The Opportunities and Challenges of Waste to Energy Development in Indonesia
Many countries are facing the overwhelming amount of waste, including more than 300 million ton of waste piled in many landfill in Indonesia. Although there is initiative of acceleration program through Precidential Regulation no 35/2018 that gives previledges to 12 cities to conduct waste to electricity projects, until recently, neither one project accomplished. There are at least two challenges that halt this program. First, the electricity over supply situation and too high feed in tariff that should be paid by PLN, the electricity state owned enterprise. Secondly, very high tipping fee, which cannot be afforded by most city governments. As a result, the waste problem in these cities become more critical as more than 800 ton per day of waste enter to those landfills for some more years, not counted around three millios per day of unmanaged waste. However, there is a new method called TOSS, stands for Tempat Olah Sampah di Sumber nya, means waste treatment at its sources, that may answer the problems.
TOSS is a kind of biological treatment, adopting a Sundanesse traditional way, namely “Peuyeumisasi” to convert a raw Cassava to become a sweet and soft food. TOSS has been implemented in around 15 locations in Bali, Jakarta, Lombok, South Kalimantan, Bandung, Jepara, Tegal, and Jakarta. By applying TOSS, there will be less truck transporting waste to the landfill site. The simple and unexpensive model of TOSS provides business opportunity for local people through small and medium enterprise to manage waste becomor briques biocoal that can be used as fossil fuel substitution . It may also provide environmental benefit as no more truck transporting waste to the landfill site. The huge scale of waste can atually be solved by the simulatanious effort of large number of communities as depicted by commutative law of algebra, 1x1000 = 1000x1, and could create job opportunities for a million of local people that are lack of job because of Covid 19 impact.
As happened in many countries, the problems of municipal waste in Indonesia has been critical as the landfill in most big cities has already exceeded its capacity. National waste management information system reported that there will be more than 300 million ton of waste per year putting into the landfill, not counting of more than 1,400 million ton per year of unmanaged waste per day. Although there is initiative of acceleration program through Precidential Regulation no 35/2018 that gives previledges to 12 cities to conduct waste to electricity projects, until recently, neither one project accomplished. There are at least two challenges that halt this program. First, the electricity over supply situation and too high feed in tariff that should be paid by PLN, the electricity state owned enterprise.
Secondly, very high tipping fee, which cannot be afforded by most city governments. As a result, the waste problem in these cities become more critical as more than 800 ton per day of waste enter to those landfills for some more years, not counted around three millios per day of unmanaged waste.
There is another problem regarding fossil fuel consumption, where Indonesia has no more buoyed by abundant oil and gas reserve but become oil importer since 2004, as seen on Figure 1. Natural gas as clean fossil energy will also depleted and predicted in 2028, the country will become net gas importer.
Figure 1 : Estimate oil consumption up to 2049
Actually, there is opportunity to minimize reserve decreasing of fossil fuel if waste can be converted into energy, but there are some challenges accompanying the WtE program. Inspite of several known waste to energy methods including incenerator, digester, gasifier, and pyrolisis, such technologies are curently processed mostly in the landfil scale, which is costly and facing many difficulties including financial, social challenges. For instance, prior to the government initiative to accelerate waste solution in 12 cities, some waste to electricity projects in Indonesia that were failed or could not run properly.
To solve the above problems, there is a new simple way of waste to energy processing in its sources, by empowerment of local people, developed by Sekolah Tinggi Teknik STT PLN, Jakarta  . This method is called TOSS (Tempat Olah Sampah Setempat), adopting the commutative law of algebra, axb = bxa, the huge scale of waste can atually be solved by the simulatanious effort of large number of communities . The key process of TOSS is a biological treatment called Peuyeumisasi , in Sundanesse term as a traditional way to convert a raw Cassava to become a sweet and soft food. This invention is a combination of several processes inclulding probiotic, composting, fermenting, and biochemical, which was invented by Sundadjaja S D, and developed further by Supriadi Legino. Since January 2018, TOSS has been implemented at Klungkung District followed by other locations in Bali, Jakarta, Lombok, South Kalimantan, Bandung, Jepara, Tegal, and Jakarta. Compare to other waste to energy model, TOSS offer many benefit include eliminating waste truck traffic because TOSS can solve waste problem locally at its sources of waste or local, no need organic-non organic presorting work.
