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SOLID IV Forum – Achieving equal electrification across the villages through renewable energy




On May 23, 2019, RDI was honored to be involved in SOLID IV forum, “One Electricity Data of Off-Grid Renewable Energy and the Social-Economics Development of Villages Through the Sustainable and Renewable Energy and Gender Inclusion” hosted by the EBTKE (New Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation) directorate registered directly under The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources with the collaboration of GiZ, a German development agency. The main purpose of this forum is to provide definitive solutions regarding theelectrification issues in villages in Indonesia through single data provision and gender inclusion. The forum was started by the opening speech delivered by each representative from EBTKE directorate and GiZ in order. Through the opening speech, it was disclosed that there have already been 719 off-grid solar power sources in Indonesia, but in practice there are various challenges for the existing power sources to be sustainable. Unfulfilled technical needs and poor management are two of amongst the main reasons as to why there are still plenty of power sources that do not sustain in the long run. Synergism and commitment between all the stakeholders are essential in sustaining the power sources, especially off-grid electrification in the villages. The lack of data synchronization is found to be the main and crucial problem since it is resulting in a lot of involved parties endeavoring difficulties to decide which data are appropriate to be used as common reference. Other big issue is the still inadequacy of gender inclusion in the practice, which is mainly caused by the tendency of patriarchal culture in some villages. Thus, this forum wanted to tackle the whole issue firstly by addressing these two main challenges.



Picture 1. During the Presentation by Head of Plan and Report Section, Qatro Romandhi

Starting off from the lack of data synchronization. This issue was addressed
directly by the Head of Plan and Report Section, Qatro Romandhi. Romandhi stated that the data processed and received are always varied, whether the ones coming in from other ministries or from within the ministry of energy and mineral resources itself, causing them to unable to take precise initiative in tackling the issues. Speaking of data processing, there are three steps which are as follows: (1) data collection, (2) data delivery, presentation and storage, and (3) data control and report. Romandhi believed that if data synchronization can be achieved, then implementing and improving any of renewable energy system across villages in Indonesia is more likely to happen. In responding to this, representative from the Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration showed his agreement by saying that data synchronization would reduce the conflict amongst the people because of the imbalance distribution caused by the varied data. Thus, it can be said that synergism and planning synchronization from Ministry of Villages, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, and the Central Agency on Statistics is essential, as added by Romandhi. Marice Hutapea, the former Director of New and Renewable Energy of the EBTKE directorate, considers this initiative as capable in harmonizing the data received from various bureaucracies involved by also recommending the data guardian to create SOP along with MoU in order to ensure each data holder has the same data standardization. The commitment to send the data without having to get demanded by the central beforehand is also essential to fully achieve the effective data distribution from the remote area to the central government. Financial wise, the Directorate General of Regional Finance also expressed how important the data synchronization is to precisely quantify how much money is needed to support the program and to also measure the result that follows. In addition, the Directorate General of Regional Finance later added that there are still programs which cannot sustain with the help of government alone, causing the involvement of private actors to be necessary. Seeing this, it is becoming more apparent of how important the single data synchronization, synergism and commitment altogether is for all actors involved, especially for the stakeholders.


Picture 2. During the Presentation by Representatives from EBTKE Directorate

The following session is the importance of gender inclusion within the issue;
its synergism with the implementation of renewable energy source system in regards of planning, monitoring and developing. The representative from Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection proposed the presentation of gender mainstreaming studies in the energy sector to be given to the people in remote areas, especially the ones that still have strong patriarchal culture within. Gender inclusion and integration are important for the long run investment towards the potential of both men and women in maintaining the energy sector, since continuous participation from all layers of society regardless of their gender is essential in order to nurture the existing of power source infrastructures. Therefore, women participation should be reinforced even more, considering how the representative from the Ministry of Villages later disclosed the fact that out of five existing solar power sources, there is still only one woman working in the field. The Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection then added that they have asked for Hivos cooperation, considering Hivos also faces the same issue specifically in the Sumba iconic island. Women participation in the small scale energy project, energy utilization and training are necessary in order to strengthen the implementation and existence of power sources in the remote areas. Thus, better feasibility study is needed to be included in the gender issue by, for example, starting to encourage and involve women in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction). To monitor the progress, there are four indicators of gender inclusion presented in this forum: (1) Number of participation, including the well-being of the participants which are predominantly women, (2) The reduction or elimination number on violence, poverty and trafficking, (3) Exploitation on women, especially, and (4) The mindset of the culture. Seeing this, it can be said that social gender inclusive plan is necessary to enforce women participation, one of which is by providing capacity building that does not just concern the development of the energy sector, but also the operation and maintenance of it.