The Predident of Solaire Direct, Thierry Lepercq, is a rising star in solar, which is the first cleantech market going through a phase of consolidation. The Paris-headquartered company was one of only three French companies to make the Global Cleantech 100 in 2011. It all the more remarkable that France experienced a shake-down with the dramatic change in feed-in tarrifs last winter. I decided to end this year with a profile on him and Solaire Direct amidst questions in the industry about the future of solar.
"Until this year, solar market was driven by feed-in tarrifs and therefore local in nature." explains Thierry Lepercq who co-founded Solaire Direct in 2006 with six other key team members. We agreed to convene in the evening Paris-time for the interview but I catch him on the phone in India while I am in San Francisco. Sign of time, the solar market is changing and solar power executives are now competing globally.
The first thing comes through is Thierry's very crisp vision of the market: "The big change is that solar has become cost competitive and not only of interest to western countries, but also to emerging countries who have big power needs like India." The Indian Ministry of New and Renewable Energy received very competitive bids for the second phase of Jahwharlal Nehru National Solar Mission with a total of 350 MegaWatts (MW) allocated. Solaire Direct came out with the lowest levelized cost of electricity with 7.5 Rupees ($0.15) thanks to vertical integration and an all-equity financing approach.