Jeremy Leggett is founder and chairman of Solarcentury, currently one of Europe's fastest growing renewable energy companies. He is also founder of SolarAid, one of Africa's fastest-growing poverty-alleviation charities, set up with Solarcentury profits.
He is a founding director of the world's first private equity investment fund for renewables, run by Bank Sarasin (New Energies Invest AG), convenor of the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security, and Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute.
A regular advocate for renewables in the international media, including as a CNN Principal Voice, Jeremy has been described by the Observer newspaper as the “Uk's most respected green energy boss.” He has written several books about the environment including an account of the climate negotiations in the 1990s; an account of the interaction between peak oil and climate change; and a vision of solar in the cleantech revolution.
In his first career as a geologist, Jeremy researched the history of oceans, explored for oil, and worked on oil source rocks funded by BP and Shell among others while on the faculty at Imperial College. Increasingly worried by global warming, he left to become an environmental campaigner with Greenpeace International, during which time he won the US Climate Institute’s Award for Advancing Understanding. Coming to the view that successful green businesses were badly needed in the global struggle to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, he set up Solarcentury. The company has won multiple awards for innovation and sustainability, and become a magnet for talent.
Jeremy won Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2009 New Energy awards, and is the first recipient of the Hillary Laureate for International Leadership on Climate Change.