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Jigar Shah  

Co-founder, Generate Capital

Jigar Shah is an entrepreneur and visionary committed to leveraging the next economy by solving the challenging issues of our time – climate change and resource scarcity. Shah has recognized this as “Creating Climate Wealth.”

Shah has noted that Climate Wealth is created when mainstream investors team up with entrepreneurs, corporations, mainstream capital, and governments at scale to solve the big problems of our time while generating compelling financial returns – not concessionary returns.

Today, he is CEO of Jigar Shah Consulting. He works closely with some of the world’s leading influencers and guides policy makers around the globe on key issues to implement profitable solutions to climate change that will unlock $10 Trillion into the impact economy by 2020.

His first foray in realizing his vision was the founding of SunEdison in 2003; today the world’s leading solar services company. SunEdison, through Shah’s perseverance and vision, simplified solar as a service through the implementation of the power purchase agreement (PPA) business model. That model changed the status quo, allowing organizations to purchase solar energy services under long-term predictably priced contracts and avoid the significant capital costs of ownership and operation of solar energy systems. The SunEdison business model is a recognized catalyst that helped turn solar PV into a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide.

From 2009 to March 2012, Shah served as the first CEO of the Carbon War Room, the global organization founded by Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to harness the power of entrepreneurship to unlock the potential of proven climate change solution technologies to be deployed at scale. During Shah’s tenure he was a trailblazer in helping build the organization into one of global importance.

Prior to launching SunEdison and his tenure as Carbon War Room CEO, Shah worked in strategy for BP Solar and as a contractor for the Department of Energy on alternative vehicles and fuel cell programs.

Shah holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, and an MBA from The University of Maryland. Besides the Carbon War Room, he also sits on the boards of the SolarNexus, KMR Infrastructure, Empower Energies, and Greenpeace USA.

The dot.com bubble burst, and in 2003, armed with his original idea and a few folding tables in the DC Greenpeace office, Shah founded SunEdison. The idea is simple: SunEdison installs and maintains solar power systems with no upfront costs for credit worthy companies like Whole Foods and Staples, which then purchase the solar energy from SunEdison for a fixed rate over a period of 10-plus years. No rate increases, just the same price as sure as the sun rises and sets.

Under Shah’s guidance, SunEdison pioneered the solar power services agreement (SPSA) model, which served as the foundation for much of the global growth of the solar industry in the past five years. In the process, Shah became an expert on energy project finance, changing energy policy, working with entrenched stakeholders, and hiring over 500 of the most talented people to realize an improbably dream.

Today, Shah works closely with some of the world’s leading influencers and guides policy makers around the globe on key issues surrounding renewable energy, global warming and sustainability. He continuously challenges his colleagues and the industry to move renewable energy forward by creating new markets across the globe.

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Jigar Shah is the author of: Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy and the founder of SunEdison, the largest solar services company. http://climatewealth.co/

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