Dr Aretha APRILIA, PhD in Socio-Environmental Energy Science (Indonesia)

Dr Aretha Aprilia is working on an off-grid rural electrification project using renewable energy sources in Indonesia. She is also evaluating the renewable energy policy mix to encourage the growth of renewable energy penetration in the country, including off-grid rural electrification.


Research focus: renewable energy (RE) policy mix to accelerate RE penetration and off-grid rural electrification

Over 2,500 villages in Indonesia currently have no electricity access. Aretha is analysing the impact of the country’s new energy policies on the penetration of RE in the energy mix. Her second research topic is community-based waste management and the use of municipal waste for energy production. In her studies she identifies barriers of RE and waste-to-energy. Based on her waste survey conducted in Jakarta, more than 50 percent of household waste is organic. This implies that there is a high amount of methane gas emission which could be converted to generate energy.

Aretha earned her PhD at Kyoto University, and is currently working for the Green Prosperity Project. The project is a US-government backed initiative, where she serves as a renewable energy specialist for the Jakarta-based American engineering firm CDM Smith, which was mandated to oversee the implementation of community-based renewable energy projects. Aretha has worked for various institutions, including the GIZ (German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation), where she evaluated the national climate policy, and GHG mitigation actions as a technical expert. Furthermore, she was responsible for coordinating the innovative environmental projects at the United Nations Environment Programme.

Aretha has received multiple prestigious recognitions for her contributions to the fields of renewable energy development including Global Center of Excellence scholarships from the Government of Japan and the Schlumberger Foundation, and a fellowship from the Nuffic Programme of the Netherlands.

The jury was particularly impressed by Aretha’s commitment to making energy accessible for every household in Indonesia, no matter how remote their community is. The exchange with international experts and building up of professional networks with Green Talents will help her to reach her goal of better RE penetration in the energy mix and better operation of renewable energy production in local communities in Indonesia.