Opinion

Talking point

Zenex Solar’s managing director Liz macFarlane
Zenex Solar’s managing director Liz macFarlane

Liz MacFarlane, Zenex Solar, reveals how working within the industry has changed her perception of renewable energy

Like many of you, I took a leap of faith to move into this industry. Leaving a successful career in pharmaceuticals, my motivation at the time wasn’t anything to do with the environment.  

Early on I presented alongside Andrej Miller (DECC) and environmentalist Huw Goulbourne. Andrej and I spoke about the opportunities of FITs and RHI while Huw concentrated on carbon. My final words were that whatever the initial motivation for renewables, the end result is the same and that those who make the move will inevitably become more environmentally aware in other areas of their life. It was happening to me. 

At work we installed a 50ft green wall, bought a hybrid car, fitted air source heating and a PV array. At home we recycle everything, installed a solar system, turned down the heating, sold the gas-guzzling V8 and my son plans to study engineering so that he can impact on a sustainable infrastructure. My career move had a much bigger impact than I could’ve imagined. 

So, the lesson of the month and certainly for me of late, is never judge a book by its cover. Even the first chapter can be misleading. 

I get the same kind of buzz when I drive past the college where a customer installed a JA Solar system as I did in pharmaceuticals when a doctor told me they’d had the first Viagra baby (yes, I won awards for my Viagra sales!).

We’re busy preparing for the Energy Efficiency Exhibitions during which I’ll be touring the country with Zenex. Don’t expect any Viagra samples but come along and see us never-the-less. This year’s events boast attractions such as ‘Hands-on Heat Pumps’ and showcases some of the industry’s best. For FREE registration at any one of the six nationwide venues, go to www.EnergyEfficiencyExhibitions.co.uk