Empowering Indonesian Youth: Key Recommendations for Driving Energy Policy Innovation

A recent survey by Indikator Politik Indonesia reveals that 82% of young Indonesians are now concerned about climate issues. Recognizing this opportunity, New Energy Nexus Indonesia is gearing up to prepare the youth to become future policymakers with a focus on climate issues, particularly energy transition.

In collaboration with West Java’s Energy and Mineral Resources Department ( ESDM) and Society of Renewable Energy of Institut Teknologi Bandung (SRE ITB) New Energy Nexus Indonesia hosted NEXSTEP XChange themed “Policy Innovation in Clean Energy Technology in West Java”. The event was held at the ITB Ganesha Campus, Bandung, West Java. NEXSTEP XChange aimed at providing platforms for young people to voice their ideas and facilitating young people in learning policy making to drive energy transition. In the first series of the event, we attracted 26 teams from various universities across West Java, with five teams advancing to the finals on May 17, 2024.

Here are four key recommendations from young people eager to take the first step into clean energy policy:

Identifying Key Issues in Clean Energy Policy

“We identified three main issues in clean energy technology policy in West Java: limited authority of the West Java ESDM Department in research policy, inadequate funding, and lack of implementation platforms for existing research. To address these issues, we recommend creating a research roadmap for West Java and optimizing the pentahelix function,” explained Muhammad Zidan, team leader of Renew Warrior Team from Institut Pertanian Bogor, the first-place winner of the NEXSTEP XChange Policy Case Competition.

Photo: Muhammad Zidan, Institut Pertanian Bogor

Integrating Research with Regional Innovation

“Our recommendations to the West Java Provincial Government include integrating research with the formation of the West Java Regional Research and Innovation Agency (BRIDA). Additionally, inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, the provincial government should increase the research budget to withstand external disruptions and disasters,” stated Firdausin Ahlaputra Rahman, team leader of Pangripta Loka from theInstitut Teknologi Bandung, the second-place winner.

Photo: Firdausin Ahlaputra Rahman, Institut Teknologi Bandung

Simplifying Regulations for Renewable Energy Development

“Based on our case study, we recommend that the West Java Provincial Government simplify regulations and licensing requirements for the development of New Renewable Energy (NRE) to boost investment and grow the NRE industry in West Java,” said Agniya Alfi Habibah from the Institut Teknologi Bandung, the third-place winner.

Foto: Agniya Alfi Habibah, Institut Teknologi Bandung

Innovative Funding Solutions

Agis Triono from Institut Pertanian Bogor presented the most innovative solution for research funding in the clean energy sector in West Java. The team recommended that the provincial government utilize crowdfunding and green wakaf (endowments) to address budget limitations and enhance the local implementation of research outcomes.

Foto: Agis Triono, Institut Pertanian Bogor

The NEXSTEP XChange in West Java concluded with a Policy Workshop themed “Shaping West Java’s Energy Transition Policies for a Sustainable Future.” The workshop featured two speakers: Permadi Mohammad Nurhikmah, Head of the Energy Sector at the West Java ESDM, and Ridwan Arif, Research and Knowledge Management Manager at Koaksi Indonesia.

Key Takeaways from the Workshop

In his presentation, Permadi outlined the energy landscape and various programs conducted by the West Java ESDM to support the acceleration of energy transition, emphasizing youth involvement. “This activity serves as a learning platform for young people who will be future leaders. When it comes to energy, it becomes a mandate they will carry forward to achieve Net Zero Emissions,” he said.

Foto: Permadi Mohammad Nurhikmah, Ketua Bidang Energi Dinas ESDM Jawa Barat

Ridwan Arif introduced policymaking process in Indonesia and how young people can get involved, particularly in energy transition policies. He also explained several frameworks that can be used to analyze policies. “Youth play a crucial role in the policymaking process, especially in advocacy. Indonesia is expected to experience a demographic bonus in 2045, so we need to involve more young people in decision-making. They have the potential to become agents of change, social capital, and social impact,” he added.

Foto: Ridwan Arif, Manajer Riset dan Pengelolaan Pengetahuan Koaksi Indonesia

The Policy Workshop was attended by 50 young people from various backgrounds. One participant expressed excitement about learning energy policy, a new area for them. Through the workshop, they learned that proper energy policy management can impact the economy, society, and environment in the future.

As an organization focused on developing the clean energy technology and climate technology ecosystem in Indonesia, New Energy Nexus Indonesia believes that youth involvement in energy policy can accelerate the achievement of Net Zero Emissions at both national and sub-national levels.

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