Health and economic benefits from early phase out of Indonesia’s first JETP coal power plants

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Indonesia’s commitment to transition away from coal through the announcement of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in November 2022 was outlined in the JETP Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP) released one year later (see CREA’s response here). Pilot coal power projects for the JETP have now been named for early retirement.

This analysis by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) highlights the benefits that can be reaped through early retirement of coal power plants in Indonesia. 

Cirebon Unit 1 and Pelabuhan Ratu Unit 1-3 are listed as the first two pilot projects for Indonesia’s early coal power retirement in the JETP CIPP. Banten Suralaya Unit 1-4 has been mentioned in the media as a target candidate for reduced operations and to eventually be shut down. 

Operations of the shortlisted candidates affect public health due to continuous release of health harming pollutants. The operations of Cirebon Unit 1, Pelabuhan Ratu Unit 1-3, and Banten Suralaya Unit 1-4 amount to 1,263 deaths annually. Air pollutant emissions from Cirebon Unit 1 are linked to 441 deaths, Pelabuhan Ratu Unit 1-3 421 deaths, and Banten Suralaya Unit 1-4 401 deaths. 

In terms of economic burden, USD 885 million (IDR 13.1 trillion) of air pollution-related costs can be attributed to the operations of these plants annually, from increased risks and incidences of respiratory diseases, productivity losses, and mortality. The economic burden linked to Cirebon Unit 1 amounts to USD 308 million (IDR 4.57 trillion), Pelabuhan Ratu USD 293 million (IDR 4.35 trillion), and Banten Suralaya Unit 1-4 USD 284 million (IDR 4.22 trillion).

Currently, the operations of these high-impact coal power plants located across Java are linked to 6,928 air pollution-related deaths and USD 4.8 billion (IDR 71.3 trillion) in corresponding economic costs annually.

Key messages

  • Indonesia’s commitment to transition away from coal through the announcement of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in November 2022 is outlined in the much anticipated JETP Comprehensive Investment and Policy Plan (CIPP) which was released a year later. While the JETP CIPP outlines Indonesia’s firm commitment in the coal transition, there are still many opportunities to amplify the current strategies by establishing a link between energy transition and air quality, tackling both climate change and air pollution together. 
  • Cirebon Unit 1 and Pelabuhan Ratu Unit 1-3 are listed as the first two pilot projects for Indonesia’s early coal power retirement in the JETP CIPP. Banten Suralaya Unit 1-4 has been mentioned in the media as a target candidate for reduced operations and to eventually be shut down. Combined, the operations of these candidates affect public health due to continuous release of health harming pollutants.
  • The operations of Cirebon Unit 1, Pelabuhan Ratu Unit 1-3, and Banten Suralaya Unit 1-4 amount to 1,263 deaths annually. Air pollutant emissions from Cirebon Unit 1 are linked to 441 deaths, Pelabuhan Ratu Unit 1-3 421 deaths, and Banten Suralaya Unit 1-4 401 deaths. 
  • In terms of economic burden, the operations of these plants can be attributed to USD 885 million (IDR 13.1 trillion) of air pollution-related costs annually, covering losses from increased risks and incidences of respiratory diseases, productivity losses, and mortality. Economic burden linked to Cirebon Unit 1 amounts to USD 308 million (IDR 4.57 trillion), Pelabuhan Ratu USD 293 million (IDR 4.35 trillion), and Banten Suralaya Unit 1-4 USD 284 million (IDR 4.22 trillion).
  • The inclusion of two pilot projects in the JETP CIPP only partially addresses air pollution from coal power generation. If including the top ten coal power plants with the highest health impacts along with the two ageing complexes located in Java, Indonesia would avoid about five-fold of future impacts. 


Katherine Hasan, Analyst, CREA; with contribution from Jamie Kelly, Air Quality Analyst, CREA

Indonesia