Paying Attention to Peak Demand in Indonesia

Indonesia’s daily peak electricity demand is projected to increase by at least 150 percent between 2010 and 2030, in part because of the increasing use of electricity for appliances, equipment, and lighting.

The SEAD Initiative is using new types of analysis to support the development of appliance energy efficiency policies in member economies—enabling policymakers to better understand how the real-world use of residential, commercial, and industrial appliances and equipment influences daily electricity consumption.

In early 2015, SEAD used the Bottom-Up Energy Analysis System (BUENAS) to conduct preliminary analysis of the impact of appliance efficiency standards on Indonesia’s current and future energy demand. This analysis took into account not only Indonesia’s total energy consumption, but also how power consumption in the country fluctuated over the course of an average day.

As illustrated in Chart 1, electricity demand in Indonesia is typically at its lowest during the early morning, when most people are asleep. Demand then steadily rises throughout day, reaching its highest point—known as peak demand—as the country’s workforce returns home, turns on lights, prepares dinner, and watches television. Electricity demand rapidly declines as people go to bed, and then the cycle begins anew.

Chart of modeled daily electricity demand in Indonesia in 2010, 2020 and 2030

Peak demand is an important marker: it represents the minimum amount of electricity that a country must be able to generate at any given moment. This power requirement determines the number of power plants that a country must have available at all times—even though many of these power plants are not needed for much of the day, when electricity demand falls short of the peak.

Adoption of energy efficiency policies can significantly reduce growth in future peak demand, reducing the number of power plants that Indonesia will need to construct over the next 15 years while still allowing consumers to benefit from the energy services they rely on.

SEAD’s analysis shows that adoption of cost-effective appliance energy efficiency policies in Indonesia could, by 2030, avoid the need for 15 to 25 medium-sized power plants. If Indonesia were to adopt ambitious efficiency policies that moved the market towards today’s superefficient equipment and appliances, the need for as many as 50 power plants could be avoided.