Annual Conference 2020 Speakers

Day 1
  • Esther Black

    Esther Black

    Director of Corporate Operations, Crown Estate Scotland

    Esther has worked in media, public affairs and strategic communications for over 20 years. She started her career as a journalist before working in the Scottish Parliament for a group of MSPs.

    During a period in Australia, she worked in crisis communications for fast-moving consumer goods companies then for international environmental groups including Pew, WWF and Nature Conservancy.

    Returning to the UK, she continued in consultancy before moving to The Crown Estate in 2013. She now oversees communications, stakeholder engagement, policy, HR and governance for Crown Estate Scotland.

    Esther sits on Business in the Community Scotland's Advisory Board and the Board of Children in Scotland.

  • Lord Ian Duncan

    Lord Ian Duncan

    Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Climate Change, UK Government

    Lord Ian Duncan was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on July 26 2019 and served as the Lords lead on all BEIS issues.

    In 2014 Ian was elected to the European Parliament. During his time in the Parliament, Ian’s primary focus was climate change. He was a Parliamentary delegate to the UN Climate Change Conferences (COP) in Lima (2014), Paris (2015) and Marrakech (2016). He was the Parliament’s rapporteur (lead negotiator) on reform of the EU’s carbon market legislation (the ‘Emission Trading Scheme’).

  • Claire Mack

    Claire Mack

    Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

    Claire has been Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, the representative voice of Scotland’s renewable energy industry, since October 2017. She is responsible for leading the organisation’s work to grow Scotland’s renewables sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

    Claire is a member of the First Minister’s Energy Advisory Board and the Renewables Industry Advisory Group, co-chaired by Scotland’s Energy Minister.

  • Tim Marshall

    Tim Marshall

    Journalist, Author and Broadcaster

    The former Diplomatic Editor and foreign correspondent for Sky News, Tim Marshall brings thirty years’ experience in reporting, presenting and writing about current affairs and international news to the corporate circuit as a keynote speaker and conference facilitator. Through his speech, blogs and books, including New York Times bestseller ‘Prisoners of Geography’, Tim translates his political analyses of world affairs into terms that appeal to all audiences.

  • Nick Sharpe 1

    Nick Sharpe

    Director of communications & Strategy, Scottish Renewables

    Nick Sharpe is Scottish Renewables’ Director of Communications & Strategy. His work involves overseeing Scottish Renewables’ media and public affairs work and liaising between the organisation’s member companies, the media and other stakeholders to promote positive news about the sector to diverse audiences.
    A former journalist, Nick trained on the South Wales Echo then spent seven years at the Sun, latterly as Chief Reporter.
    He then spent a year at Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s largest public relations consultancies.

  • Chris Stark

    Chris Stark

    Chief Executive, Committee on Climate Change

    Chris has been Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change since April 2018. His previous role was Director of Energy and Climate Change in the Scottish Government, leading the development of Scotland’s approach to emissions-reduction and the accompanying energy system transition. His team provided advice to Scottish Ministers on all aspects of energy and climate policy – and on licensing and consent decisions for new onshore energy infrastructure.

Day 2
  • Terry A’Hearn

    Terry A’Hearn

    Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Environment Protection Agency

    Terry has over twenty years’ experience in the environment profession, having held senior roles in Melbourne with the Environment Protection Authority in the Australian state of Victoria, in London with the global consulting firm WSP and, most recently, in Belfast as Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency before he joined SEPA. In all this work, Terry has strongly focussed on bringing environmental and economic aims together, supporting business and social innovation and getting tougher with the worst environmental performers.

  • Tracy Black

    Tracy Black

    Director, CBI Scotland

    Tracy Black was appointed Scotland Director on 1 January 2018, having first joined the CBI as Deputy Regional Director for Scotland in April 2017. A recognised thought-leader within the Scottish business community, Tracy regularly appears on platforms alongside Scotland’s foremost political and business leaders and has a growing reputation as an essential economic commentator.
    Alongside a varied and distinguished career in the financial services sector, Tracy has experience of working with a range of SMEs and entrepreneurial start-ups, particularly spin-outs from the higher education sector.

  • Colin Calder

    Colin Calder

    Chief Executive and Founder, PassivSystems

    Colin founded PassivSystems in 2008 following extensive research into zero-carbon homes and the roll-out of smart meters to domestic homes in Italy. He is a Fellow of the Energy Institute and an Advisory Board Member to UCL’s International Energy Institute. He is a founding member of Energy UK’s New Energy Services & Heat Committee and his company is a member of the Smart Power Industries Alliance.
    He is a regular speaker at local and international conferences including World Energy Congress, United Nations sustainable Energy for All and World Economic Forum (WEF).

