Green.Org sits down with Olivia Elijking, partner at Kreen Energy, to discuss where renewable energy meets finance.
Who is Olivia Elijking?
Olivia Elijking a business leader in renewable investment whose 20 years’ experience in energy markets spans roles with hedge funds and asset managers, PE firms and industrial sponsors. Her deep knowledge of the industry combines expertise in finance and investment as well as the structure and management of infrastructure projects. She is well versed in the particular challenges of emerging and frontier markets.
In her current role at Kreen as a specialist advisor on the financing and development of infrastructure projects, she has engaged with senior business leaders, politicians, financiers and sponsors to identify, value and bring to fruition large-scale investments and regional energy projects spanning multiple countries.
A skilled negotiator, she engages and influences senior decision makers from different backgrounds and organizations, leveraging deep technical expertise to arrive at consensus on a financial structure and identify a practical pathway to the development and sale of complex energy assets, often in harsh and challenging geographic and political settings.
Throughout her career she has identified investment opportunities shaped by detailed analysis and financial modeling and informed by a realistic appraisal of the practical challenges involved in bringing the project to a successful end. She has experience in every part of the investment cycle from transaction negotiation and structure through management of development to sale or exit.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish, she is an able communicator who adapts quickly and effectively to different cultures and backgrounds. Well connected, she attaches enormous value to networks and am the founder of We Bridge Network, for sustainable infrastructure and clean energy professionals.
Olivia, thank you for joining us. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
Professionally, I am passionate about energy and finance, and in the last ten years, have had a chance to better my karma, as I took the decision to learn about and grow into renewable energy. I started in the sector as an entrepreneur, which I still am today. Ben Agyeman and myself started our business focusing on supporting developers and investors ready for the more “challenging” geographies and projects. We are financiers, so we support the deployment of equity and debt into renewable energy projects. We are also investors ourselves.
What is a fun fact about you?
I am a Taoist and a Trekkie – strange at first, but it might make more sense than it seems 🙂
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Climate change and sustainability have hopefully become some of the key topics for society. For us, working in the field on a daily basis, there is more “hope” somehow than for the general public, because we know the pace of innovation and investment in the sector are very high. Seeing wind and solar energies on financial par with older forms of electricity generation has already been a really big step. It is also very encouraging to see so much institutional investors’ interest in the sector.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
It will be 1,000 bigger in terms of investment deployment. It needs to be.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
There is no average person. We all matter and can make a difference. Keeping yourself informed (properly), taking some responsibility in how your energy at home is being produced and saved (through insulation and smart consumption), which transports you take, how you consume, these are all very important steps in changing how supply is being structured.
Olivia, thank you for sharing your vision for where renewable energy meets finance.
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