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Eps. 2 Townhall Muda: Eureka! It’s Time for Sustainable Energy in Cilacap

Program Insights
As one of the Paris Agreement’s signatories, Indonesia has committed to climate change mitigation actions. This is done by realizing the Nationally Determined Targets (NDCs) to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. Indonesia has set ambitious goals to negate emissions up to 31,89% by itself and 42,20% with international aid. A lot needs to be done to achieve this objective. One path that can accelerate it is shifting our focus to the proliferation of clean & renewable energy.

Indonesia has long been known for its dependence on fossil fuels, with 86% of all its ever-increasing energy demands derived from it. According to OECD, Indonesia is also the largest net exporter of coal and the eighth largest net exporter of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). Faced with this reality, Indonesia has planned to gradually increase its energy source mix with more sustainable alternatives by up to 23% in the year 2025, with long term hope of reaching net-zero emission (NZE) by 2060 or sooner.

This issue is of particular concern when we speak about Cilacap. Located in Central Java province, It is well known to be one of many industrial cities in Indonesia. More importantly, it mainly houses corporations and enterprises in the energy sectors. There also stand vital energy installations, such as the Cilacap Coal Power Plant & Pertamina’s Refinery Unit IV Cilacap, which produces 30% of the total national oil demand. With high energy production comes the issue of high emissions that needs to be addressed immediately for the people of Cilacap.
Photo 1. Cilacap Coal Fired Steam Power Plant by PT Sumber Segara Primadaya
In tackling the multifaceted aspects of achieving energy net zero, discussions need to be proliferated on innovations and youthful ideas through the energy transition. These, among others, are the main highlights of Townhall Muda Cilacap. Convened on March 21st 2023, this is the third instalment of the Townhall Muda Movement by Pijar Foundation and National Administration Agency (LAN RI), in collaboration with AOC Pertamina RU IV Cilacap and Creafo, which aimed to foster collaborative actions among strategic players to #SolveTheFutureNow.

Taking the theme “Eureka! It’s Time for Sustainable Energy’’, Townhall Muda Cilacap aimed to shed light upon current trends and issues in clean and renewable energy, as well as fostering collaborative action that can be done together to deliver the agenda. To do so, a plethora of different expertise is convened to give a thorough big picture of the discourse–ranging from local government & policy makers, energy industry players, and grassroots level initiators. Two main issues became the top concern of the speakers.
Photo 2. Kresno Wijoyonegoro — Head of AOC Pertamina RU IV Cilacap
The first aspect to be addressed is how to foster energy efficiency. The problem of huge carbon emissions correlates heavily with how much energy is being consumed in the first place. Massive amounts of electricity are often unwisely used, with most cases being extensive consumption beyond its original intention or purpose. This problem arises due to a lack of awareness of the efficient and effective use of energy.
“Discretion in energy usage is important to be nurtured, and it starts from small steps… starting with our daily habits. For example, turning off lights once we leave a room, or opting to walk rather than riding a motorcycle when going somewhere close, and so on…” — Nofita Anies, Civil Servants & Environmental Activist
Aside from minimizing carbon footprint curatively, another step needs to be done, which became the second vocal point of Townhall Muda Cilacap: innovative strategy for sustainable energy, as energy production still contributes significantly to the world’s carbon emissions. The central government has issued a series of initiatives in this manner, such as supporting the adoption of renewable energy, such as Geothermal & Solar Photovoltaic (PV).
Photo 3. Focus group discussions among Townhall Muda Cilacap participants
In addition, incentivizing the growth of the domestic electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem is also part of the agenda. Massive subsidy program has been enacted to encourage the widespread adoption of EVs, hence minimizing emissions caused by conventional transportation. In addition, the assistant Manager of PLN UP 3 Cilacap, Ridwan Handoyo, noted that supporting infrastructure, such as EV charging stations, is currently being implemented to add to the convenience of usage.
Common consensus brought about by all experts that were present is emphasizing on collaborative action. In generating public awareness, both on the discourse of energy efficiency and EV adoption, a cross-sectional approach has to be established to reach all layers of society. In the middle of all this lies the crucial role of youth. Fresh ideas and innovation of young minds are key components in formulating strategic action to address the problem head-on. Thus, it is essential for them to stay aware of new challenges and disruptions.
“Young generations need to find more creative ways to learn and innovate to solve today’s problems” — Kresno Wijoyonegoro, Head of AOC Pertamina RU IV Cilacap
Townhall Muda will also take place in 24 different cities and regents all over Indonesia. Townhall Muda Cilacap will be among the early steps in creating a national-scale network of young changemakers that will take a collaborative approach to govern the future together.

We like to thank AOC Pertamina RU IV Cilacap and Creafo in organizing this movement in Cilacap.
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