Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and it is happening even more quickly than we feared. But we are far from powerless in the face of this global threat. As stated by the General Secretary of the United Nations in September, “the climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win”.
No corner of the globe is immune from the devastating consequences of climate change. Rising temperatures are fuelling environmental degradation, natural disasters, weather extremes, food and water insecurity, economic disruption, conflict, and terrorism. Sea levels are rising, the Arctic is melting, coral reefs are dying, oceans are acidifying, and forests are burning. It is clear that business as usual is not good enough. As the infinite cost of climate change reaches irreversible highs, now is the time for bold collective action.
The UK-Indonesia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Sciences (UKICIS) is an UK-Indonesian alliance pioneering research and expertise to build global resilience against pandemics, the climate emergency, and natural hazards. UKICIS in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in London and the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation organised a focus group discussion on Sustainable Transportation for Low-Carbon and a Resilient Future which was held on Thursday 6th May. Moderated by Dr Bagus Muljadi, the Panellists included Ir. Bambang Rianto, Prof. Bagus Budiwantoro, Prof Patrick Wheeler, Prof Satryo S. Brodjonegoro and Dr. Indra Tambunan. Tamanna Enus, UKICIS Liaison Officer and a student at the University of Nottingham hosted the event.
The focus group discussion was designed to present the progress that both the UK and Indonesia are making with the development of Electric Vehicles and other sustainable transportation methods. Dr Muljadi, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Nottingham began the discussion by speaking of the many problems that the world faces which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still being suffered globally. Dr Muljadi spoke of the potential of Indonesia to lead in the fields of advancing sustainable transportation methods, especially given the country is a leading producer of base minerals, for example, having the sixth largest natural abundance of nickel making it the leading producer of base materials needed for electric vehicle battery industry.
Prof Bagus Budiwantoro, Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the Institut Teknologi Bandunf (ITB) was the first to give his presentation. Prof Budiwantoro spoke of the visions of ITB to become an excellent research institute in the field of transportation technology and to advance as the product development and innovation to solve future mobility issues in Indonesia. ITB has already carried out a great deal of research in this area and the institute is currently working tirelessly with many universities globally to improve their concept of smart mobility. The audience was presented with the prototype vehicle ITB is developing. Prof Budiwantoro stated ‘We are continuously pushing our boundaries to ensure a sustainable electric vehicle ecosystem for generations to come’
Prof Patrick Wheeler, Power Electronic Systems at the University of Nottingham, spoke briefly about the work carried out by the UK University, particularly the research group he runs within the Faculty of Engineering with around 160 members. The department receives more than £30 million in grant funding and is one of the global leaders in electric vehicle research and innovation. The department has key industry partners which facilitates leading research and innovation in the industry.
Prof Wheeler said, “The University has recently begun to demonstrate technology in an exciting way for example through the building of an electric superbike, and a small single seater Air Race E demonstration aircraft.” The group believes they will be able to excite people about transportation and electric vehicles. Prof Wheeler emphasised the importance of charging point for sustainable transportation to function effectively.
Following this discussion, a short ceremony was held to celebrate the signing of Letter of Intent. Prof Robert Mokaya, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at the University of Nottingham and Dr Siti Maimunah, Director at Polytechnique of Road Transportation Safety signed the Letter of Intent which was witnessed by the Indonesian Minister of Transportation and H.E. Desra Percaya, Indonesian Ambassador to the UK, Ireland and IMO. The event marked a great collaboration between the University of Nottingham and the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation, Polytechnic of Road Transportation Ceremony.
H.E. Dr Desra Percaya, Indonesian Ambassador to the UK, Ireland and IMO began the ceremony with his opening words. Dr Percaya stated “UKICIS has the ability to pave the way for further concrete cooperation between the two countries and highlighted that such collaboration is incredibly pertinent among Indonesia’s national priorities to develop its human capital. The discussion forum is an effective way to combine government, academia and businesses.”
Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, Minister of Transportation, thanked UKICIS for organising the forum discussion and promoting research and innovation between the UK and Indonesia. Minister Sumadi added “research is especially very important for sustainable transportation to combat the effects of pollution. Future policies are being developed by the Indonesian government to encourage the use of electric vehicles. The forum will be meaningful in increasing the use of electric vehicles in Indonesia.”
The discussion forum recommenced with the presentation of Prof Satryo S. Brodjonegoro who spoke about Indonesia’s vision of future e-mobility including their goals to reduce emissions from fossil fuels in transportation and to play a major role in the supply chain, given Indonesia’s material resources which are rich in nickel, cobalt, stainless steels, aluminium, copper, manganese, tin and REE.
Prof Brodjonegoro stated that Battery powered electric vehicles (BEVS) and plug in hybrids (PHEVs) will seize almost a quarter of the market by 2030 and are therefore an incredibly pertinent area of research and interest. Prof Brodjonegoro laid out the National E-mobility plan for urban transportation in Indonesia across the 6 core cities, including Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya.
Next to speak was Dr Indra Tambunan, Dean of Faculty of Informatics and Electrical Engineering at Institut Teknologi Del. Dr Tambunan informed of the Universities’ research activities which includes improving the quality of the ecosystem within its surrounding area, especially in the proximity of Lake Toba. This includes the recent development of a water quality measurement system in attempts to improve the water quality of the lake. Toba is an incredibly popular tourist destination within Indonesia therefore it is vital to improve its transportation sustainability. Dr Tambunan put forward the timeline events which includes the Implementation of an electrical boat in Lake Toba by the end of August 2021.
The last presentation was given by Ir Bambang Rianto regarding the Electric Vehicle implementation planning in West Java. The master plan presented included the increase of renewable energy supply from 26 MTOE to 138 MTOE by 2050. Ir. Rianto explained how the conventional vehicle conversion into EV allows utilization of renewable energy in the transportation sector which is currently dominated by oil. Ir Riant represented the timeline proposed for the implementation of EV charging stations within West Java with their construction and commercial operation in place by 2023.
The event was concluded by Dr Muljadi by emphasising the importance of collaboration in research between countries. UK universities are very keen to work with universities in Indonesia, to learn and share their knowledge to combat the challenges that are being faced by sustainable transportation. UKICIS aims to increase its cooperation with more universities in Indonesia. Tamanna closed the event by adding that climate change is a distressing issue for the younger generation and as an engineering student would like to support the initiative of global collaboration and knowledge transfer to promote sustainable transportation.
University of Nottingham has been awarded Global Challenge Research Fund
(GCRF) which has been allocated to the research project entitled “Roadmap for Indonesia’s sustainable transport system via techno-socio-economic assessment of integrated EV and battery industry”. The project is interdisciplinary and being led by Dr Muljadi with Prof Patrick Wheeler, Prof Kulwant Pawar, Operations Management and Prof Sean Rigby, Chemical and Environmental Engineering. The project is working with Bogor City Municipality and West Java government to develop the strategy for sustainable transportation in the regions. The project is working with University of Gadjah Mada, British Geological Survey and GeoDipa Energi to study the design, development, and optimization of systems for combined power and metals production from Indonesian geothermal sources. University of Indonesia will study the relationship between transport and accessibility to essential services and opportunities in Indonesia.
The forum group discussion can be accessed by clicking here.