Jakarta, 22 June 2023-The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) is planning¹ to include Carbon Capture Utilization & Storage (CCUS) in the JETP energy transition scheme. Even before this, the ministry has pushed to replace diesel power plants with fossil gas plants², which they claimed to be an effective solution to reduce emissions.

The government’s plan to adopt CCUS to reduce emissions is a mistake, as it could hinder Indonesia in achieving its decarbonization target. The technology is too expensive and has not been proven as an effective decarbonization solution. It serves more as a “greenwashing” method for energy companies, and it could divert energy transition funds, including JETP, from more proven solutions.

The IEEFA³ report states that the use of CCUS for the electricity sector is far from cheap. ”Capturing” the carbon alone could cost 50-100 dollars/ton. For that reason, even though it’s not a new technology, its worldwide implementation has been slow. Its implementation in several places have even been considered a failure due to the high cost and low efficiency (see note).

“This is a warning for the government not to push the CCUS technology, especially if it utilizes JETP funding. This will only lead to economic losses and failure to achieve carbon emissions targets,” said Novita Indri as a Campaigner for Trend Asia.

JETP funds are obtained from the member countries of the International Partners Group (IPG) committed to provide US$20 billion dollars to help Indonesia’s decarbonization efforts. Unfortunately, during the G7 Summit some time ago, Japan, as a member of the IPG and host of the Summit, instead pushed for the Green Transformation (GX) Policy⁴ which included questionable methods like the expansion of LNG usage, co-firing coal-fired power plants with  ammonia and hydrogen, and CCS.

“We should question the commitment of IPG members and their partners, including Indonesia, in overcoming the climate crisis. Their commitment has not yet been reflected in concrete actions. They are busy encouraging the use of questionable technological solutions,” said Novita.

The expensive and risky CCUS technology should not be included in the JETP scheme. It works better as a cosmetic effort that helps the fossil energy industry protect their business interests, and even has the potential to hinder Indonesia from decarbonizing and achieving the Paris Agreement targets. This technology shouldn’t also be used in the extraction of gas and oil, as this will still be used as a justification for more extraction of fossil fuels.

IPCC scientists have warned us that the rate of global warming has reached 1.1°C⁵ due to the use of fossil energy, and the existing climate action efforts are still not enough to overcome the impact of the climate crisis.

UN Secretary General Antònio Guterres⁶ stated that now that we are walking towards disaster, so many dirty energy industries are willing to bet everything on wishful thinking, unproven technologies and “silver bullet” solutions rather than reducing the production of fossil fuel itself.

“Climate action should be carried out seriously, ambitiously, without false solutions, and immediately. We need to end dependence on fossil energy to be able to ensure a sustainable future for a livable earth for all,” Novita emphasized.

The government should not encourage dependence on technologies like CCUS in the energy sector, which will be more expensive and less competitive compared to the ever decreasing cost of renewable energy investments. The government should have been more ambitious in encouraging the use of renewable energy, in line with the Paris Agreement target of holding the rate of global temperature rise below 1.5°C.


An example of  CCUS⁷ usage in the energy sector is the Petra Nova coal-fired power plant in the United States of America. 1 billion dollars was spent on the 240 MW plant in 2017, which was touted to be a groundbreaking project that could “clean” coal-fired power plants. This project is targeted to capture around 1.4 million tons of CO2 per year, or 4.2 million tons total between 2017-2019. The project failed to reach the target in the first three years of operation. Petra Nova’s performance cost investors more than 23 million US dollars in just three years.








Photo by: Melvinas Priananda/Trend Asia