West Nusa Tenggara gamifies multi-stakeholder approach to sustainable energy transition through strategy game

Advocating for innovative approaches to local energy transition, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability rolled out the Sustainable Energy Transition Strategy game (SETS) to assist West Nusa Tenggara (WNT), Indonesia in identifying the barriers and opportunities towards 100% renewable energy in the region.

Taking place in WNT on 25 July 2023, over 30 key stakeholders ranging from WNT’s project implementation team members, government officials from various sectors, academics, energy developers, and other community stakeholders participated in the interactive activity which sought to create a strategy towards an inclusive decision-making process in implementing the soon-to-be-launched 100% Renewable Energy Roadmap in the province.

Participants were assigned with certain roles for discussion during the Sustainable Energy Transition Strategy game (SETS).

Also known as the Serious Games platform, the SETS is a participatory tool designed by ICLEI and Generation.Energy. It aims to gather valuable insights that can inform sustainable energy policy-making and implementation efforts.

By engaging participants from diverse backgrounds and roles, the event also aimed to bring out concerns and perspectives by encouraging them to empathize with one another’s viewpoints and experiences.

Delivering his remark as keynote speaker, Iswandi, the Head of WNT’s regional planning agency (BAPPEDA), mentioned that the 100% RE 2050 Roadmap will serve as a key reference for the province’s renewables action plan.

“The Roadmap is planned to become WNT’s gubernatorial regulation document. We are keen to oversee the preparation of the necessary regulations after the Roadmap is completed,” said Iswandi.

An innovative approach to inclusive RE transition

The SETS activity saw 14 different roles being assigned to the stakeholders, including government officials, energy industries, communities, and enablers. The game itself was divided into three rounds, each serving a distinct purpose. 

In the first round, participants discussed the WNT landscape to gather critical information on geophysical contexts which includes renewable energy sources, restricted areas, and suitable areas for renewable energy development.

In the second round, participants, each with an assigned role, proposed strategies aimed at transitioning to 100% renewable energy based on their roles. 

For the third and final round, participants discussed multi-sectoral strategies considering their unique roles, interests, and capacities. This portion required participants to actively advocate their proposed strategies, promote collaboration and learning, and encourage the exploration of potential solutions.

Participants during the first round of the interactive sessions where they were tasked with identifying geographical contexts and renewable energy potential locations across West Nusa Tenggara.

Some insights and strategies that have surfaced during the Serious Games are as follows:

  • Mobilize rural communities to adopt renewable energy sources by utilizing biogas from livestock and agricultural waste. This can reduce energy costs on electricity and cooking.
  • Village funds can be used for energy purposes and to ensure equitable access to electricity services through discounts and subsidies. 
  • Conducting public awareness campaigns about environmental issues, clean energy, and the potential of renewable energy resources in the province. Private sector, through their corporate social responsibility arms, can be tapped for this, especially to reach  younger sections of the population.
  • City residents need to be trained on renewable energy, waste separation, various technologies, and their impacts on the environment. 
  • Sumbawa Island of WNT has dry, unproductive land. Training communities in energy cultivation is needed so they can help provide feedstock for the island’s co-firing power plant.
  • In terms of the industry, the main factor for profit is stability, and the government must be able to ensure it through consistent and unchanging policies to ensure a sustainability energy sector. Likewise, the government must also ensure the sustainability of foreign players in the energy sector.
  • Prioritize the employment of locals in renewable energy projects in WNT through strategies such as knowledge transfer and capacity building.

The insights will support the development of the WNT action plan and strategies toward the province’s 100% RE transition. 

Since 2019 ICLEI Indonesia and WNT have affirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation in achieving the country’s NDCs and accelerating the province’s transition to renewable energy through the 100% Renewables Cities and Regions Roadmap (100% RE) Project. This project is expected to assist local governments in developing energy frameworks and policies towards net-zero emissions by 2050.  This project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

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