In This Podcast:
Clean-energy entrepreneur and founder of SunEdison, Jigar Shah, discusses his new book, “Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy,” and shares how contractors can cash in on the power of the sun.
Q: Your Wikipedia page lists you as a clean-energy entrepreneur. What exactly defines a clean-energy entrepreneur?
A: I made my money in solar power, which is the quintessential clean-energy technology, but today I’m investing in other people’s companies who use clean energy and resource-efficient technologies to make money.
Q: Your business model innovations helped build SunEdison into one of, if not the largest, solar company in the world. What’s your secret?
A: My secret is focus. We had a lot of chances to get distracted, but we chose not to do that. We focused on what we felt was going to work and kept at it. We capitalized on the no-money down business model, which ended up working out. Many folks bought solar from us under this model.
Q: The sleeve of your book states that climate change can be utilized to create a $10 trillion opportunity. Please tell us more.
A: The book is about my journey in taking the innovations from the solar industry and turning it into a deployment model to attract around, this year, $100 billion in sales, globally. There are very few people out there utilizing the lessons we learned from the solar industry and bringing them to local food, solar hot water, or some of the others industries. HVAC is one of those places. In general, most people who decide to replace their HVAC system buy the cheapest thing available, even though the system that is $10,000 more may save them $2,000 a year for the next 35 years. It’s amazing to me how many people make the decision to buy based on lowest upfront cost rather than lowest life cycle cost.
CEO, Jigar Shah Consulting
Posted: Nov. 15, 2013
Publication date: 11/25/2013