Ratih Dewi has no qualms about making money - and lots of it. And why should she? As the Jakarta-based head of alternative investments for the Indonesian subsidiary of Nikko Cordial Securities, she is responsible for delivering returns to clients. But that doesn't mean Dewi, her company and her clients can't operate ethically. Among the alternative investments that Nikko manages in Indonesia are those in renewable energy, including mini-hydro plants and waste-to-energy projects, and it plans to eventually expand into biodiesel, which can be produced from palm oil. 'We underwrite bond issues and [initial public offerings] to raise capital for green projects,' Dewi says. 'We see [them] as an investment opportunity. It's an added bonus to have them be socially responsible.' Indonesia, the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gas, is facing serious power shortages. But the country holds the world's largest reserves of geothermal energy and has huge potential in other renewable energies, including hydropower. There are many obstacles, however, facing companies such as Nikko that want to invest in green projects in the country, many of them put in place by the Indonesian government, which has cumbersome energy and investment regulations, impenetrable red tape and one of the most corrupt and inefficient bureaucracies in Asia. Tariff rates in Indonesia's energy sector, for example, can be prohibitively high for a new entrant and there is a lack of government-sponsored incentives for low-carbon projects. But where there's profit, there's a way. The Alliance of Low-carbon Business in Indonesia (Albi), formed in July by dozens of multinational and local companies, and supported by the British government, lobbies the government on low-carbon growth. The association's members come from the energy, forestry, tourism, transport, finance and infrastructure industries. 'Having a lobbying group is crucial, as the private sector has to take the lead in Indonesia,' says Kirk Evans, head of Southeast Asia operations for Sindicatum Carbon Capital, which is undertaking United Nations-backed Clean Development Mechanism projects in Indonesia. But it's unclear how receptive the Indonesian government will be to Albi, given its historically distant relations with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the main private business chamber. 'It's going to be really interesting to see what the private sector can pull out,' says Erik Meijaard, a Jakarta-based forestry expert and consultant. 'There has never been any major private-sector-driven conservation project.' First and foremost, private investors must be able to make a profit out of their investment, otherwise 'low-carbon-growth' will remain just a catchy phrase. 'We cannot do this for charity,' Dewi says. 'But we can make a profit and save the world.'