Phil Davis Managing Director
A Chartered Mechanical Engineer with a BEng degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business Management and an MSc (with distinction) in Renewable Energy Systems Technology, Phil is a recognised UK expert in all things renewable, with a deep understanding of the technologies, the fundamental principles and manufacturers behind the products.
He’s managed Renewables First since its inception in 2009 and under his stewardship it has grown to be to become one of the UK’s leading hydropower companies and a leading player in the medium – large wind market. When not running Renewables First Phil can be found at various race tracks around the UK driving his classic Formula Ford racing cars which he maintains himself.
“I’m passionate about renewables because of my concerns about climate change. Although not anti-fossil-fuels, I believe we need to shift away from CO2-producing fuels as quickly as possible to prevent long-term damage to our climate. With careful planning and a stable policy framework (sadly lacking amongst the current generation of politicians) the UK could generate all of its energy from home-grown resources, which would be both good for the environment, make us energy independent and create thousands of premium jobs and export opportunities.”
Matthew Fletcher Senior Project Engineer
A Chartered Civil Engineer who joined Renewables First at the start of 2011 with a great deal of experience of environmental infrastructure engineering mainly for water industry. These skills were also used in disaster relief projects for six years all over the world where it was important to deliver practical solutions fast in complex environments. Matthew works on hydro power projects from feasibility to commissioning, with particularly attention to deliverable outputs of design and construction.
At home Matthew lives with his wife and three children who commission equally important projects like making tree houses.
“Whilst working in DR Congo I stayed in one village where a hydropower station at the old Lutheran mission still powered most key community services long after the missionaries were killed. It had kept turning for decades with hardly any maintenance to great value for the mission hospital as well as other services and local businesses. There was no obvious adverse impact, no belching smoke, wasted resource or blighted environment and no inexorably rising fuel bill. It is the sort of legacy that I want my engineering work to produce and more broadly speaking what our society and our governments should endeavour to achieve. A well designed renewable energy scheme returns on investment for generations to come. Compare that to the legacy of some of our other energy systems! Hydropower turbines generate ¾ of the world’s electricity and some of the earliest and longest running turbines are in the UK built with British expertise. Investing in renewable energy now not only secures an affordable energy future, but regenerates a sustainable industry sector.”
Arun Cappi Wind Team Leader
Arun has a BEng degree in Civil Engineering and an MSc ( with distinction ) in Environmental Analytical Chemistry and is currently studying for an MSc in Renewable Energy Systems Technologies in is spare time at Loughborough University. He has experience working initially as a civil / environmental engineer before moving into project engineering and project management in the Oil and Gas industry in a split role with IT systems management after which Arun moved to Group IT management for the same large multinational company. After seeing the light on energy policy and climate change he decided to refocus on renewable energy engineering and business development using his combined engineering, management and technical skill sets in a multi-disciplinary role. Arun leads the wind team, works on projects at the feasibility, design and construction phases while developing wind team operations. Arun also uses his extensive IT Management skills in developing and managing Renewables First’s Information Technology systems and development of a number of operational and business processes.
A keen horticulturist, chicken keeper and bread baker, Arun grows most of his own fruit and vegetables, and works with local communities and politicians lobbying and raising awareness for the urgent need for significant action on climate change.
“Fossil fuels have usefully driven economies in the past. The overwhelming scientific consensus on the anthropogenic causes of climate change, with every global licensed scientific institution agreeing on the urgent need to decarbonize the energy system, means significant actyion is required – especially to decarbonise the energy sector. Just as the stone age didn’t die out because of the lack of stones – the fossil fuel age must come to an end and the energy system transitioned to 21st century renewables if we are to sustain our future.”
Chris Jones Financial Controller
Following completion of his A-Levels, Chris went straight into the world of accountancy and is now qualified as a Certified Accountant (ACCA) and also a Member of the Association of Accounting Technicians (MAAT). He joined Renewables First in early 2015 taking on the Financial Controller role but prior to this, Chris spent the previous 7 years working within a local public practice accountancy firm.
In his spare time, Chris has a passion for music and is a member of a local Brass Band where he plays Principal B♭ Cornet and is currently the Band Manager. In addition to music, Chris enjoys a wide-range of sport, particularly Formula 1, football and cricket.
“The renewable energy sector is key to the long-term sustainability of the planet for future generations and so to be involved in a business providing new and innovative renewable energy solutions is something very exciting and rewarding to be a part of.”
