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Jigar Shah
Jigar Shah is an entrepreneur and visionary committed to leveraging the next economy by solving the challenging issues of our time. Shah has recognized this as “The Impact Economy,” also the subject of his upcoming book.

Shah has noted that a global "Impact Economy" is one in which mainstream investors team up with corporations, entrepreneurs, and governments at scale to solve the big environmental and social problems of our time while generating compelling financial returns – not just average returns.

Today, he is a partner at Inerjys, a $1 billion fund that invests in clean energy via growth capital and project finance, CEO of Jigar Shah Consulting, and a board member of the Carbon War Room. He works closely with some of the world’s leading influencers and guides policy makers around the globe on key issues to implement solutions for global warming and sustainability that will unlock that next trillion dollar impact economy.

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 remains an important catalyst that turned solar 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 help save the world from Climate Change. During Shah’s tenure he was a trailblazer in helping build the organization into one of global importance.

In the few years, since its founding The Carbon War Room has identified 17 sectors that all contain gigaton scale profitable opportunities ready to scale up to an “Impact Economy” – representing the largest economic opportunity of our generation.

Prior to launching SunEdison and his tenure as Carbon War Room CEO, Shah managed mergers & acquisitions, corporate strategy, and sales efforts for BP Solar, specializing in national commercial accounts. He also worked 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, Prometheus Institute and Greenpeace USA.

Entries by Jigar Shah

An Investment in the Outdoors and Innovation

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 2:37 PM

"America's clean energy and high-tech revolution has gone West. Yes, the geography is conducive to new energy technologies -- a natural home to wind and solar. While it may surprise some, the geography also proves to be conducive to intellectual creativity and innovation."

So begins a recent op-ed I wrote...

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UN Warsaw Climate Change Convention Sparks Wrong Conversation

(3) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 4:17 PM

The Climate Change conversation needs to change the conversation from "who pays," to "who invests for growth."

This is readily apparent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that started last week in Warsaw. Ironically, as the talks started, Mother Nature declared war on the...

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Romney & Obama: Where's the Inspiration?

(3) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 3:02 PM

Most of us watched the third and final debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

Flashback 50-plus years ago: We have all heard the clear voice over the grainy black-and-white video of President John F. Kennedy, on May 25, 1961:

"I believe...
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A Father's Lesson In Energy Dependence

(2) Comments | Posted July 12, 2012 | 5:33 PM

I just read a Wall Street Journal opinion entitled, "When the Moore Family Lost Power," written by Wall Street Journal editorial board member, Stephen Moore.

In it, Moore points out: "Green groups, for example, have declared war on coal, which still produces about 40 percent of our electricity....

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Center for Global Development has Announced a 'New Rich Energy Program'

(5) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 3:26 PM

I found out that the Center for Global Development has announced a "New Rich Energy Program." In fact, the full name of their program should be "The Center For Global Development Rich Energy Program."

Here is how I discovered it.

I just read a blog post by...

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The U.S. Practices Oil Tolerance

(1) Comments | Posted May 23, 2012 | 2:45 PM

I just read, "How Brazil is Making an Example of Chevron" in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Compared to the BP Oil spill in the Gulf, which spewed 50 million barrels of oil wreaking havoc on the environment, Chevron reacted quickly to an oil spill mitigating environmental damage. The spill...

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Get Oil, Gas and Coal Off Welfare

(12) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 1:44 PM

In the upcoming presidential election, we are embarking on the wrong energy conversation.

But, before I start, let me say that everyone including the 1 percent and 99 percent should be in favor of getting mature, highly profitable industries off of welfare.

Mitt Romney does not address subsidies for energy...

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Bill Gates Never Ran an Energy Company

(20) Comments | Posted April 12, 2012 | 3:16 PM

Last year, Bill Gates noted in an interview with Alan Murray of the Wall Street Journal that technologies like solar photovoltaics and LED lights were "cute" but could never deal with the bigger issue of climate change and powering the developing world.

And, this week, writer Marc Gunther...

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President Obama: "Final Assembly Required" Spurs Middle Class Jobs Faster Than "Made in America"

(4) Comments | Posted January 25, 2012 | 5:54 PM

On Tuesday, President Obama addressed the nation to lay out a blueprint for an American economy that's built to last.

The president promises to address the following:
• American manufacturing -- with more good jobs and more products stamped with Made in America.
• American energy -- fueled...

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Nation Energy Investments Sell Us Short

(8) Comments | Posted December 21, 2011 | 1:30 PM

On December 12th, Canada said it would become the first country to excuse itself from the Kyoto Protocol. What they really should have said is that Canada decided to double down on its investment in tar sands. According to the government of Alberta "Royalties from the oil sands...

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$39 Billion, Just the Tip of the $20 Trillion Oil Iceberg

(9) Comments | Posted November 30, 2011 | 2:16 PM

A Bloomberg story recently appeared entitled, "Biggest Find in Decades Becomes $39 Billion Cautionary Tale," by Nariman Gizitdinov.

The core of the article is that after 11 years, the biggest anticipated oil discovery, located on a man made island, Kashagan, 44 miles off the Kazakhstan coast, ever...

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Governor Rick Perry Please Lobby the Super Committee to End Permanent Energy Subsidies

(93) Comments | Posted October 29, 2011 | 2:13 PM

In August, environmentalists Friends of the Earth and Public Citizen partnered with climate deniers at the Heritage Foundation to produce the non-partisan Green Scissors report which outlines wasteful government subsidies totaling $380 billion over the next five years.

Separately, in August, the twelve members of the Congressional...

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(1) Comments | Posted October 6, 2011 | 11:13 AM

When Steve Jobs founded Apple, he began a relentless pursuit to improve the consumer experience.

The computer then was daunting to the consumer -- untouchable.

By making the consumer experience everything, he opened access to a new world.

From there, he opened access to unlimited entertainment and content right at...

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Iterate to Innovate

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2011 | 11:57 AM

Last week, Andrew Revkin of the New York Times posted an essay by Princeton professor Robert Socolow entitled "Wedges Reaffirmed." In it, Socolow declared, "humanity already possesses the fundamental scientific, technical and industrial know-how to solve the climate and carbon problem for the next half century."

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Step 1: Spending 100 Percent Of Our Efforts On Next Generation Technologies

(9) Comments | Posted September 27, 2011 | 9:07 AM

Whether you are for ending our dependence on oil, individual freedom from monopolies and the government, job creation, safe water supplies, commodity price stability, or human health protection the answer leads to the same set of innovations and business models. 

To achieve any of these goals, my friend Jeremy...

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What Obama and Global Governments Can Do to Promote Growth

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 4:12 PM

I recently read a fascinating book, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. In it, the authors take the view that if the duopoly government of Republicans and Democrats were to get out of the way,...

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Impact Investing Defined

(8) Comments | Posted August 30, 2011 | 5:47 PM

Socially responsible investments might be emotionally compelling investments, but do they necessarily have compelling financial returns?

The term "Impact Investing" has taken on many meanings in the past few years. I want to end the confusion and underscore that impact investing must by definition deliver impactful and compelling financial returns.

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The New CAFE Standards Are Good, But We'll Still Be Drinking Oil

(4) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 5:03 PM

While I commend the Obama administration and 13 automakers for boosting the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) of cars and light-duty trucks sold in the United States to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, it is only a baby step toward solving our real problem: oil addiction.

Although President Obama...

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