On November 8, 2007, Columbia Business School's Energy Club welcomed Peter Duprey, CEO of
Acciona Energy North America, to discuss the company's guiding philosophy and business
strategy in the renewable-energy industry. Acciona, a Spanish conglomerate principally operating
in the energy and infrastructure sectors, is one of the world's foremost producers of renewable
energy. The group reported net profits of 1.4 billion euros in 2006 on revenues of 6.3 billion euros. Ernst &
Young named Acciona, whose slogan is "Pioneers in development and sustainability," 2007
Corporate Developer of the Year for its contribution to large-scale renewables projects. Several
dozen students attended Mr. Duprey's presentation.
Peter Duprey first described how he began his career in renewable energy at General Electric at the time that GE bought Enron's wind-energy division. He previously served in GE's corporate finance division and at a dot-com start-up as chief financial officer in the 1990s. Mr. Duprey sees many parallels between those Internet boom years and current international interest in renewable energy, except that, by definition, renewables are sustainable and won't become a mere investment fad. Acciona, Mr. Duprey said, acts like a venture capital firm, exploring new technologies that have similarly high levels of risk and potential reward. Deciding which technologies deserve the firm's investment is a delicate matter.
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""Acciona and the Global Renewable-Energy Sector": A Presentation by Peter Duprey"