Ratih Dewi, Head of Alternative Investments at Nikko Cordial Securities, talks about tracking down renewable energy investment oppertunities.

Ratih Dewi - Renewable Energy Investments Hunter

In Ratih Dewi’s world of finance, the only constant is change.

Take her position as head of alternative investments for the Indonesian subsidiary of Nikko Cordial Securities, for example. Dewi is continually on the lookout for renewable energy investments for her clients. In particular, Nikko is interested in mini-hydro power, waste to energy, and biodiesel projects across Indonesia.

“As an investment manager, we will set up a dedicated fund to invest in renewable energy,” she says, adding that Nikko also helps raise capital for green projects. “It’s a new thing – just really evolved.”

While it feels good to be green, Dewi stresses that her company’s first duty is to maximize returns for their clients. But doing the right thing for the environment is rising steadily up the list.

“Now it’s ‘economically viable, financially viable, environmentally viable,’” she says. “There’s now a sustainability assessment in addition to the regular technical and legal assessment that a project is good. To make sure it’s environmentally and socially stable, friendly.”

However, there remain many obstacles to investing in green projects in Indonesia, including cumbersome energy and investment regulations, and red tape. So Nikko was quick to join the Alliance of Low-carbon Business in Indonesia (ALBI), given its mission to lobby the central government on low carbon growth, Dewi says.

“It’s to match the interests between the investment world and the government regulations to make it work,” she says. “Business owners have interests, investors have interests, the government also has interests.”

Dewi noted that Indonesia has power shortages in industrial parks as well as residential neighbourhoods, and it’s in the national interest to have green projects to help generate more power. Things like, hydro-power, geothermal, and biomass are all good ideas, she says.

“If we start on that basis, I think the government will support it,” she says, such as lowering tariffs on renewable energy projects, which are more expensive than the standard coal-fired power plant during the early stages of development.

“ALBI has to speed up and come up with a timeline for its work plan,” she says. “There are parties involved from different sectors, so we must have the same interests to make it work.”

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