NextEnergy Capital strengthens its commitment to UK Solar Energy

London, February 23rd, 2011 – Jannie Retief appointment further strengthens NextEnergy Capital’s UK solar expertise

LONDON, February 23 2011:
NextEnergy Capital, the leading global solar asset manager, has underlined its long-term commitment to the development of the UK solar industry with the appointment of Jannie Retief as its Managing Director for UK Operations.

Retief, a veteran of the UK renewable energy industry, will lead the development of up to three industrial-scale solar PV installations of between 3 to 5MW each. NextEnergy Capital plans to have the installations connected to the grid by mid-summer 2011, with the aim of working towards the UK’s 2020 renewable targets. Jannie, who was formerly a Director at Renewable Energy Holdings, will also be responsible for progressing NEC’s pipeline of residential installations. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the British Energy Association.

Commenting on the appointment, Aldo Beolchini, CFO of NextEnergy Capital, said:
“We remain on track to complete the development of our most advanced solar projects, and expect to be able to start construction of the first of three plants shortly.”

Michael Bonte-Friedheim, Founder and Group CEO of NextEnergy Capital, said:
“NextEnergy Capital is in the UK for the long-term. We will progress a number of industrial-scale installations at brown field sites, we will continue our financial advisory work in the solar space and we will consider strategies for the support of residential installations. We are thrilled that Jannie has joined the team and will drive forward our commitment to the UK solar industry.”

Jannie Retief, Managing Director for UK Operations at NextEnergy Capital, said:
“There is vast potential for growth in the UK solar PV sector. This industry is capable of creating up to 100,000 new jobs and delivering affordable and secure low carbon energy. NextEnergy Capital will play a lead role in all forms of UK solar. But only large-scale industrial projects can bring the critical mass and investment needed for this sector to truly ‘grow up’. In more mature European markets – such as Italy and Germany – we are seeing residential installations carry the baton for future growth. But this would not have been possible without a solid foundation of industrial projects behind them. The UK must learn from its European neighbours – both in terms of what to do and what not to do. With the right measures in place, the UK can allow serious players and long-term investors to build an industry that is the envy of Europe.”

Confirming its role in the development of UK solar energy, NextEnergy Capital last week gathered more than 200 UK solar investors and developers for a series of discussions on how the nascent UK solar industry can learn from the lessons seen in other, more developed, European markets.