Social entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett is founder and Chairman of Solarcentury, the UK’s largest solar solutions company, winner of multiple awards for innovation and sustainability, including the 2006 Sunday Times / Microsoft TechTrack 100 R&D Award. He is also founder and Chairman of SolarAid, a charity set up by Solarcentury (2006-present), and a founding director of the world’s first private equity fund for renewable energy, Bank Sarasin’s New Energies Invest AG (2000-present).
Jeremy was a member of the UK Government’s Renewables Advisory Board from 2002-6. While on the faculty at Imperial College, he worked with the oil industry, among other things researching oil source rocks, funded by BP and Shell among others. He has also worked as an environmental campaigner, for Greenpeace International (1989-1996), during which time he won the US Climate Institute’s Award for Advancing Understanding.
Jeremy has recently been appointed a CNN “Principal Voice,” and described by the Observer as “the UK’s most respected green energy boss.” His critically-acclaimed books “The Carbon War” and “Half Gone” cover climate change and peak oil. In the 1980s, while at Imperial College, he set up VERTIC (the Verification Technology Information Centre), and served part-time as its first executive director for four years (1985-1989) during the tail end of the Cold War.
We are a solar-electric and solar-thermal product-development company focussing on building-integrated solar in both the residential and industrial/commercial sectors. Our C21 Complete Solar Roof, made of C21 (electric) and C21t (thermal) rooftiles - effectively, combined heat and power in the roof - has won the Sunday Times Techtrack 100 R&D award, and the Best Overall New Product Award at Interbuild 2006. We hold global IP on it. It has been under test with two of the top five UK housebuilders, and is winning high marks. We have begun exporting to European countries where the market-enablement is more favourable than the UK market at present. C21 is manufactured by Sony in South Wales. We have other equally exciting products in the pipeline, having raised capital from venture capital firms from Europe (Unotec, Good Energies, Zouk, Foursome) and Silicon Valley (Vantage Point), plus Scottish and Southern Energy and other investors. With this capital we have expanded to Spain, France, and Italy. Our CEO was MD of Sony UK, and our Chief Innovation Officer led the product development team who was MD Europe for Ideo. We aim to set new standards in social responsibility, and have set up a charity, SolarAid, with a small fraction of our operating profits.