Matthew Lomax Wind and Hydro Consenting Specialist
BSc (Hons) Business Management and MSc (with distinction) in Environmental Management, Matt has a broad background in sustainability covering Environmental Management Systems, Energy and Carbon Management. His focus for the past 3 years has been on managing planning applications for sub 5MW renewables particularly wind and hydro all over the UK. Matt also manages the licencing process with the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and SEPA.
At Renewables First he has a very high success rate of approved applications due to a detailed and pragmatic approach to the planning process by developing relationships with planners and stakeholders alike.
“I am passionate about renewables because we have one planet and it is the only logical option! Resources are finite and it is common sense to harness the natural energy that is all around us. Local generation meeting local demand whilst exploiting opportunities to inter connect with others, at a regional, national and international level to even out the peaks and troughs. It is very rewarding to be part of the solution.”
Will Houghton Renewable Energy Engineer
Will graduated in 2012 with a 1st class MSci Physics degree with specialisations in environmental physics and geophysical fluid dynamics, providing a good understanding of the technical aspects of renewable energy. Through volunteering at university and subsequent canal restoration with the Cotswold Canals Trust, he gained valuable organisation and practical skills, essential in wind and hydro projects.
His responsibilities include feasibility studies, project finance analysis, geomorphology assessments, EA and planning applications, CAD design and construction phase management. His role often involves bringing together a wide range of stakeholders from landowners and community groups to contractors and technical specialists. He co-ordinated all aspects of a 500kW wind turbine installation in 2014 and is currently managing several sub-100kW hydro projects.
Outside of work, Will enjoys going to music and spoken word events, and is also learning how to complete bat surveys with the Avon Bat Group!
“It’s great to be part of the renewable energy industry, because it’s growing and evolving all the time, with lots of innovation both in technical areas and in terms of how renewable energy projects are financed and operated. I particularly like how wind and hydro power make such a positive use of wind and rain – the perfect antidote to our wet and windy British weather.”
Adrian Ezard Contractor – Project Engineer
Adrian joined us in 2010 to manage the day to day operations of the business. After 26 years in IT working predominantly on mainframe systems Adrian decided to switch from a virtual to a physical environment. His experience with IT systems helps with the business and a personal interest in practical engineering lead him to Renewables First. He uses his technical skills to see the practical results as projects get built. After leaving Renewables First in 2016 he returned to work as one of our key project engineering contractors. Adrian works predominantly on hydro projects, typically on the site surveys, feasibility and consenting stages and helping on installations, where something different often crops up – especially if it involves getting wet.
When not in the office he is sailing, diving, swimming, wreck hunting, travelling, building a 35ft trimaran, running a 50 year old Land Rover – all keeps him fairly busy !
“My interest in hydropower and renewables was sparked off after visiting a theatre restaurant in Sonning powered by a turbine in the Thames. Not much more than 100 years ago the country was reliant on hydro power – why don’t we use it now ? Wind, water and sun are all free limitless resources – burning fossil fuels for energy makes no logical sense – we seemed to have gone backwards. Instead of using technology to harness free power we use it to waste finite resources. We rely on oil for everything in our lives – try living without plastic ? It may not matter to the people in power but we’re killing the planet.”
Chris Elliott Contractor – Senior Hydro Engineer
Chris is a chartered mechanical engineer and has a decade of experience in the UK micro hydro industry. He has extensive experience of low head Screw turbines, as well as conventional higher head machines, and has designed and installed well over 1MW of small and micro scale plants. Chris has been closely involved with the British Hydropower Association and represented the industry in various stakeholder groups, as well as speaking at public events. Chris is one of our key senior hydropower contractors.
When not designing scheme for clients, Chris operates 300kW of sites in the South West of England. Being based in the heart of Dartmoor, he likes to get out in the landscape with his family as often as possible.
“Hydro is a really sustainable energy source – we work on sites which have reliably supplied power for over a millennium – and we a simply another generation harnessing that power sensitively. Power generated by renewable sources has the benefit of having a quantifiable and controllable environmental impact, and investment in these technologies provides high quality employment throughout development and operation, which therefore is economically beneficial for the country.”
Are you considering a low carbon renewable energy project?
Renewables First have considerable experience and full project capability, from initial feasibility studies through to system design and installation for wind and hydro power systems.