In September 2021, a variety of scientific research centers scattered across Indonesia were consolidated into the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN). With its formation, BRIN became a massive organization on the same level as that of the country’s government ministries. It is divided into twelve main research organizations, and Dr. Eniya Listiani Dewi is currently assigned to its Energy and Manufacture Research Organization. In addition to being a research professor there, she also coordinates a variety of its projects.
Dr. Eniya was at last year’s RD20 and plans to be at this year’s event as well. In this interview, we asked her thoughts on RD20.
Dr. Eniya attended the Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum) held in Kyoto in 2019. After listening to a speech given there by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, she learned that the first RD20 conference was scheduled for later that year. When she heard RD20 focused more on energy than STS forum, she felt it was more in line with her area of expertise.
As mentioned before, Dr. Eniya is assigned to BRIN’s Energy and Manufacture Research Organization where she works not only as a research professor, but also as a coordinator of the agency’s fuel cell and hydrogen technology research. While research is of course an important part of her job, she has recently become involved with organizing applied research projects by BRIN that focus on engineering technology in partnership with industry and mostly involve fuel cells. Examples include the creation of a prototype fuel cell vehicle in collaboration with the Indonesian subsidiary of a Japanese auto maker, and a pilot project in partnership with Indonesia’s National Electric Company (PLN), a government-owned power company that provides electricity across the country, involving real-world use of fuel cells in rural areas.
In addition to collaborating with PLN on decarbonization, BRIN is also working to develop new technologies with PLN that include hydrogen production using fuel cells and electrolyzers. Just this morning, Dr. Eniya spoke with another Japanese auto maker looking into collaborating with local Indonesian companies to manufacture electrolyzers for that exact purpose.
BRIN’s collaborative partners even include higher education institutions such as Indonesia’s Gadjah Mada University and the Bandung Institute of Technology.
Dr. Eniya is also responsible for coordinating Indonesia’s hydrogen research ecosystem. With Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources also seeking information about hydrogen as a future energy source for the country, she makes sure that joint research in that area by the agency is shared with the ministry. She has also presented it with her own action plan for the country’s hydrogen roadmap that will reduce CO2 emissions, and she has suggested the establishment of a national hydrogen ecosystem to the Indonesian government.
With issues remaining related to the use of hydrogen in automobiles, buses and other vehicles used for transportation, industry and carbon trading, Dr. Eniya believes new standards are a must to solve these problems. Indonesia will need to decide on guidelines for such things as pressure vessels for installing hydrogen tanks on vehicles. The Ministries of Industry and Transportation in particular will need new standards to deal with the use of hydrogen in areas under their jurisdiction.
As the chair of the committee responsible for drawing up these standards, which has its first meeting next month, Dr. Eniya hopes that the decision-making process will be complete by 2024. Her goal is to make Indonesia’s own set of national standards similar to Japan’s JIS. Slight changes will be made so these standards harmonize with ISO standards and can be treated as such. She’s optimistic that this process will be complete six months from now.
Regardless, the first task on the committee’s list is creating Ministry of Transportation standards for the use of hydrogen, applying them to automobiles and other vehicles, then moving on to establish industrial standards. She says that the committee will also need to come to a decision on guidelines for use of ammonia (NH3) as an energy source.
With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia faces the difficult challenge of supplying each with power. Small islands currently use large diesel generators to produce their own power, but a gradual shift will be made to solar generation. Dr. Eniya says that diesel generators and solar power are starting to be used together in these locations as part of decarbonizing the country, and plans are to gradually move them entirely to solar.
This June, a summit was held in Indonesia to discuss the country’s national hydrogen strategy. There, the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of National Development Planning, state-owned enterprises and other stakeholders agreed on the construction of a national hydrogen ecosystem. The Indonesian government understands the need to cut carbon emissions and is aiming to make the country carbon neutral by 2060 (Japan’s goal is 2050).
Indonesia is carrying out a variety of measures to reduce its CO2 emissions. One of these involves reducing the amount of coal the country uses. Indonesian President Joko Widodo has set a target for completely stopping the use of coal by 2045, and he is carrying out other related decarbonization initiatives in a variety of other fields.
Before she joined BRIN, Dr. Eniya was involved in research related to biodiesel, and was looking for ways to put it to use in cars, public transportation, trains and ships. The biodiesel she has worked on is a mixture of diesel and palm kernel oil. B30, which contains 30% palm kernel oil, is already available commercially, and she is now working on developing B35 and B40. However, she points out that new regulations will need to be made for the latter.
Development of batteries is also key to reducing carbon emissions. The government is aiming to build multiple EV battery factories within the country this decade. In support of this, it also wants to create a domestic mining industry to prevent foreign companies from digging up Indonesia’s nickel only to export it. To achieve this, the government will need to create regulations to get the country’s mining industry going and for adding value to the mined nickel before it is exported. These steps are part of the Indonesian government’s effort to make the country a part of the EV supply chain. Solar panels will also be a must for reducing carbon emissions, and the government is officially recommending their installation not only on its own buildings, but homes and other buildings as well.
Dr. Eniya’s plans regarding RD20 include attending this year’s conference as well as organizing next year’s Summer School. At last year’s RD20, she presented the current state of hydrogen-related development in her country. She says that if the topic for this year’s conference ends up being carbon capture and utilization then another member of BRIN will give this year’s talk.
Three parallel sessions were held as part of last year’s Technical Session. Dr. Eniya wanted to attend them all, but she was obliged to participate in only the parallel session related to her area of expertise. From her position as a coordinator, she wishes something could be done to allow attendees to participate in all the parallel sessions this year. “RD20 is the only conference that enables expert discussions on such significant topics as hydrogen, solar panels and decarbonization, and I personally don’t think the parallel sessions are a good idea,” she states. “As someone who coordinates research for a variety of technologies, I’d like to be able to cover all of the topics presented.” “At the very least,” she says, “I’d appreciate on-demand access to the talks held during the sessions.”
One more request from Dr. Eniya regarding RD20 is that she would like opportunities to speak with members of industry. She expresses her thoughts about why she considers this so important:
I’ve heard there was an explosion at a large factory that produced energy storage batteries in South Korea a while back. I’d like the chance to talk with people in the industry to find out the types of batteries made there and the conditions that led to the accident. This would enable me to learn about the possible risks involved in battery production in my own country, analyze them, and apply the findings to our own manufacturing efforts. The same thing applies to electrolyzers. Since I experienced a small-scale explosion caused by one, sharing my knowledge of that accident with those in industry could help prevent future ones. While information about such incidents tends not to be made public, I’d appreciate the opportunity to share as much information as possible to help prevent them.
Kenji Tsuda Editor in Chief, Semiconductor Portal