Solar Is Smarter Than Digging Stuff Up And Burning It

Sungevity CEO Andrew Birch was just profiled by The Telegraph.

Growing up in Edinburgh, where his father managed a top hotel, Birch says he was always passionate about the environment. “I blame David Attenborough,” he says. Excelling at school, Birch won a place to read physics at Oxford aged 17.

After a year he returned to do his degree at St Andrews instead. He was already hooked on solar. “It hit me immediately; solar had to be smarter than digging stuff out of the ground and burning it. I felt it had to be lower cost ultimately.” He joined Cazenove and then Bear Stearns in US equity sales and sought to build an expertise in clean-tech. On an investor trip to the US to see only listed solar company, AstraPower, where Birch saw a chart showing that the cost of solar was falling fast.

“In 2000 solar cost around 30 [cents per kilowatt hour] and US electricity was around 10c. At the time, everyone was quite right to say that it’s not economic,” he says. “But look back and you’d see a 30 year trend of solar falling in cost by 5pc a year and retail electricity going up about 5pc a year. It doesn’t take much rocket science to know the lines are going to cross at some point in the future.”

Full Article Here

Posted by Wyatt Roy

Wyatt served as Sungevity's voice on social media through 2012. He left to pursue his passion for filmmaking. Check out his work at