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Solar flares are thought to be caused by reconnection of magnetic fields and their associated electric currents in the solar corona. The currents have to be there to provide available energy over and above the current-free minimum energy state, but what generates them has been little discussed. This paper investigates the idea that twisting motions in the turbulent convection zone below may provide a natural source for the currents and explain some of their properties. The twists generate upward-propagating Alfvén waves with a Poynting flux of the right order of magnitude to power a flare. Depending on the depth it takes place, the twisting event that initiates a particular flare may occur hours, days or even months before the flare itself.