Solarcentury donates >$0.5 million to SolarAid from 2018-19 profits: an appeal to other companies to join us

Picture: Solarcentury CEO Frans van den Heuvel presents SolarAid representatives with a cake with which to celebrate the donation at the company’s recent quarterly review

Today Solarcentury announced its 2018-19 financial performance, and hence donation to SolarAid: 5% of net profits amounting to £528,527. With this cash infusion, the charity we created in 2006 will be able to light up very many lives in Africa, to add to the 10 million we have already transformed with access to solar lighting.

As Europe suffers nearly-intolerable heat today, and with evidence for climate chaos clear on every continent and in every ocean now, it becomes ever clearer that civilisation faces an existential threat from global heating. Accordingly, I want to appeal to every company to join Solarcentury in what we see as an essential survival reflex in the corporate world. Nobody will miss 5% of their profits. Indeed, please trust me when I say we have private HR evidence that shows that the net financial benefit to the company, in team motivation, loyalty and performance, exceeds the 5%.

I want to appeal to every corporate leader, investor, board director, and indeed team member to copy our project, either by donating to SolarAid, or some other charity dedicated to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development goals. As the anguished striking schoolchildren and protesting citizens of Extinction Rebellion are telling us, loud and clear, there will be little business worth doing in a civilisation in meltdown. Lets make those poverty-alleviation and climate fightback goals happen!

For those interested in more details of Solarcentury’s financial performance:

  • Revenues increased by 59% to £100.2m (2018: £62.9m)
  • EBITDA grew by 860% to £14.4m (2018: £1.5m)
  • EBITDA margin increased from 2.4% to 14.4%
  • No debt and cash on balance sheet of £19.6m at period end
– Solarcentury’s utility-scale business grew in terms of both operational and advanced stage pipeline projects, including:
  • 300MW Talayuela solar project in Spain (Cáceres) – deal closed with German solar and wind park operator Encavis AG in October 2018 (co-investment)
  • 44MW Budel solar farm in the Netherlands – built in partnership with Encavis AG (co-investment), commissioned in November 2018
  • 200MW Cabrera solar farms in Alcalá de Guadaira (near Sevilla) – sale of majority stake in March 2019
  • One of Africa’s largest airport solar PV plant (500KW) at Moi International Airport, Mombasa
  • Two solar mini-grid systems for villages with 40K citizens in Eritrea, Africa, with a combined capacity of 2.25MW and battery storage of 4MWh – in partnership with Tesla
  • Frenchmarket major auction wins in March 2019
– The Group’s residential business saw continued growth of its IKEA partnership, including the launch in Germany in January 2019

The outlook:

– Continued growth in development pipeline to 5GW:
  • Five projects with combined capacity of 750MW expected to be ‘Ready to Build’ in the new financial year to March 2020
– Strong momentum since period end:
  • Expansion into Italy announced in May 2019
  • Completion of Unilever’s first African system at Kericho tea plantation in Kenya
  • Renewed focus on UK subsidy-free solar development

– Profits expected to double in the new financial year

Commenting on the results, Frans van den Heuvel, Chief Executive of Solarcentury, said:
“I am delighted with the excellent results we have delivered over the past 12 months, which marks further progress in our international growth strategy launched four years ago. Through our focus on global expansion across Europe, Latin America and Africa, we are increasing the accessibility and production of solar power at all scales from homes and commercial and industrial rooftops to solar farms, in our mission to make a meaningful difference in the fight against climate chaos and bring positive power to all.
“We now develop, build, operate and own some of Europe’s largest solar farms, have become the market-leading provider of solar systems to corporates in Africa and have a large and growing global development pipeline, which currently stands at 5GW. With continued strong trading momentum, we are on track to double our profits in the current financial year and look to the future with great confidence.
“There are huge opportunities for Governments around the world to create a cheaper, cleaner energy supply, while also unlocking a raft of new jobs. With the UK Government recently committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, now is the time to put solar on a level playing field with other energy generation technologies. The world must now stop subsidising fossil fuels and set itself on an urgent net zero pathway, essential not just for the environment but for the survival of the economy and society as a whole.
“Solar is proven and ready to be deployed at speed and significant scale, while also now being one of the cheapest and most economical sources of energy in the majority of markets worldwide. A wealth of scientific research has already shown us that action must be taken urgently to combat climate chaos, and these compelling economics underline how solar can play a key part in the global energy transition.”

2 comments

  1. Brilliant performance! Have you considered “hanging panels” from high tension wires to cover lakes, dams, agriculture or even villages and towns where the sun is so strong?

  2. Very good news that Solar Century is growing at such a pace, particularly in Africa where there is such a strong need and no shortage of sunlight! I can never understand why somebody does not start a campaign to cover all large car parks everywhere (at airports, stations, supermarkets, factories etc) with solar panels. The cars would benefit and the appearance of the car park might even be improved. This would be far better than covering agricultural land with panels.

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