had not yet been exploited and used to their fullest. "As an example, geothermal power has potential reserves of 30,000 megawatts, but only about 1,300 megawatts have been used," Wacik said, while addressing the "Bali Energy Charter Conference" in Kuta, Bali, last September.

Wacik noted that other renewable energy supplies Indonesia possesses includes biomass, reaching 50,000 megawatts, though only 1,600 megawatts had been used. It also has wind energy, with a potential of 9,300 megawatts, and only 2 megawatts have been used, hydro-energy with a potential of 70,000 megawatts and solar energy of 23 megawatts.