A Moray-based managing director who is credited with persuading the Queen to install solar power in Balmoral Castle has received a lifetime achievement award.
George Goudsmit, of AES Solar, picked up the accolade at the Solar & Storage Awards held in Birmingham.
The major industry-led award recognises his 30 years plus of dedication to the UK solar energy sector.
The judging panel described Mr Goudsmit an early pioneer of the solar industry and said his infectious enthusiasm for the technology was also noted.
They added he personally convinced the Queen to install solar energy at Balmoral.
Experienced and well-known face
Mr Goudsmit took over AES Solar from founder Lyle Schnadt in 1989.
At the time it was primarily based in the Findhorn Foundation – an ecovillage in Moray before he moved it into the neighbouring town of Forres.
Over the past 30 years, Mr Goudsmit has held several roles in the UK solar industry.
He was appointed a board member of the formerly known Solar Trade Association, now Solar Energy UK, and remained on the board 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.
‘A true pioneer’ and devoted
Chris Hewett, Solar Energy UK chief executive, 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.”
AES Solar continues to grow
AES Solar, which celebrated its 40th year in 2019, has more than doubled in size, employing 12 people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Goudsmit said: “I am so honoured to receive this lifetime achievement award.
“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.”