50 Influential Jews: Ofer Yannay - No. 40

As head of Nofar Energy, Ofer Yannay is transforming the renewable energy sector into a force for peace and prosperity – and he's also making waves in sports and philanthropy.

 Nofar Energy CEO Ofer Yannay. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Nofar Energy CEO Ofer Yannay.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Ofer Yannay, the founder and chairman of Nofar Energy, is driven by boundless optimism and determination. He has propelled Nofar Energy into a global leader in renewable energy investments, a story he recounts in his book, Something New Under the Sun.

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Born in 1975, Yannay’s parents are educators who instilled values of perseverance and hard work, he said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post earlier this year. Growing up in Yavneh, he learned that limitations shouldn’t define potential.

In 2012, Yannay founded Nofar Energy. He initially encountered bureaucratic hurdles selling solar panels to moshavim but succeeded with the kibbutz movement. Under his leadership, Nofar Energy became a pioneer in photovoltaic technology and developed the floating systems market in Israel.

In December 2020, Nofar Energy held an IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, becoming Israel’s second-largest IPO. Today, the company boasts thousands of solar and storage solar projects which are connected, ready-to-connect, under construction and nearing construction across seven countries, generating over 3000MW of renewable energy.

Yannay’s mother’s advice to keep learning and growing has been instrumental in his journey. As a single parent to his 13-year-old daughter, Shira, he encourages her to explore her path in life.

He envisions renewable energy as a force for prosperity and peace. As a successful businessman, Yannay also contributes to the society and is involved in a series of philanthropic ventures in various fields, including education, sports, foster families, and more. He recently bought the basketball team Hapoel Tel Aviv and became the first private owner of the team.

Yannay is an inspiring Israeli success story. A son of parents who immigrated from Tunisia and Libya, he grew up with seven siblings. He reached success with his own ten fingers and brought the company he founded to a value of one billion dollars, with hundreds of employees around the world.