It is time for planning "Sustainable Energy Development"
(Sri Atmaja, Member of Board of Management of CAREPI Project for Central Java and Yogyakarta)
The high economic growth rates experienced in Indonesia during the period 1987 to 1997 (on average nearly 7% per annum) began to decline rapidly by the end of 1997 as a result of the East Asian economic and financial crises that started in Thailand and also severely affected Indonesia. In 1998, Indonesia’s GDP decreased by more than 13% resulting in a huge increase in the number of people falling back into absolute poverty. To combat the economic crises and achieve sustainable economic growth, the government of Indonesia has started to implement social, political and economic reforms.
A key component of these reforms is the decentralization and regional autonomy policies which were implemented in January 2001. Many powers previously held by the national government now lie with the regional governments. This includes authority over matters such as public works, health, education, industry and trade, environment, and also energy. Regional governments are now responsible for defining the regional energy policy objectives and for formulating and implementing strategies to achieve them, although within the general constraints provided by the national long-term development plan for the energy sector.
In the energy sector, the decentralization of authority means that Energy Forums, assisted by Energy Technical Teams have to be created to enable regional governments to duly execute their new responsibilities in the energy sector. This process started only recently and appears to be laborious and so far progresses slowly. The overall goal of the CAREPI project is to develop institutional and technical capacity in three selected regions in Indonesia (West Nusa Tenggara, Central Java/Yogyakarta and North Sumatra) for conducting energy policy analysis and providing improved energy services to poor communities, in order to alleviate poverty and contribute to sustainable development.
To reach its objectives, the CAREPI project comprises three sections of typically up-stream activities:
- strengthening institutional and technical capacity on regional energy policy formulation in the selected regions through contributing to poverty alleviation programs;
- identifying energy priorities, best practices and adapted institutional arrangement for energy service provision; and
- facilitating the development of concrete energy supply/efficiency projects that address the energy-related needs and policy objectives with a view to maximize local energy resources.
A very original activity of CAREPI is the identification of energy-related needs and priorities of poor communities, then the establishment, training and institutionalisation of a "technical team" as support of the Regional Energy Forum. CAREPI also will contribute to identify and group together stakeholders to give such a Forum full legitimacy to formulate and to implement an energy access strategy to alleviate poverty. The publication of the regional energy outlook will cover all these elements and will enable to serve as example for many more regions in Indonesia or surrounding South Eastern Asian countries as communication and dissemination are important work packages of the project.
The project will build on the experience gained through activities carried out in the framework of the Indonesia-The Netherlands energy working group established in 1995, the GTZ micro-hydro power activities that started in 1991 in Indonesia and the "Energizing Development" program. Through these ongoing activities the project team is very well placed to undertake the CAREPI project, and to develop the local capacity required to enable the regions in Indonesia to formulate sustainable energy policies.
The most significant outcome that is expected from the CAREPI project will be the formulation of an energy strategy and the implementation of energy programs which highly contribute to the alleviation of poverty through access to energy services in the three selected regions. The impacts of the CAREPI project may be realised during or immediately after the project activity, or in the longer term, particularly as the results of the project are disseminated to the other regions in Indonesia. The longer-term impacts that the project seeks to achieve are the incorporation of issues related to improved access to modern energy for poor communities into the national and regional energy policy and planning framework.
An increased supply of modern energy sources to areas currently with limited economic activity, and the resulting increase in productive activity, will ultimately have a significant impact on the regional economy, with the establishment of viable local businesses leading to sustainable development.
The CAREPI project may also have a long-term impact on donor activity in developing countries, demonstrating the benefits of practical co-operation between international financiers (in this case, between the Indonesian Government, the EU and EU Member State Governments). The CAREPI project will allow a better understanding of the mechanisms that may be most effectively used by international donors to convert available resources into practical action with the delivery of tangible benefit to the target recipients.
Centre for Regional Energy Management (PUSPER) of the Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta, has a rule as a research institution of Indonesian partner and a technical team for working the CAREPI project in Central Java and Yogyakarta province. PUSPER has responsibility for identification of energy needs and priorities, developing energy planning capacity in Central Java/Yogyakarta region, including the set up of a regional energy database and an integrated energy planning tool, and supporting the regional forums in formulating regional energy policies. CAREPI project started from November 2006 and will be completed on 2009. Detail information of CAREPI project, please visit our website at www.carepi.info.