COP26 Conference - Scotland’s role in raising global ambition Programme


New technologies – generating the solutions to solve global problems

Scotland has benefitted from abundant natural resources in wind, solar, hydro and biomass for the past 20 years. Together these have created a world-leading renewable energy sector which now provides the equivalent of 90% of our electricity demand.

We also have a leading position in innovative tidal, wave and floating wind technology – experience we’re now using to develop the new energy system needed to tackle climate change.

Scotland can use its advantages to benefit the planet as it too seeks to decarbonise – so what must the organisations working here now do to capitalise on development to date, limitless natural resources and the ability to harness new energy vectors like green hydrogen?

In this session we’ll address:

  • What the future energy mix could look like
  • The development pathways for new technologies and energy sources
  • How we can use Scotland’s clear strengths in innovation, technology, natural resource and human capital to create opportunity for our sector on a global scale.

Chair and Welcome
Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

Morag Watson, Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables

Jim Smith, Managing Director, SSE Renewables
Lorna Bennet, Project Engineer, ORE Catapult
Meinolf Otto, Global Business Development Specialist (FDI), Scottish Development International
Matthew Black, Business Development Manager, Kensa Contracting


Q & A


Comfort break


People – the heart of the energy transition

Scotland has many strengths in energy: a lengthy history in energy production from the North Sea and, more recently, a rapid growth of expertise across all renewable technologies.

Developing and maintaining high-value jobs means taking advantage of our world-class academic sector and our thirst for innovation.

Managing the human side of our energy transition is just as important as the technology. This session will focus on the skills synergies between both renewables and legacy energy sectors, as well as unravelling the direct link between project pipelines and the rate at which we can transition our human capital.   

In this session you'll learn:

  • About work that is already going on to assess skills demand for the energy transition
  • What the wider opportunities are for us as a sector from delivering high-quality human capital into a market where net-zero is on every industry’s to-do list
  • How other sectors can share their experience and help us smooth out demand for the people we’ll need to make the shift to a low-carbon energy future.

Andrea Glass, Head of Regional Skills Planning and Enabling Sectors, Skills Development Scotland

Clare Foster, Partner and Head of Clean Energy, Shepherd and Wedderburn
John McDonald, CEO, OPITO
Paul Sheerin, CEO, Scottish Engineering

Q & A


Comfort break


Nature – and how biodiversity is a crucial part of the toolkit

While the climate change debate if often focussed on energy, more than half the world’s GDP is dependent on nature.

The interaction between energy and nature is closer than many realise. As a sector, renewables has invested and driven best practice in terms of habitat management, both through its values as an industry and through the regulation which supports its rollout.

From managing peatlands to monitoring specific species of plants and birds as well as keeping track of life around our development sites, the knowledge base we have grown here in Scotland is enviable - and that’s something the world needs to know about.

All nations are going to have to learn how to manage the delicate balance between promoting development and protecting nature. Where better to learn from than a country with internationally-renowned habitats and around 90,000 animal, plant and microbe species.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • How nature-based solutions will take a central position in our journey to net-zero
  • How Scotland’s renewable energy businesses can play a global role – and what they need to do to get there
  • How the interaction between renewables and nature in Scotland has created unique environmental benefits.

Francesca Osowska OBE, Chief Executive, NatureScot

David MacArthur, Director, MacArthur Green 
Annie Breaden, Head of Policy, Crown Estate Scotland
Claire Gilchrist, Offshore Consents Manager for Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) OWF, EDF Renewables
Kristen Liptrot, Environmental and Ecological Manager, RWE Renewables

Q & A

Closing remarks
Morag Watson, Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables


Event close

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