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Coal To Remain King In Indonesia

November 25, 2018

By Paul Homewood


h/t Dennis Ambler


Indonesia is set to nearly double its coal consumption:



Indonesia’s consumption of domestic coal for power generation will almost double from 84 million t in 2018 to 157 million t by 2027. This increases power generation’s share of domestic consumption from 18.5% to 33.6%, which is likely to displace export tonnage.

Another factor contributing to the higher coal consumption is that Indonesia’s new power plants are designed to consume lower energy coal. This means more coal will be required per unit of electricity generated.

This increase in domestic consumption combined with potential government efforts to conserve coal reserves represents a downside risk for Indonesian exports.

Indonesia’s electrification programme to drive domestic coal demand

Indonesia has been trying to accelerate electrification to meet the demands of its growing population and rapid industrialisation. Under the RUPTL, 58 greenfield coal-fired power plants are due to come online in the period to 2027, causing coal-fire capacity to more than double from 24 418 MW in 2018 to 51 800 MW in 2027. This will be the largest factor driving the increase in domestic coal consumption, causing coal consumption for power generation to grow at an 8.3% CAGR between now and 2027.

However, recent electricity demand growth has been below expectations. In 2017 state electricity company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) achieved sales growth of only 3.1% compared with its target of 8.3%. This prompted the government to lower its capacity forecast over the next 10 years by 22 GW in the RUPTL. As a result, some major power projects have been cancelled or delayed. However, coal’s cost competitiveness means that most of the delayed projects are gas-powered plants. The latest RUPTL shows that potential coal capacity has been reduced by 5 GW, whereas gas and renewables capacity have been reduced by 10 GW and 6.7 GW respectively.

Despite Indonesia’s push for more renewables and cleaner energy, Woo Mackenzie expects coal to still dominate the fuel mix at more than 60% from now until 2027. This is due to better coal economics and relatively unsupportive renewable energy policies.


Consumption of coal for power alone is forecast to be 157 million tonnes by 2027. To put this into perspective, total consumption of coal in Germany last year was 175 million tonnes.

  1. manicbeancounter permalink
    November 25, 2018 6:27 pm

    According to the BP World Energy Outlook 2018, Indonesia consumed 91 million tonnes of coal in total – consistent with 84 m tonnes for power generation. 91 mt represents just 20% of Indonesian production of 461 mt. The other 370 mt is presumably for export.
    From the same source, coal reserves are about 22.6 billion tonnes giving Indonesia 49 years of production at current rates.
    Indonesia is using up its reserves faster than the global average, having 6.0% of global production and 2.2% of reserves. China is in a slightly worse position, having 45.6% of global production and 13.4% of reserves.

    • dave permalink
      November 25, 2018 7:18 pm

      “I love the smell of coal in the morning!”

      Indonesia’s coal is lower in ash and sulphur than most, which is why it can export so much so easily.

      As always with ‘reserves,’ what you see is only part of what you eventually get.

      It all makes the shutting-down of the UK’s coal-fired electricity stations pathetically irrelevant, and a ludicrous self-inflicted wound.

      • manicbeancounter permalink
        November 26, 2018 7:23 am

        The point about coal reserves being “only part of what you eventually get” is quite true. The BP data is only an estimate of what is known and currently economically viable to extract. Actual quantities are far greater. For instance, current global reserves are just over 1 trillion tonnes, compared with annual production of 7.8 billion. Compare this to estimates of 3 to 23 trillion tonnes of the black stuff lying beneath the North Sea. That is enough to supply current global demands for 400 to 3000 years, but in reality hardly any will be recovered as it is much more economically viable to extract elsewhere.
        Although potential supplies of gas and oil are probably less than coal, actually stuff in the ground of both is likely a number of times that of proven reserves.

  2. Jack Broughton permalink
    November 25, 2018 8:24 pm

    The UKs Coal fired boilers have given many decades of reliable, low cost electricity and could have been extended easily and cheaply, or even replaced (like in Germany). Our technically-ignorant, virtue signalling government and their advisers have wrecked this and replaced with low-benefit wind and solar power.

    Our only hope now for economic and reliable power generation is low cost natural gas: which means fracking needs to expand rapidly.

    Sadly, the ignoramuses will continue with their “leading the world” policy, encouraged by the believers that CO2 is the devils gas. They will regard India, China and Indonesia’s growth as less important to their cause than our miniscule cuts.

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