TOSS also provides business opportunity, particularly for small and medium scale companies , because its simple way of handling and relatively low capital expenditure. It can also add value to the existing Bank of Waste through a new business line of waste briquettes energy. In addition to the economic advantages, it may also provide environmental benefit as TOSS could reduce gas methan emision from landfill, which much more worse than carbon. and could create job opportunities for a million of local people that are lack of job because of Covid 19 impact.
Waste to Energy (WtE) Overview
Waste to Energy can be defined as convertion of waste to energy in the form of heat, electricity, or fuel. From the purpose point of view, WtE can mean eliminating municipal waste at landfill, manufacturing product, thermal usage, electrification, or fuel substitution. WtE can be seen also from its process including mechanical treatment, biological treatment, without treatment. There is also a new process development , namely peuyeumisasi, a kind of biodrying process that will be a focal point in this paper. Before decided to apply the WtE program, we need to have a clear primary purpose: reduce carbon emission? renewable energy?, eliminating waste?, Landfills recovery, or multipurpose?. Look also if there are complementary benefit such as ppgrading of existing power plants, increase renewable energy portion, reducing fossil fuel consumption, people empowerment, and/or circular economy creation. Then, consider how large is the money to spend for this project: for sorting, collecting, repurposing, as well as for implementing the program. There are several indication that differentiates developed WtE and developing WtE as compared in Table 1.
Table 1: Waste to Energy paradigm comparison
Source: Resource presentation on FGD of Cofiring EDM 16 October 2020
As a rule, it is commonly understood that waste treatment is a cost and polluter pays principle is a basic requirement to incentivize waste reductio. Segregation at source may multiply the effects , scale matters, repurposing of waste is not free of charge and pushing for cheap solutions are meaning keep dirty. Therefore, it is recommended to get partnerships between the Waste Management and Waste Repurposing sectors to share infrastructure.
In principle, Waste treatment is a cost and polluter pays principle is a basic requirement to incentivize waste reduction, multiply effects of , scale matters, repurposing of waste is not free of charge and pushing for cheap solutions are meaning keep dirty.
Waste to Energy migration in Indonesia :
W1 Era: Conventional Landfill era.
Core Process : Waste collection from its sources transports to the landfill.
Intended output : Valuable waste (VW). partially free of waste at community areas.
Challenges : Critical Landfill capacity, Large amount of Non Landfill waste.
Impacted problem : Leachate, High Methane Green House Gasses, Pollution from waste truck.
Opportunities : Energy usage from methane gas at landfill, Income from collecting VW from LF.
W2 Era TPS 3R: Source- Segregation, TPS-3R (Reduce, Re-used,Recycle).
Core Process : Waste Segregation, VW sold to Bank Sampah, Organic and other waste to TPS, digester (UU no 18 /2008).
Intended output : ditto W1 + fertilizer from composting.
Challenges : Limited capacity of place for TPS-3R (reduce, reused, recycle), Less usage of fertilizer, Poor people mindset of self treatment of waste.
Impacted problem : Large number of remaining solid waste, Larger areas to deposit fertilizer.
Opportunities : Ditto W1 + Getting more organic vertilizer sources, Local economic circulation from a huge number of VW.
W3 Era: WtE for 12 cities: TPS 3R at source; WtE at Landfill.
Core Process : Waste to Electricity (Wte) Program Keppres 35/20I8.
Intended output : ditto W2 + Electricity from Landfill that could be sold by certain feed in tariff (FIT) from Waste Power Plant at 12 selected cities.
Challenges : Very little progress (none city has accomplished), local government difficulty to pay tipping fee (TF), FIT is much higher than its selling price.
Impacted problem : Ditto W2 +LF capacity is getting more critical, more unmanaged waste at public areas, Legal risk due to the different TF and too high FIT.
Opportunities : Increase renewable energy power plants, Recovery of waste and keep the landfill capacity.
W4 Era: Promoting TOSS as Community Based WtE.
Core Process : Processing at its sources (TOSS) as Community Based Waste to Energy (WtE) program.
Intended output : Pellet usage for furnace and stove, Syngas for Diesel Genset, Bio-coal for co-firing.
Challenges : Procurement requirement, the TOSS method is rarely known, Uncertain market for TOSS pellet biofuel.
