Research: Termination of Coal-Fired Power Plants (PLTU Batu Bara) Prevents 180,000 Deaths due to Pollution
Recent research states that the cancellation of projects and the termination of coal-fired power plants (PLTU Batu Bara) in Indonesia in 2040 can prevent 180,000 deaths from air pollution and reduce health costs by up to US$ 100 billion.
The report released by the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) highlights the impact of early retirement of PLTU on health.
Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of IESR said the government must urge power companies to evaluate plans to build new PLTUs and switch to renewable generators. This transition will result in significant economic, social and health benefits.
“Indonesia must stop around 9 GW of coal-fired power plants (PLTU) in this decade to pursue the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) target,” he said, Tuesday (18/7).
CREA and IESR research developed the first health-based coal fired power plant operational termination pathway in Indonesia. This research is based on atmospheric modeling and health impact assessments (HIAs).
The research states that air pollutant emissions from coal-fired power plants are responsible for 10,500 deaths in Indonesia in 2022 and cost US$ 7.4 billion in health costs. This health impact will continue to increase with the operation of a new coal power plant.
Fabby said the termination of the coal power plant requires an initial investment of up to US$ 32 billion or around Rp 450 trillion. However, stopping the PLTU will also reduce health costs by up to US$ 130 billion or around Rp 1,930 trillion.
Raditya Wiranegara, IESR Senior Researcher, said that this research provides a list of coal-fired power plants sorted by their impact on health costs per generator unit. This will be input for the JETP secretariat which is currently preparing a Comprehensive Investment Plan and Policy (CIPP), including the issue of early retirement for coal-fired power plants.
Raditya said that coal-fired power plants do not have efficient means of controlling air pollution emissions for pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. Stronger standards require investment in air pollution control, could prevent up to 8,300 deaths from air pollution per year by 2035.
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