Indonesia is an interesting case study for researchers, educators and students of sustainable development and sustainable energy due to its ability to connect the multiple “worlds” it has become part of. Indonesia is an important bridge to Muslim countries, the voice of the Global South in the G20 and a main pillar of the 134-country-strong G77. Indonesia’s development trajectory is also key to the achievement of the Paris Climate Agreement as well as of the 2030 Agenda. This article proposes that one way to understand Indonesia’s complex energy transition is by knowing how to teach it as a case study. By teaching how Indonesia addresses contradictions that would have been unsurmountable for other countries, new insights and values can be gained. Indonesia’s energy transition offers helpful lessons, because of its aspiration to become a developed country by 2045. However, as the methodology of this paper suggests, these lessons can be more valuable when they are achieved through the stages of reflection, interaction and action. By knowing how to teach Indonesia’s energy transition, the value of knowledge can be multiplied. This article begins by showing how Indonesia addresses barriers and caveats by focusing on silver linings and comes up with pragmatic solutions to energy-related issues. This is followed by the “teaching guide,” which provides recommendations as to how the lessons from Indonesia can be embedded into a learning experience. The “learning activation approach” is introduced, which encourages students to systematically reflect on the complexity of selected contexts and understand this complexity by looking at the technical issues and processes that allow decision making.
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