The Times of London has just published its first green global rich list, with many tycoons and executives from the wind industry making the top 100, including the USA’s Warren Buffett who tops the poll at number one, being worth a cool Euro 37bn. Here, PES presents your handy guide to the top 10 movers and shakers in the wind power industry.
The list shows the true degree of enthusiasm among the world’s wealthy for investments in areas like electric cars, solar power, geothermal and wind power. It was restricted to 100 businessmen and women or families whose accumulated wealth amounted to £200m or more and who had made either serious investments in green technology and businesses or a substantial financial commitment to environmental causes.
What the newspaper’s impressive list demonstrates definitively is the fact that many of the world’s richest and most powerful entrepreneurs are now embracing environmentalism in a fulsome, wholehearted manner, which could only have been dreamed of a decade ago. To put all this into some perspective, Warren Buffett (worth Euro 37bn) is now regularly swapping places with the rather more high-profile Bill Gates (worth Euro 30bn) at the top of Forbes magazine’s annual list of world billionaires.
Entrepreneur Jean Michel Germa who founded alternative energy company La Compagnie du Vent in 1989, is the top Frenchman in our list. His company built its first wind farm in 1991 and grew rapidly subsequently. In late 2007, its Spanish partner, Acciona, sold its share to the French company GDF Suez. Germa, who remains as head of the company, has just under half the shares in this, with a formidable stake valued at around £200m by the deal.