Swedish Minister Pledges Support for Indonesia’s Renewable Power Bid

Sweden's Minister of Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation Kristina Persson attends the Nordic Future Forum in Reykjavik, Iceland, October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Sigtryggur Johannsson

The Swedish Government may assign a public official from the country’s energy agency to support Jakarta as part of efforts to boost cooperation in fostering renewable energy in Indonesia, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Kristina Persson, the Swedish minister for strategic development, future issues and Nordic cooperation, made the remarks following a meeting with Indonesia’s minister for national development planning, Sofyan Djalil, during her two-day visit to Indonesia.

“We have been talking a lot about investing in renewable energy,” Persson told the Jakarta Globe. “We hope to have a government representative, not from the government but from the public sector, who’s a specialist in renewable energy who will be stationed in Indonesia.

“The Swedish government fully supports Indonesia’s ambitious plan to increase renewable energy share in the energy mix. It is part of both governments’ commitment to reduce emissions while growing the economy,” she added.

The Swedish ambassador to Indonesia, Johanna Brismar Skoog, added that the assigned official would likely consult with Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. Neither Skoog nor Persson could elaborate on the plan.

Persson’s visit comes as the administration of President Joko Widodo embarks on an ambitious plan to generate an additional 35 gigawatts of electricity by 2020, mostly through coal-fired power plants.

During her visit, Persson is scheduled to attend a seminar on sustainable energy on Thursday, along with six Swedish companies in the sustainable energy sector, including geothermal operator Energeotek.

Sweden, which ranks consistently among the most innovative and competitive countries globally, produced 52.1 percent of its energy from renewable sources in 2013, according to the European Union’s statistics bureau, Eurostat.

Persson’s visit to Indonesia is the second this year by a senior Swedish government official, highlighting increased efforts by Sweden to raise its profile in Indonesia.

In September, Oscar Stenström, the state secretary to Sweden’s minister for enterprise and innovation, met with Indonesian Trade Minister Thomas Lembong.

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