Jigar Shah

2 minute read
By Richard Branson

Relentlessly optimistic, pioneering, and passionate, Jigar Shah has dedicated his life to unlocking the entrepreneurial opportunity that lies in a clean-energy transition. And as director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office, he is demonstrating how this truly is one of the greatest opportunities of our time.

Overseeing more than $200 billion in government loans to bring energy innovation to the market, Jigar leads one of the largest economic-development programs the world has ever seen. His work may well usher in an unprecedented era of green and clean prosperity, and of course new jobs.

With drive and vision, he started his career with the launch of SunEdison in 2003, which brought previously unseen investment to the solar market. Other successful ventures, like Generate Capital, soon followed.

When Virgin Unite, our foundation, joined a group of like-minded entrepreneurs to set up the Carbon War Room in 2009, Jigar became the first CEO of this new and exciting initiative to leverage market-based models for climate action. His legacy lives on as the Carbon War Room merged with energy nonprofit RMI to become an unstoppable force. 

There is no doubt that when future generations write the history of the world’s clean-energy revolution, Jigar Shah will be hailed as one of its key architects.

Branson is the founder of the Virgin Group

Order your copy of the 2024 TIME100 issue here

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com