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AES Solar managing director George Goudsmit receives Lifetime Achievement Award at Solar and Storage Awards

By Jonathan Clark

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THE managing director of AES Solar has received a prestigious award for services to his industry.

George Goudsmit has been named as the winner of the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Solar and Storage Awards, which took place at the NEC in Birmingham.

George Goudsmit receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award in Birmingham.
George Goudsmit receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award in Birmingham.

The award recognises George for more than 30 years of dedication to the UK solar sector.

George, who took over AES Solar from founder Lyle Schadt in 1989, said: “I am so honoured to receive this award. It is humbling to have my commitment to the industry recognised in such a way.

"I would like to extend my gratitude to my fantastic team at AES Solar as well as our wonderful clients and partners.

"I always predicted great things for this industry. When I reflect on the past 30 plus years, there is so much to be proud of.

"The future of the UK solar and storage sector looks very bright to me. I look forward to everything else we accomplish in the years ahead and I will continue to make sure the energy revolution is a solar one.”

The judging panel selected George due to his commitment, passionate advocacy and infectious enthusiasm.

If this was not already enough, he also personally convinced the Queen to install solar energy in Balmoral!

Chris Hewett, Chief Executive of Solar Energy UK, said: “George is a true pioneer who has devoted much of his life to the promotion of solar energy.

"In many ways he, and his company AES Solar, embody the journey of the technology itself from niche product in 1990 to a cutting edge and fast growing industry in 2021.

"Who knows whether George will ever really retire, but it’s fitting for him to have this award on his shelf.”

At the time George took over AES Solar, it was primarily based at the Findhorn Foundation. He immediately predicted the huge growth for solar power at a time when solar thermal was the only readily available technology.

He moved the company to Forres where it operates to this day.

AES Solar in Forres. Picture: Daniel Forsyth
AES Solar in Forres. Picture: Daniel Forsyth

Over the past 30 years, George has held several pivotal roles in the UK solar industry. He was appointed a board member at Solar Trade Association (now Solar Energy UK) and remained in that role for 20 years.

He also played key roles in the founding of Scottish Solar Energy Group (SSEG), Scottish Renewables, Solar Cities Scotland and SEDA Solar – the solar branch of the Scottish Ecological Design Association.

Today, George continues to lead AES Solar in creating opportunities for solar energy in the UK and beyond. In 2019, the company celebrated their 40th year.

In recent years, the company has more than doubled, employing 12 people during the coronavirus pandemic alone.

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