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School alumnus’ solar energy company recognised at Energy Awards

14 February 2012

The article at a glance

Orb Energy, a solar sales and service company based in India and set up by Damian Miller, a PhD alumnus of Cambridge …

Damian Miller of Orb EnergyOrb Energy, a solar sales and service company based in India and set up by Damian Miller, a PhD alumnus of Cambridge Judge Business School, has been named as a recipient of the Zayed Future Energy Prize in Abu Dhabi for its engagement in promoting solar energy in developing countries.

Established in 2006, Orb Energy sells, installs and services solar systems across multiple states in India and has already become one of the country’s leading providers of solar energy solutions. The company was competing against over 400 applicants, and was announced as first runner-up in the Non-Governmental Organisations/Small to Medium Enterprises category – receiving a $1 million US dollar cash prize. The winner of the category was Carbon Disclosure Project of the UK, and the second runner up was Environmental Defence Fund of the US.

CEO Damian Miller is a leading expert on solar energy in emerging markets and completed his Cambridge PhD in 1998, which focused on sustainable technology. He has worked as Shell Solar’s Director of Rural Operations, establishing solar subsidiaries in India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Indonesia. He also implemented a large-scale solar project in China and managed joint ventures in Morocco and South Africa ad has overseen the connection of more than 125,000 solar homes. In 2009, he authored a book called Selling Solar: The Diffusion of Renewable Energy in Emerging Markets.

Commenting on his company’s success, Damian said:

I am very pleased that Orb Energy has been recognised as the first runner-up of this award and this is a validation of our efforts towards reducing India’s energy crisis through the use of sustainable solar powered technology, especially in rural areas.

This achievement is pivotal to the growth of Orb Energy and we plan to use the prize money to fund our plans of expanding our base to 200 branches over the next 18 months to help us better serve India’s growing energy requirements.”

The Zayed Future Energy Prize recognises and rewards innovation, leadership and long-term vision in renewable energy and sustainability. The annual prize of $4 million US dollars is divided into five categories – Large Corporations, Lifetime Achievement Award for Individuals, NGO/SME Winner, NGO/SME – First and Second Runner-Up, and Global High School Prize (to be awarded in 2013).

Finalists are nominated by experts across the globe, while the winners are chosen by a jury.