The COVID–19 pandemic has made business and industrial activities tend to be sluggish, which is reflected in stagnant electricity consumption and national economic growth. Evidently, in 2020, national electricity consumption was recorded at 242,600-Gigawatt hour (GWh) or decreased by 0.19% as compared to 2019 which was 243,060-Gigawatt hour (GWh). Although consumption can be said to be stagnant because the decline is not significant, but this decline is the first in the last ten years.
The slow growth in electricity consumption was mainly influenced by the decline in activity from industry and business players, amounting to 8.95%, which contributed 51% to national electricity consumption. The decline also occurred in the social sector by 3.23% and public street lighting by 2.39% where each sector contributed 4% and 1% to national electricity consumption. Meanwhile, the household sector experienced an increase of 9.48% and contributed 42% to national consumption. There is a shift in electricity consumption due to many people working and studying remotely from home, so the electricity consumption increases. Meanwhile, from the government building sector, consumption was stagnant, only increasing by 0.25% and contributing 2% of the total national electricity consumption.
Impact of Decreasing Electricity Consumption and Strategy Plan of PLN
This decrease in electricity consumption also has an impact on the decline in the rate of economic growth. Therefore, PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara or State Electricity Company (PLN) and the government continue to make efforts to restore the economy through stimulus assistance and relaxation of the minimum account for business and industry players. In addition, price subsidies are also given to household consumers who use power below 1300 watts.
Meanwhile, when the economy recovers, the industrial and business sectors as well as the commercial sector which contributes greatly to electricity consumption apart from households will also increase. Thus, we estimate that electricity consumption in 2021 could reach 253,260.38 GWh or grow by 4.39% compared to 2020, which was 242,600 GWh, in line with the recovery of national economic activities.
On the other hand, PLN has two scenarios for the projected growth in electricity consumption in 2021. The first scenario is an optimistic scenario with a projection of 4% growth. For this reason, PLN will focus on the demand driver strategy which will be pursued through intensification and extensification efforts. Then the second scenario is a pessimistic scenario with a projected electricity sales growth of only 1.6%.
The intensification strategy is carried out by PLN through bundling and promos to increase customer convenience. This strategy can also be carried out through the application of a lifestyle using electricity-based equipment in everyday life or an electrifying lifestyle, such as encouraging an ecosystem of using one million induction cookers and battery-based electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, the extensification strategy was pursued by PLN by looking at potential market niches, such as electrifying agriculture and smart agriculture for the agriculture, plantation, and fishery sectors.
The implementation of this strategy can also be seen from efforts to connect electricity to strategic projects that are the focus of the government, such as industrial estate projects, as well as special economic zones and smelter projects (purification) in the mining sector. In the development plan, by 2024 Indonesia is expected to have 4 units of copper smelters, 31 units of nickel smelters, 11 units of bauxite smelters, 4 units of iron smelters, 2 units of manganese smelters, 2 lead, and zinc smelters.