Impacted problem : Possible conflicting direction with current policies of plastic and organic waste segregation , income lost from previous job.
Opportunities : New Business for local SME, Risk mitigation for 23% or de-carbonization, Complementary to the zero waste of Indonesia.
The Challenges to the Government WtE Program
Indonesian government has taken serious attention to fight the municipal waste problem by embarking the acceleration program (Prec. Reg. no 35/2018) by giving previledge for 12 cities with critical waste problem to apply special tipping fee and solving the overcapacity landfill using ‘Waste to Electricity‘ projects. However, 2 years passed without one project accomplished and hundred thousands wastes continue worseb the already full landfill. There are at least two challenges that halt this program:
- First, the electricity over supply situation and the high feed in tariff that should be paid by PLN, the electricity state owned enterprise, is much higher than its selling price.
- Secondly, very high tipping fee, which cannot be afforded by most city governments. As a result, the waste problem in these cities become more critical as more than 800 ton per day of waste enter to those landfills for some more years, not counted around three millions per day of unmanaged waste.
In order to mitigate the problems, there should be other waste solutions that may answer the problems, means affordable tipping fee for local government and affordable tariff that can be paid by PLN, the national owned electricity enterprise.
Actually, the government of Indonesia has committed to achieve 23% of renewable energy portion under the national energy mixed, that derives opportunity for waste solution by a proper waste to energy program. The program, namely decarbonization has been followed further by PLN that recently declared to use biomass for diesel oil substitution and for coal mixing to reduce coal consumption.
Decarbonization Policy: the Opportunities for WtE Solution
In order to provide energy acces for all people across the country and to meet the Paris Agreement commitment to reduce carbon by 29% by 2030, the government of Indonesia has declared three pillar of energy efficiency, electrification and renewable energy to achieve low carbon national development growth. Decarbonized policy is followed by PLN, the state owned enterprice which declares transformation beyond generation, one program of which is green booster by dedieselization to reduce diesel fuel and cofiring to reduce coal consumption. Green booster program means opportunity for the Waste to Energy program, the output of which is biofuel that can substitute both diesel fuel for dedieselization and coal for cofiring purpose.
The Government Policy of Decarbonization :
- De-carbonization policy thru three pillar of energy: efficiency, electrification and renewable energy to achieve low carbon national development growth to ease energy access for all people across the country and to attain the Paris Agreement commitment to reduce carbon by 29% by 2030.
- This policy is followed by PLN, the state owned enterprise which declares a Green booster program through de-dieselization to reduce diesel fuel and co-firing to reduce coal consumption.
The target :
To reduce diesel fuel cost from IDR 26,56 Trillion to IDR 21,19 Trillion.
To reduce coal consumption from 65,39 million Ton to 63,5 million ton.
Saving potential around IDR 7, 3 trillion [Source PLN and Ministry of E and MR meeting notes, 21 September 2020].
- Opportunities from Green Booster for WtE: Waste convertion to biocoal in term of rdf or srf is easier and cheper compare to Waste to Electricity.
- Multiple benefit Potential: The attainment of National zero waste and decarbonization.
At the meeting with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the President Director of PT PLN (Persero) expicitedly stated the target of this program is to reduce diesel fuel cost from IDR 26,56 Trillion to IDR 21,19 Trillion and to reduce coal consumption from 65,39 million Ton to 63,5 million ton, which saves around IDR 7, 3 trillion [ ].Refer to the PLN information , as seen in the Table 2, the number and capacity of existing Diesel Power Plants that becomes the target for dedieselization and the list of priority is mentioned in table 3.
Table 2 : Dedieselization: Number and capacity by diesel plant status
Green Opportunity (source, roadmap program konversi PLTD, paparan PLN ke Menteri ESDM
Table 3 : Dedieselization: List of priority to be conducted
The green transformation program of PT PLN (Persero) means that the program will need …ton of biomass for cofiring and … of… ton of biomass that should be convert into syngas for diesel fuel substitution. It means that this program derives opportunity to consume biofuel as a product of Waste to Energy that could creates circular economies for local people near the coal and diesel plants. The opportunities could be potentially achieved by implementing the TOSS model as Community Based waste to Energy by local people empowerment with nearly fully Local Content.
President Commissioner at PT Comestoarra Bentarra Noesantarra