Jigar Shah

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Jigar Shah
Jigar Hasmukh Shah

(1974-08-30) August 30, 1974 (age 48)
Modasa, India
Alma materUniversity of Illinois
OccupationClean energy entrepreneur
Known forDirector, Loan Programs Office of the US Department of Energy, Founder, SunEdison
CEO, Carbon War Room
President, Generate Capital
SpouseKhushali Shah
ChildrenDhilan Shah (2015)

Jigar Shah (born August 30, 1974) is the director of the Loan Programs Office of the US Department of Energy.[1] Shah gained prominence as an American clean energy entrepreneur, author, and podcast host. Shah is known for work to create and advocate for market-driven solutions to climate change. He authored a book, "Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy" published in 2013.[2]

Shah maintains that Climate Wealth is created when mainstream investors team up with entrepreneurs, corporations, mainstream capital, and governments at scale to solve the big problems of our time while generating compelling financial returns – not concessionary returns.[3]

Current business initiatives[edit]

Shah is the co-founder and President of Generate Capital.[4] Shah was the founder and CEO of SunEdison (NASDAQ: SUNE), where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating the largest solar services company worldwide. Shah is author of Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy, 2013 Icosa Publishing. The book talks about the prominent role of business model innovation, more than new technology, in attracting mainstream capital and unlocking transformational change. In the book, the author pictures reaching our 2020 climate change goals as means to create the next economy with the equivalent of 100,000 companies worldwide, each generating $100 million in sales. Shah argues that, while new technical innovation is valuable, deployment of existing technologies are the key to reaching our near-term climate targets.

Shah serves as a board member of the Carbon War Room, a global organization he previously served as CEO.[5]

Shah has also become an outspoken advocate to end all energy subsidies, including those for renewable energy, to "create a level playing field."[6] He has donated repeatedly to the Climate Hawks Vote Political Action Super PAC since 2016 per FEC records.[7]

The Energy Gang[edit]

Shah was a founding co-host of The Energy Gang,[8] a podcast dedicated to exploring the technological, political and market forces driving energy and environmental issues. On a 2017 episode,[9] Shah introduced the Jigar Shah Rule - "Countries should not have stupid policy". As noted by co-host Stephen Lacey, the new ruling is pulled directly from the Jigar Shah Playbook, which suggests you must have competitive options such as volumetric reductions and feed-in tariffs, and the way these were designed seven to eight years ago do not work.

Past business initiatives[edit]

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 United that works to harness the power of entrepreneurship to deploy solution technologies at scale.

Prior to his tenure as Carbon War Room CEO, Shah founded SunEdison in 2003. The company 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. Shah sold SunEdison in 2008 and declined to serve on the Board of Directors. SunEdison filed for bankruptcy in 2016 and emerged as a much smaller company in 2018.[10] Shah has said that SunEdison was "destroyed by mercenaries".[11]

Shah previously worked in strategy for BP Solar and as a contractor for the Department of Energy on alternative vehicles and fuel cell programs.[12]

Early life[edit]

Born in India, Shah moved to the United States with his family when he was one year old. Shah moved to Sterling, Illinois when he was eight years old.[13]


Shah has attended public school from elementary school through his Masters. Shah holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana,[14] and an MBA from the University of Maryland.[15][16]


  1. ^ "Jigar Shah, Department of Energy". Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  2. ^ Jigar., Shah (2013). Creating climate wealth : unlocking the impact economy. Denver, Colo.: ICOSA Pub. ISBN 9780989353106. OCLC 862233261.
  3. ^ "Fast Company: Jigar Shah". Fast Company. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  4. ^ "Meet Generate Capital, a new way to fund energy projects". December 4, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "Solar Guru Jigar Shah on his new book: 'Creating Climate Wealth'". Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  6. ^ "Jigar Shah argues for an end to fossil fuel subsidies -- and a phase-out of clean energy subsidies'". February 28, 2014. Retrieved March 1, 2014.
  7. ^ "Browse Individual contributions". FEC.gov. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Energy Gang | Weekly Business Podcast on Energy, Cleantech and the Environment".
  9. ^ "Week 7: Trump Dumps the Environment". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  10. ^ Pyper, Julia (January 2, 2018). "SunEdison Emerges From Bankruptcy a Shadow of Its Former Self". www.greentechmedia.com. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  11. ^ BALACHANDAR, M. Ramesh & G. "Why SunEdison's founder feels it was 'destroyed by mercenaries'". @businessline. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  12. ^ "Jigar Shah Bio". Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Jigar Shah, taking on a Gigaton of Change". BIF6. Archived from the original on August 31, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  14. ^ "Renewable energy leader reflects on time at Illinois". University of Illinois. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  15. ^ "SunEdison founder Jigar Shah joins Empower Energies board". PV-Tech. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  16. ^ "Welcome the World Changers". University of Maryland. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.

External links[edit]