  • Katrine Feldinger - Scottish Government

    Katrine Feldinger

    Head of International Capital Investment, Scottish Government

    Kat has worked in economic development for the best part of a decade, including European policy and long-range policy forecasting and planning for regional development. She started in post as Head of International Capital Investment 2 years ago, and is responsible for creating the conditions for large-scale private investment, and telling the right people in rest of the world how brilliant those conditions are in Scotland to make investment happen and projects rise.

  • Phil Steele - Octupus

    Phil Steele

    Future Technologies Evangelist, Octopus Energy

    As the Future Technologies Evangelist at Octopus Energy, I'm instrumental in driving innovation in areas such as time-of-use tariffs, export tariffs, Smart Energy connected products & services and grant funded R&D projects. Previously, I ran my own Smart Home company which has now also been acquired by Octopus. I'm a married father of three children who are frequently used as my (willing!) test subjects.

  • Morag Watson

    Morag Watson

    Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables

    Morag is Scottish Renewables’ Director of Policy. Her work involves overseeing Scottish Renewables’ policy function and key projects within Scotland’s leading renewables trade body, working on behalf of 250+ organisations to grow Scotland’s renewable energy sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry.

    Morag has worked in policy for over 15 year and was previously a Senior Policy Officer with WWF Scotland, specialising in climate change, sustainable development and behaviour change.

  • Jan Webb

    Jan Webb

    Professor of Sociology of Organisations, The University of Edinburgh

    Janette Webb is Co-Director of the UK Energy Research Centre and member of UKRI Energy Scientific Advisory Committee. Her research concerns comparative European policy and practice for sustainable heat and low energy buildings, and is funded by UKRI Energy Programme, Energy Technologies Institute, Energy Systems Catapult and Scottish Government. She has a working knowledge of UK local and regional energy system initiatives, and collaborates in capacity building with leading edge local authorities, central and devolved governments, ESCos and expert practitioners.

Day 3
  • David Bell

    David Bell

    Director, David Bell Planning Ltd

    David Bell Planning Ltd (DBP) is a specialist renewable energy planning consultancy established by David Bell in June 2019. David is a Chartered Town Planner and planning consultant with 30 years’ experience of planning and development practice. He was previously Head of Planning for JLL in Scotland and held that role for almost 20 years. He has particular expertise in relation to energy planning and onshore wind development. He has advised on some of the UK’s largest renewable energy projects including the Viking, Dorenell, Fallago Rig, South Kyle and Millennium Extension Wind Farms.

  • Neil Collar - Brodies LLP

    Neil Collar

    Partner/ Head of Planning Law, Brodies LLP

    Experienced adviser, inquiry advocate, blogger, author and conference speaker - Neil Collar is one of Scotland's best known planning lawyers. His team at Brodies LLP were shortlisted for Planning magazine’s Planning Law Firm of the Year 2018. Neil has over 20 years’ experience of renewables projects and is a long standing member of Scottish Renewables planning group.

  • Barry Carruthers

    Barry Carruthers

    Head of Innovation & Sustainability, ScottishPower

    Barry leads the Corporate Innovation and Sustainability function at ScottishPower. This ranges from strategic activities in the decarbonisation of transport and heat and other emerging technologies, to initiatives focused upon the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Following several years in ScottishPower Renewables where Barry led activities in marine energy and wind innovations, he now works across all ScottishPower divisions in order to foster innovations and sustainability across the sector.

  • Dave Hawkey

    Dave Hawkey

    Heat Planning & Delivery, Scottish Government

    Dave Hawkey is a Senior Policy Advisor at Scottish Government. He works on Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies, and on Net Zero Carbon Building Standards for Public Bodies. Prior to joining the Scottish Government, Dave worked at Ofgem on gas distribution network regulation. Before joining the civil service, he was an academic with the Heat and the City team at Edinburgh University.

  • Audrey Ramsay - National Grid ESO

    Audrey Ramsay

    Head of GB Network Access Planning, National Grid ESO

    Audrey leads the National Grid ESO Network Access Planning team, focusing on delivering an operable and cost effective transmission system every minute of every day whilst allowing network owners the access they need to transform the electricity system.
    Prior to her current role, she has lead several high-performing teams across NGESO in regulatory incentive development, assessment and procurements of balancing services and development of the future operability strategy, including the publication of the System Needs and Product Strategy document and the Operability Strategy Reports.

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