OVERVIEW ACCESSIBILITY AND PROJECTION OF DEFORESTATION FROM ENERGY CROP FOREST DEVELOPMENT
he chosen means to increase the new renewable energy mix to 23 percent in 2025 and 31 percent in 2050 have significant consequences for the forest and land sectors. The use of biomass from wood is claimed to be a breakthrough strategy to increase the share of new renewable energy as stated in the 2017 National Energy General Plan. In RUPTL1 document, the National Electricity Company (PLN) is committed to implementing a cofiring mix of up to 10 percent in 52 Steam Power Plants (PLTUs) in Indonesia as a part of an energy transition project. Biomass based on certain proportion targets will replace the final energy of coal and be burned simultaneously with coal. This may then be claimed as clean energy from the use of biomass as a renewable energy source. This practice is carried out in the context of reducing emissions from the energy sector including forests and land.
New and Renewable Energy Acceleration Strategy2 are stated as follows:
Currently, there are 13 companies holding IUPHHKHT (HTI-Industrial Plantation Forest) permits that have applied for Forest Utilization Permits (PBPH) and have even developed Energy Plantation Forests in their permit/concession areas. The 13 HTI companies have allocated an area of 142,172 hectares for energy plantations, and as of 2020, 8,848 hectares has been actualized. There are still 18 other HTI companiesthat have committed to transform by proposing PBPH for energy to build Energy Plantation Forests (HTE). In
Java, Perum Perhutani is also committed to allocate 120 thousand hectares for energy which 28 thousand hectares
of it has been actualized in March 2021. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is targeting the construction of 31 HTEs with areas of 1.29 million hectares in order to meet the demand for biomass production from forests.
Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) has found an intriguing finding: 13 HTI companies, which have transformed their business units to Energy Plantation Forests, experienced forest loss in their concessions. Deforestation of 55.54 thousand hectares out of the total HTI concessions of 570.97 thousand hectares, which is almost 10 percent, has occurred from 2017 to 2021. Furthermore, an area of 166.94 thousand hectares of natural forest remaining in the concession is threatened as it is in included in the deforestation plan.
The performance of these companies in developing energy plantations cannot guarantee the safety of natural forests. From these findings, FWI followed up to conduct a more in depth estimation of deforestation projections of all forest concession right (HPH) and HTI companies in Indonesia. Through the forestry multi-business scheme as stipulated in the Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation No. 8 Year 2021 on Forest Management and Preparation of Forest Management Plans, as well as Forest Utilization in Protection Forests and Production Forests, which provides broader business opportunities for IUPHHK-HA and IUPHHK-HT holders to engage in HTE development. These Include opportunities for deforestation from Social Forestry management which is also accommodated by recent policies on biomass energy business.
Deforestation projections are estimated using the accessibility approach. Accessibility is defined as the length of time it takes from the journey of HPH, HTI and Social Forestry (PS) concessions to the nearest PLTU point. The method used is the cost distance method using the parameters of the presence of roads, topography and land cover. Cost distance analysis, also known as Accumulated Cost Surface Analysis, is an analytical GIS tool used to calculate the least accumulative cost distance for each cell to the closest source through the cost surface (Chen, Liu & Liu, 2020)3.
In this research, we use the least-cost path to measure the accessibility of HPH, HTI, PS permits to PLTU in Indonesia. In other words, we are trying to change the calculation of spatial accessibility into an analysis of the shortest travel time (or the smallest cumulative cost) from each permit location to the nearest PLTU. The higher the accessibility value generated, the greater the travel time to that location to a predetermined point, which indicates lower accessibility.
The analyzed PLTUs are 52 PLTUs appointed by PLN to carry out cofiring of biomass. The accessibility variable is derived based on several factors that affect access, such as the road network, land cover, river network, and topography (slope). Accessibility between HPH and HTI locations, and PS and PLTU can be identified by dividing them into three categories. Low category, namely the distance from the location reference point of 3 permits (HPH, HTI, PS) to the PLTU can be reached in more than 3 days. Medium category, namely the distance from the location reference point of 3 permits (HPH, HTI, PS) to the PLTU can be reached in one to three days. While the high category, namely the distance from the location reference point of 3 permits (HPH, HTI, PS) to the PLTU can be reached in one day or less. The number of analyzed licenses for HPH, HTI, and PS are 259, 294, and 2,546 permit units, respectively.
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