Jeremy Leggett, solar campaigner and founding director of Solarcentury, has appealed to the solar industry to do more to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Leggett has penned an open letter to the solar industry in an exclusive blog post PV Tech, which warns that that “we [the solar industry] are virtually invisible in the political and social aspects of the revolution”. He was also a keynote speaker at the first session this morning of Solar Energy Finance & Investment, a two-day event in London hosted by PV Tech's publisher, Solar Media.

Leggett urged the solar industry to become the vanguard of renewables, tackling the incumbent carbon-intensive energy players head on.

Leggett said that the renewables industry is in a “carbon war” with energy “incumbents”. He theorised: “We [the solar industry] will win this war, most likely. But we could win it faster if we fought in the political and social arenas better than we do: combatting the legions of fossil-fuel lobbyists and reaching out to win hearts and minds much better than we do.

“And here is the critical thing. To accelerate the winning of the carbon war is to increase the chances of civilisation surviving the existential threat that is climate change.”

Leggett believed that the various solar trade bodies are doing an admirable job despite having “one hand tied behind their backs” but is urging “pure-play solar companies” to become more involved in social and political lobbying.

Leggett concluded: “We could and should be doing so much more. What do I have in mind? Strategies and tactics, executed with integrity within the law, but not to be spelt out in public in a way that helps malign fossil-fuel interests work up a plan for combatting them. These ideas are for correspondence with individual solar industry leaders. I am open for business.”

Solar Media will be streaming sessions from Solar Energy Finance & Investment live on the internet on 10 and 11 March. To sign up to view the conference, click here.