Explaining Solarcentury’s move this week, and a presentation on solar civilisation and the emerging threats to democracy

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Photo: Solarcentury CEO Frans van den Heuvel

Solarcentury entered a long-term strategic partnership with Germany’s number one solar park builder, Capital Stage, this week. Together we intend to capitalise and execute 1.1 GW of a 2.5 GW Solarcentury project pipeline, in 5 countries, an undertaking requiring capital of £0.8 billion to £1 billion over the next 2-3 years, of which the first tranche of some hundreds of millions is done. We have a roadmap in mind well beyond this 1.1 GW.

Solarcentury’s Dutch CEO Frans van den Heuvel was architect of this Anglo-German deal. He and his exec team, not least CFO Neil Perry, have been working hard on it for months now. It is a transformative move that leaves Solarcentury, as an international Independent Power Producer, well positioned to make a big difference in the world using solar, and indeed other clean energy technologies beyond the original imaginings of the founder.

I am deeply grateful to the existing team, the alumni from past teams, investors current and past, and indeed all stakeholders of all kinds who have helped make this step change possible for us. What particularly thrills me is that the company now has space to build on our track record in innovation, including with the kinds of product mixes and strategies that are leading the way as digitalisation sweeps across energy markets. Building on this new partnership, and others not least with IKEA on solar and storage, we can now do a lot of good in the world. For those with the appetite for a bit more detail, Frans does a great job of explaining further in an interview for Business Green.

On the wider context, on 22nd November I will be giving my first public presentation on the interface between the fast emerging solar civilisation and the equally if not faster emerging threat to liberal democracy. I will be considering how solarisation, in its broadest sense, can contribute to the dismantling of that threat and in the process help to build a much-needed new global common security regime. The talk is in London, and do please consider coming if you are in the city. There will be plenty of time for discussion in the hall, and in a nearby hostelry afterwards. For those not in London, the presentation will be up on the website the next day, and as ever I’ll be on e-mail for any questions.

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Appropriate civilization includes environmental balance, sustainable capitalism, empathic societies, racial and religious harmony, poverty alleviation at home and abroad, common security, and use of tech for social good.

New despotism includes environmental sabotage, reckless capitalism, isolationist nationalism, incitement to racial and religious hatred, retreat from aid, war mongering, and the use of tech for social harm.

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