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Jigar Shah

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Jigar Shah
Jigar Hasmukh Shah

(1974-08-30) August 30, 1974 (age 49)
Modasa, India
EducationUniversity of Illinois (BS)
University of Maryland (MBA)
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 in the US Department of Energy.[1] Since the passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act through Congress in 2022, the funds to the Loan Programs Office increased tenfold from $40 billion to $400 billion in order to commercialize emerging clean energy technologies.[2] Shah leads the office in churning out million and billion dollar loans to clean energy technologies majorly advancing the Biden Administration’s efforts to bring clean energy into the United States.[3]

Prior to the Loan Programs Office, 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 the book Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy, published in 2013.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6]

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,[7] and an MBA from the University of Maryland.[8][9]

Business initiatives[edit]

Shah is the co-founder and President of Generate Capital.[10] Shah founded SunEdison in 2003, where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating what was largest solar services company worldwide. 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.

Shah is author of Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. 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.

He co-founded Carbon War Room with Richard Branson and Virgin United, an organization that worked to harness the power of entrepreneurship to deploy solution technologies at scale. He served as CEO from 2009 to 2012.[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]

Shah has also called to end all energy subsidies, including those for renewable energy, to "create a level playing field."[13] He has donated repeatedly to the Climate Hawks Vote Political Action Super PAC since 2016 per FEC records.[14]

The Energy Gang[edit]

Shah was a founding co-host of The Energy Gang,[15] a podcast dedicated to exploring the technological, political and market forces driving energy and environmental issues. On a 2017 episode,[16] 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.

Loan Programs Office[edit]

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm appointed Shah to direct the United States Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office (LPO) in March 2021.[17][18][19] The office initially provided $40 billion in loan authority to early-stage energy companies and climate technologies.[20][21][22][23]

Under Shah, the LPO has more than tripled its staff and has reviewed more than 100 applications from climate tech companies seeking loans totaling more than $100 billion.[24]

With the passing of both bills (IRA and BIL) from Congress under the Biden Administration, Shah now manages $400 billion of loan authority to commercialize and bring emerging technologies to market, create more clean energy jobs, and boost local economies. The most recent conditional commitment announced from the Loan Programs Office was to “finance the development of a solar-plus long-duration energy storage micro grid on the Tribal lands of Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians near Alpine, California.”[25] This loan provides funding specifically for Tribes to plan for and adapt to climate change.[26]


  1. ^ "Jigar Shah, Department of Energy". Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  2. ^ Plumer, Brad; Friedman, Lisa (May 11, 2023). "A Swaggering Clean Energy Pioneer, with $400 Billion to Hand Out". The New York Times. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  3. ^ "Loan Programs Office, Department of Energy". Retrieved October 18, 2023.
  4. ^ Jigar., Shah (2013). Creating climate wealth : unlocking the impact economy. Denver, Colo.: ICOSA Pub. ISBN 9780989353106. OCLC 862233261.
  5. ^ "Fast Company: Jigar Shah". Fast Company. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  6. ^ "Jigar Shah, taking on a Gigaton of Change". BIF6. Archived from the original on August 31, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  7. ^ "Renewable energy leader reflects on time at Illinois". University of Illinois. Archived from the original on August 7, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  8. ^ "SunEdison founder Jigar Shah joins Empower Energies board". PV-Tech. May 31, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  9. ^ "Welcome the World Changers". University of Maryland. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  10. ^ "Meet Generate Capital, a new way to fund energy projects". December 4, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "Solar Guru Jigar Shah on his new book: 'Creating Climate Wealth'". Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "Jigar Shah Bio". HuffPost. Retrieved October 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ "Browse Individual contributions". FEC.gov. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  15. ^ "The Energy Gang | Weekly Business Podcast on Energy, Cleantech and the Environment". September 14, 2021.
  16. ^ "Week 7: Trump Dumps the Environment". Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  17. ^ Iaconangelo, David (March 4, 2021). "Solar pioneer to head DOE loan office". E&E News. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  18. ^ "DOE Announces New Senior Leaders". Energy.gov. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  19. ^ McMahon, Jeff. "Granholm Wakes Up DOE's Loan Programs Office, Appoints Jigar Shah". Forbes. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  20. ^ "Meet Jigar Shah, who runs the DOE office that helped Tesla get its start". Emerging Tech Brew. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  21. ^ "The Interchange: Jigar Shah Has $40 Billion. What Will He Do With It? on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  22. ^ "Jigar Shah has a new strategy to boost climatetech through DOE loans". Canary Media. November 15, 2021. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  23. ^ Kahn, Debra (November 23, 2022). "The DOE loan officer in high demand". POLITICO. Retrieved January 4, 2023.
  24. ^ Milman, Oliver (February 3, 2023). "The man in charge of how the US spends $400bn to shift away from fossil fuels". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved April 14, 2023.
  25. ^ "Viejas Microgrid Conditional Commitment". Retrieved March 13, 2024.
  26. ^ "Viejas Microgrid Conditional Commitment". Retrieved March 13, 2024.

External links[edit]