Green.org sat down with Mike Lambros, CEO of Proteus Power, to learn about how his background led him to a crossroad where sustainability meets finance.
Who is Mike Lambros?
Mike is a finance professional with private equity fund management and investment banking experience that has been focused on renewable energy project development, finance, and advisory since 2009, when he co-founded SDL Solar and then went on to found Emel Solar. Mike has extensive experience structuring, financing and operating large-scale solar and energy storage project portfolios after leading successful solar project and battery storage developments in the United Kingdom, the United States, Greece, Bulgaria, and several emerging markets.
Prior to co-founding SDL Solar, Mike was a Vice President at Ramius Capital Group, a hedge fund based in New York City, where he managed real estate private equity funds and mezzanine debt funds in excess of $1.7 billion. Before this, Mike was an investment banking analyst at Wachovia Securities with over $1.1 billion of commercial real estate transactional experience.
Mike graduated from the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce in 2002 with a degree in Finance and International Business.
Mike, thanks for being here. Let’s get to know you a little bit better in your own words. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am a renewable energy project development and finance professional with over 14 years of experience in the industry working across several key markets throughout the world. My background is in finance and originally began my career in real estate investment banking and private equity in New York up untill the sub-prime crisis of 2008, at which point I decided to switch my focus to renewable energy and form a solar project development company in Greece. Since then, I have developed renewable energy projects in Greece, Bulgaria, Italy, the United Kingdom, Spain, Canada and the United States.
What is a fun fact about you?
I am a dual citizen of the United States and Greece and have split my time between the two countries. I have lived in London the last 8 years and my favourite hobbies are playing basketball and fishing.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
Climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today due to the visible and discernable damage humans have made to the environment and our climate. It is clear that the way we power our world needs to rapidly change in order to minimize our impact on the planet and prevent catasrophic and irreversable damage to our environment so that our children, grandchildren and generations to come can experience the natural world as we have.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
I envision the shift to renewable energy to accelerate with the advancement of existing solar and wind technologies and the adoption of new technologies such as battery storage, carbon capture and green hydrogen production. Renewables will constitute a much larger percentage of our energy generation and power grids around the world will be fitted with large batteries. I believe solar and wind projects in the very near future will only be developed together with battery storage and no longer on a standalone basis.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
The average person can make a difference by signing up with electrical utilities that only use renewable energy power generation, by driving electric cars, by modifying their diets and eating less meat, by recycling, and most importantly, by supporting politicians who are cmmitted to the sustainability of our planet.