JAKARTA — Officials have cast doubts on a government plan that would somehow see Indonesia phase out all its coal-fired power plants while at the same time build more than a hundred new ones, while activists have welcomed the move. A key criticism of the plan is what to do with the 117 under-construction or planned coal plants, with a combined capacity of 21 gigawatts, that will come online over the next few years. The plan by state-owned utility PLN calls for retiring all coal plants by 2055, with new plants and those still under construction to be closed down last. But a top official in the office of the chief investments minister says shutting the new ones down prematurely will be far too costly. “Energy transition needs to be positively beneficial for the country,” Rida Yasser, the minister’s assistant deputy for energy, said in an online event May 28. “So we shouldn’t commit [financial] suicide in order to fix or clean our energy system. We shouldn’t have to incur financial loss to our own country in order to clean our energy.” Coal plants built between 2020 and 2025 would, under PLN’s plan, become “stranded assets” — i.e. fail to provide a return on the money invested in them — which would cost Indonesia $26 billion, according to a new report by the Indonesian think tank the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR). Rida also questioned the need to shut down coal plants as an emissions-cutting measure, suggesting that Indonesia…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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