Green Energy: Prospects and Challenges

In the future, the use of vegetable oil needs to be done through the technological conversion of vegetable oil into green diesel, green gasoline, and even jet fuel so that it can be used not only in volumes that can reach more than 50% but can also replace premium and jet fuel.

Yanita Petriella

19 Nov 2023 - 14.49
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Green Energy: Prospects and Challenges

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Bisnis, JAKARTA — Over the past few decades, various efforts have been made to address climate issues by promoting environmentally friendly energy through renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

However, the accessibility of environmentally friendly energy, in conjunction with affordable costs and sustainable sources, remains a challenge.

The utilization of environmentally friendly energy may no longer be negotiated. Therefore, efforts to use carbon emission reduction-oriented technology should be pursued by utilizing sustainable energy sources that do not produce carbon emissions, especially considering Indonesia's commitment to achieving its new renewable energy (NRE) target in 2023 and Net Zero Emission (NZE) by 2060.

Haznan Abimanyu, head of the Energy and Manufacturing Research Agency at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), said Indonesia’s energy needs are predicted to continue increasing with population growth, lifestyle changes, and economic growth.

“The energy issue can be simply divided into two major areas: electricity and fuel. Electricity is marked by the dominance of coal and fuel supply dominated by fossil fuels,” he said on Saturday (18/11/2023).

Chairman of the Green Fuel Research Group and researcher at BRIN, Unggul Priyanto, said replacing fossil energy sources is not an easy task because, in the transportation sector, 94% still relies on petroleum, while 84% of the electricity sector still uses fossil energy, with 62% from coal. In households, fuel use is still dominated by LPG.

However, according to international commitments, the use of fossil energy, especially coal, must be reduced. Therefore, one crucial step in these efforts is transitioning to cleaner and sustainable energy sources such as biofuels, hydrogen, biomass, and algae to achieve this goal.

“Biofuels produced from vegetable oil, such as crops, are a promising alternative to replace fossil fuels,” he said.


With the advancement of biofuel technology, Indonesia has the opportunity to significantly reduce carbon emissions in the transportation sector. In addition to reducing emissions, it can also empower local farmers and promote sustainable agriculture.

“One of the proven biofuel utilization technologies in Indonesia is biodiesel, which has replaced the role of diesel by up to 35%, making it not only environmentally friendly but also reducing the import of oil fuel,” he said.

In the future, the use of vegetable oil needs to be done through the technological conversion of vegetable oil into green diesel, green gasoline, and even jet fuel so that it can be used not only in volumes that can reach more than 50% but can also replace premium and jet fuel. The use of vegetable oil such as palm oil can also be used to curb excess supply due to export barriers from developed countries.

Hydrogen, another source touted to be a clean energy and future fuel, offers tremendous potential to reduce carbon emissions. Green hydrogen technology, which utilizes renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal, and solar power plants to produce hydrogen, is one of the main solutions for transitioning to clean energy. This is a significant step toward sustainable mobility and environmentally friendly industries.

“Biomass, such as unused agricultural and forest waste, can be a sustainable energy source through the right conversion process. By utilizing biomass, we can reduce organic waste, produce bioenergy, reduce carbon emissions, and support rural development,” he said.

Another potential source is algae, a microscopic organism that can be used to produce biofuels and reduce carbon emissions. Algae have the advantage of rapid growth and the ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the air, helping to address two problems at once.

However, diversifying fossil energy sources to renewable energy is no easy task, both in the transportation and power generation sectors. In the power generation sector, reducing the role of fossil energy such as coal faces a challenge in its extensive usage and the need for continuity. To address this issue as an alternative for the transition to NZE, the use of Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) is necessary.

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Editor: Ibeth Nurbaiti

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