Indonesia's burgeoning energy demand and rising carbon emissions place the sustainable energy transition and energy access priorities at the forefront of the country's development plans. Yet these objectives can often be contradictory in implementation. With electrification rates lagging behind other countries in the Southeast Asian region (83% electrification ratio in 2014) and a unique set of barriers to rural electrification and transmission interconnection as an archipelago, Indonesia has long road ahead in terms of achieving its targets. This paper examines the Government of Indonesia's interventions to overcome barriers to accelerating renewable energy development and increasing energy access. In the context of the tensions between rural electrification and renewable energy development, the role of sub-national actors and bilateral and multilateral development agencies in impacting energy development are the main variables studied in this paper. The case study of Indonesia will provide important insights into the tensions between energy access and equity and sustainable development priorities in a developing country context.