While the world seems to have suddenly woken up to the remarkable potential of renewable energy in the last few years, some visionaries have been working in the field for decades, building the foundations. Amarenco CEO Alain Desvigne is one such leader.
With over 25 years of experience in core infrastructures – the systems that are essential for the development of renewable energy projects – he co-founded Amarenco with a vision to make solar energy the dominant form of energy worldwide.
“And I’m happy to see that now, it’s happening, 10 years later,” Desvigne says with a smile. “Every energy agency worldwide is confirming solar really is going to be the dominant form of energy.”
A French-German citizen, Desvigne began his professional journey with French energy giant ENGIE, working on water infrastructure in the Middle East and Commonwealth of Independent States countries. Later, he joined Samsung where he began to focus on energy infrastructure. In 2007, he ventured into renewable energy, laying the foundation for his future in the field.
Solar is the only form of energy that is multifunctional.
“I’ve always been very much motivated by the innovation part of businesses,” he explains.
Throughout his career, Desvigne has also been driven by a desire to use this innovation to find solutions to global challenges. This passion led him to establish Amarenco.
Today, Desvigne is pursuing his vision of sustainable and regenerative energy that has a sustainable impact on the environment. This is why Amarenco focuses solely on solar.
“Solar is the only form of energy that is multifunctional,” Desvigne explains. “When you look at wind or nuclear, it’s only about producing energy. But solar has this unique feature where it can be integrated in other infrastructures where the primary purpose is not to produce energy.”
Compared with other sources of renewable energy, solar is also cost-effective and has the lowest carbon footprint, he adds.
Connecting the dots
Connecting nature-based solutions and renewable energy production seemed obvious to Desvigne, who sees interconnectedness all around him. He attributes this skill to his long-term yoga practice.
“I’ve been doing yoga since I was 17,” he recalls. “And this has been there very much all my life as a tool to really keep balance and being able to really find the inner resources, the renewable inner resources, to do what I have to do every day.
“Yoga is very much about this. My work is meaningful because I’m able to connect the dots. Every day I wake up with the idea that I can become more and more aware, more and more conscious of the level of interconnection around me and within me, and help others to do the same.”
At Amarenco, this interconnection is developed through creating synergies and symbioses between and within other stakeholders, including strategic suppliers and contractors, who are essential partners as the company focuses on battery storage.
Ensuring consistency of energy supply is a key part of Amarenco’s vision for the future.
“We are moving from being a sustainable company to a regenerative company,” Desvigne explains. “It’s not about reducing negative impacts, which is sustainability, but it’s about how to create a positive impact.”
To do this, Amarenco aims to measure and demonstrate tangible positive outcomes, such as increasing soil organic content and biodiversity, increasing water retention in soil and reducing water evaporation. Desvigne emphasizes the importance of regenerating the environment while meeting the world’s energy needs.
“We believe that we need to regenerate the environment as we go, because that’s the impact that we have.”
It’s not just about being eco-friendly, it’s about business.
This commitment to regenerative practices is what sets Amarenco apart in the renewable energy industry. Despite this, Amarenco faces significant challenges in their mission.
“That challenge is definitely around convincing, finding the right business model, finding the right way to structure the investments to make it tangible,” Desvigne acknowledges.
The main hurdle lies in attracting clients who understand the ecological value and are willing to invest in regenerative energy. Additionally, accelerating the deployment of renewable energy, overcoming supply chain disruptions and establishing reliable banking relationships for project funding are critical areas of focus for Amarenco.
However, Desvigne is optimistic about the future. He believes that the shift towards renewable energy is not only essential for environmental preservation but also presents immense economic opportunities.
“Renewable energy is going to create a lot of jobs,” he concludes. “So it’s not just about being eco-friendly, it’s about business.”