Annual Conference 2020 Programme

Day 1
Time
Details
09:30

Exhibition

10:00

Plenary 1 - Climate response: the time is now

Climate change, as well as its current and future effects, has never been more central in public debate.

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the world’s focus on the technologies which enable society as we know it, bringing the climate emergency once again to the fore and making building back greener a central part of the world’s recovery from this crisis.  

It is clear that everyone wants to help, but what does that plan look like? And which actions would see us really shift the dial to lead the world in our response to climate change? 

In this session we’ll cover:

  • The technologies needed to make the most of Scotland’s resource
  • How our industry can capitalise on the clamour for change
  • Innovation, and how investing in the future is more important than ever for both industry and governments

Welcome & Chair
Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

Sponsor Welcome
Matthieu Hue, Chief Executive Officer, EDF Renewables

Speakers
Chris Stark, Chief Executive, Committee on Climate Change 
Jonathan Brearley, Chief Executive, Ofgem 

Q & A

11:30

Networking & Exhibition

11:45

Plenary 2 - All change: energy in the new political era

The lack of political bandwidth available to address issues beyond Brexit, and latterly the coronavirus pandemic, has been a key policy constraint in recent years. 

With majority government now the new normal for the UK, and a Scottish Parliament election in 2021 promising a similar outcome, it is imperative to establish the importance of our industry in the minds of political leaders and to make sure that we make the most of any opportunities which might be available to us.

In this session we’ll address:

  • The UK’s post-EU landscape, and the changes it will bring for our industry
  • How to engage with politicians as the global green recovery takes shape
  • What’s next for UK energy policy – and how to gain some much-needed wins after an incredibly difficult spell for our industry.

Chair
Nick Sharpe, Director of Communications & Strategy, Scottish Renewables

Panellists 
Lord Ian Duncan, former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Climate Change, UK Government
Phil Henderson, Head of Government Affairs, ScottishPower
Stephen Gethins, former Special Advisor on energy to the First Minister

Q & A

12:45

Networking & Exhibition

13:45

Plenary 3 - Renewables changing the world 

Chair
Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

Speaker
Tim Marshall, Journalist, Author and Broadcaster 

Q & A

14:45

Day 1 Event Close

Day 2
Time
Details
09:30

Exhibition

10:00

Plenary 4 - 2045: Getting to where we need to be

To date, the decarbonisation of electricity has been focussed almost exclusively at a system level. But the next two major decarbonisation challenges - transport and heat - sit much closer to the consumer.

Technology is also constantly altering the shape of both supply and demand, with demand response, time-shifting and more storage options entering the market. How can we make sure that the system keeps up with the changing demands being made of it by smart consumers and smart devices? Will we be able to bring the investment markets along with us to enable growth at the rate we need it?  

In this session we’ll cover:

  • How our industry can effect change at a consumer level
  • Keeping up with demand from smart consumers and devices
  • Whether industry can drive investors at the pace needed to deliver the deployments which enable cost reduction

Chair
Morag Watson, Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables

Speakers
Phil Steele, Future Technologies Evangelist, Octopus Energy
Dr Jan Webb, Professor of Sociology of Organisations, University of Edinburgh
James Johnston, CEO & Co-Founder, Piclo
Colin Calder, CEO, PassivSystems 

Q & A

11:15

Networking & Exhibition

11:30

Plenary 5 - Financing renewables: the green investment case

More than $30 trillion was invested in sustainable and green technologies in 2018. As technologies mature and industry begins to move closer to a model free of government support, what is its role in the energy development process? What is the role of regulation in driving investment?
 
Do the financial markets see government interventions as useful or increasingly unstable? Given the investment and corporate governance world is shifting towards impact and clean investment, how do we make sure that all our technologies and deployment scales can benefit?  How do we accelerate the pace of investment in somewhere like Scotland to meet the earlier net-zero target – and what tools do we have at our disposal in terms of economic development and institutions which will make the difference?

In this session you’ll learn:

  • What global finance thinks about Scotland – and how we can change their attitudes where needed
  • Whether CSR and ESG are the high-level panacea our industry has been seeking
  • Where regulation goes next

Chair
Clare Lacey, Partner, QMPF

Speakers
Terry A’Hearn, Chief Executive, SEPA 
Katrine Feldinger, Head of International Capital Investment, Scottish Government
Tracy Black, Director, CBI Scotland 

Q & A

12:30

Day 2 Event Close

Day 3
Time
Details
09:30

Exhibition

10:00

Plenary 6 - Systems transformation: accelerating the rate of change

Energy infrastructure has been the subject of fundamental change in recent years, with a political focus on baseload sometimes warping perceptions among consumers. Industry must now consider new energy vectors, such as hydrogen and storage, and how we can manage today’s infrastructure by utilising the characteristics and availability of multiple energy sources as renewables become the UK’s dominant source of power. Rising demand in other areas such as heavy industry – under pressure to decarbonise – and the EV market are opening up new, dynamic options.

How can we plan and manage our grid resource to meet the demands of the UK market? How do we understand and keep pace with the changes that are happening around us and make sure that we use all the new options and tools available to us to optimise our energy networks?

In this session you’ll learn:

  • The opportunities for hydrogen and storage in our future energy system
  • Whether our grid is ‘future-fit’ – and if not, what’s required to meet the demands of the UK market
  • How developers can keep pace with constant change and optimise the opportunity presented by new energy networks  

Speakers
Audrey Ramsay, Head of GB Network Access Planning, National Grid ESO
Barry Carruthers, Head of Innovation & Sustainability, ScottishPower

Neil Kermode, Managing Director, European Marine Energy Centre
Karl Smyth, Head of Policy, Drax

Q & A

11:15

Networking & Exhibition

11:30

Plenary 7 - Planning for net zero: a step change to tackle climate change

While the Planning (Scotland) Bill has now made its way through Parliament, the coronavirus pandemic has moved National Planning Framework 4 into 2021, delaying any positive reform which could support Scotland’s journey to net-zero emissions.

Planning is a key contingency of every project – onshore, offshore, in electricity, heat and transport. The Committee for Climate Change says we must quadruple green power generation by 2050 if we’re to meet net zero. That’ll mean ensuring a wider and deeper understanding of the role of governments, local authorities and communities in helping to support not just our low-carbon ambitions, but our local economic ones too.

In this session you’ll learn:

  • What we can do to produce better planning, faster
  • The role of local authorities in facilitating deployment – and how industry can work with them to shape all our futures
  • How planning can be the key which unlocks local opportunity

Chair
Neil Collar, Partner/ Head of Planning Law, Brodies LLP 

Speakers
Alasdair Sutherland, Partner, Burness Paull 
Dave Hawkey, Heat Planning & Delivery, Scottish Government
Eleri Davies, Head of Consents UK – Onshore Wind, RWE Renewables

Q & A

Closing remarks
Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

13:00

Day 3 Event Close

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