Mitigating inequality with emissions? Exploring energy justice and financing transitions to low carbon energy in Indonesia

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    Abstract

    Many countries around the globe demonstrate a growing commitment to achieve universal electrification in alignment with Sustainable Development Goal 7. Indonesia is among the countries that have made a concerted effort to alleviate energy poverty, mindful that around 25 million of its citizens live without access to electricity. This article examines Indonesia's efforts to realize its vision of energy justice by mobilizing private finance for renewable rural electrification. In particular, it investigates to what extent and in what ways Indonesia has addressed energy justice issues and their social implications. Interviews and document analysis reveal that Indonesia's energy justice vision has manifested in policies and initiatives that focus narrowly on distributive energy justice in terms of energy accessibility and affordability. However, procedural and recognition aspects of energy justice remain unaddressed. Such a myopic interpretation of energy justice has resulted in policies that prioritize large scale and on-grid solutions and substantially reduce financial options for small and distributed renewable energy initiatives. It also perpetuates spatial inequality and reinforces the exclusion and disempowerment of energy poor communities from energy decisions. The findings suggest that for a broader energy justice vision to be realized, it will be necessary to design and implement energy policies that holistically address all elements of energy justice and facilitate the use of diverse forms of finance to address energy poverty.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnergy Research and Social Science
    Volume71
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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