Researchers from Indonesia Climate Change Center-ICCC stated that Indonesia could be exporters of biofuels (BBN) in the world, if using the degraded land or critical land properly. However, the development of BBN only work on bio-diesel, whereas bioetanol failed. Whereas, serious implementation of bioetanol may be the solution of the energy deficit in Indonesia, as well as climate change mitigation measures from the transportation sector.
The latest research from the ICCC, titled “Eco-friendly Transportation for Long-term Sustainable Economic Growth” stated that Indonesia could potentially meet the 20% of the global market for BBN. If seen from a global target, estimation of land to meet the needs of the world’s 70 million BBN hectares up to 2050. The projection of the International Energy Agency-IEA pointed out that the drop in plantation in developed countries reaches 50 million ha, while in developing countries will increasing 120 million ha.
Area of critical land in Indonesia is estimated to be approximately 78,43 million ha in which 29,72 million ha outside the forest area. Based on the mandate of bioetanol mixing ratio, Indonesia would need at least 10 million tonnes bioetanol until 2025. This study estimated that minimum of 1.5 million ha of degraded land are suitable enough to meet the mandate by using first generation technology for sugar cane.
“Indonesia could become the world’s largest exporter of BBN only with 1.5 million ha of land for bioetanol. If its potential is done seriously, Indonesia could not use more fossil fuels,” said Artissa Panjaitan, principal researcher and coordinator of ICCC Low Emission Development Strategies Cluster.
Critical land in Indonesia partly derived from deforestation. Data from the National Council on climate change-DNPI, shows that 53% of deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia has turned the forest into a critical land. The rest, 15% for agriculture, 13% for plantation, 9% for forest plant industry or HTI, 1 % for mining, and 10 % for highway, railway and others. “This shows that the emissions we produce so far for an activity is not productive, then in the future, productivity of degraded land needs to be raised,” said Agus Purnomo, Precident Special Staff for Climate Change as well as the Chairman of the Secretariat of the DNPI. No wonder, ICCC recommends degraded land potential for the production of raw materials of BBN.
The proposed requirement of critical land of the research are minimal from conflict of land disputes and its landed cost is low also in accordance with spatial plan that applied. Degraded areas in Forest Production Conversion (HPK) is an area that is prioritized as bioetanol raw materials plantation. Currently, there are about 14 million ha critical areas in the area of HPK. 1.5 million ha of land required is likely available in six provinces, namely Papua, Central Kalimantan, Riau, Maluku, North Maluku, and Riau Islands. The six provinces did not have a history of sugar cane plantations and the relatively low population density. The main priority is dropped on the province of Central Kalimantan as the beginning of industrial sugar cane bioetanol.