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Energy guru sees second coming for solar energy

Parke is not a fan of solar energy or wind power because “there’s not a reasonable economic pay back”, but he notes there are other renewable energy sources that are exciting in terms of their potential. “The second wave of renewable energy sources that will come in the next three to five years is going to make a lot of sense,” he says.

“I think you’ll see a second wave of solar energy that will be more economical. I think you’ll see a higher use of systems like heat pumps, which is technology that’s not used a lot in the UK. The space is so huge, which is why you’re seeing such a plethora of companies in this space.”

Parke launched energy advisory firm Evolve Energy after returning to the UK in 2004 following a stint in Canada where he worked with a similar business model. The company was launched in Oxfordshire in October 2006 and is now turning over nearly £30m. Parke adds: “We have 175 people but we expect to grow to 200 by year-end.”

Evolve has been involved in several mergers and acquisitions, most recently combining with Envision Energy in July 2007, but Parke says the focus for now is on organic growth. He says: “We see a big opportunity in Europe and we have a couple of people based in France who are leading our sales effort there.

“Longer term, I can see us combining with a skills set that allow you to engage in carbon emissions trading and offsetting and maybe involving some renewable energy systems, too."

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