Indonesia has a long history of sugar production and a significant potential to enhance both sugar and bioethanol production.
This chapter examines the life cycle energy balance and GHG emissions of bioethanol production and the conditions for the development of sugarcane-based agro-industry in Indonesia to meet both sugar self-sufficiency and biofuel blending targets in domestic transport. The life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the production and use of ethanol are estimated at 29 gCO2eq per MJ of ethanol produced, equivalent to a 67% reduction in comparison to gasoline emissions. Net energy value (NEV) and net renewable energy value (NREV) are −7 MJ l−1 and 17.7 MJ l−1, while the energy yield ratio (ER) is 6.1.
At present conditions, 450 million liters of bioethanol can be annually produced in the country using sugarcane molasses, a low-value coproduct. This gives a marginal contribution equivalent to 1% of the total gasoline consumption in 2015. However, using both molasses and cane juice, Indonesia can meet the blending targets set for 2020 (i.e., 4.45 BL ethanol) and 2025 (i.e., 11.48 BL ethanol). This translates into sugarcane feedstock obtained from 1.60 Mha and 2.76 Mha land, respectively.
Improved resource efficiency can be achieved, exploring the bioelectricity production potential from sugarcane biomass, enhanced yields, and modernization of sugarcane mills. An orchestrated strategy for upgrading technologies and production methods along the whole chain of agro-industries in the sugar-ethanol segment is required for Indonesia to realize its biofuel potential.