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Speaker Biographies

Kersti Berge

Director of Energy and Climate Change

Scottish Government

Kersti was appointed to the role of Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Scottish Government in May 2018.

Previously, she worked for Ofgem as the partner for Networks, with responsibility for regulated networks and the RIIO price controls. She is also Head of Ofgem in Scotland with responsibility for liaising with key Scottish stakeholders and managing Ofgem’s office in Glasgow. Prior to these roles she headed the Research and Analysis team in the Markets division where she was responsible for competition analysis, market surveillance and security of supply.

Before joining Ofgem, Kersti was a senior economic advisor at the Treasury where she was responsible for the medium term growth forecast. Prior to that she was a lecturer in economics at Oxford University.

Sebastian Bringsværd

Hywind Development Director


Sebastian heads up Hywind Development in New Energy Solution for Statoil and focuses on commercialisation and deployment of the Hywind concept in existing and new markets. He is also responsible for the Batwind Project, an innovation project, “solving for” how storage can increase value of offshore wind. Sebastian has held different positions within the Statoil group; Head Innovation Network, as well as serving two years as the Office Manager for Statoil Iran, and business development within the International business area. He holds a Masters in Political Science from the University of Oslo and a Business Masters from Lancaster University in the UK.

Steve Chisholm

Operations Manager

Green Energy Group

Global Energy Group provides manufacturing and construction services to the international energy industry. It is in the unique position of being a major supplier and service provider across 4 key industry sectors; renewables, nuclear, oil & gas and utilities. Global Energy also owns and operates the UK's leading renewables port, Nigg Energy Park, on the Cromarty Firth currently the staging port for construction of the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm.

Steve brings over 30 years international experience to his role as Operations Director at Global Energy where he has responsibility for the service activities at Nigg Energy Park and its ongoing strategic development. He has held executive and non-executive Board positions in publicly quoted, private and not-for-profit organisations, roles which included new business building in the emerging markets of the Middle East and former Soviet Union. He has a long record of delivering leadership and growth in the UK and Europe and is passionate about achieving continuous improvement across all business activities. His entrepreneurial activities include management consulting in the USA and jointly founding one of the UK's first cloud computing businesses.

Jason Fudge

Chief Operating Officer

DF Barnes

Jason was born and raised in St. John’s, NL. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He currently resides in St. John’s with his wife Christa and two children, Gavin and Maria.

Jason has been actively engaged in the Canadian offshore oil and gas industry since 2003. Formally as Chief Financial Officer, and now Chief Operating Officer of JV Driver’s Marine Enterprise, Jason has been a key contributor to its rise as one of Eastern Canada’s largest multi-disciplinary maintenance, fabrication, and construction contractors. Through his 15-year career with JV Driver, Jason has developed significant knowledge of construction industry issues and a strong commitment toward developing opportunities for companies in Eastern Canada. Jason is an active volunteer for several non-for-profit organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industry Association (NOIA).

Jason is a highly motivated and results-driven person. His commitment to success is apparent in everything he does. With the recent acquisition of the BiFab Group, Jason is committed to growing JV Driver’s Marine Enterprise in North America, the UK and beyond.

Patricia Hawthorn


Shepherd + Wedderburn LLP

Patricia is a Partner at the legal firm, Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP, and has over 30 years' experience in legal practice in Scotland and England and Wales. She is a leading expert in advising public and private sector clients on consenting, regulatory and compliance matters in relation to renewable technologies from EfW to wave and tidal.

Her practice covers the early stages of the development consenting process, strategic environmental assessment and environmental impact assessment, planning due diligence and the cross over with environmental permitting, which blends well with the contentious focus of the planning team.

Patricia is on the Board of Directors at Scottish Renewables and she is a member of RenewableUK's consents and licensing group.

Jenny Hogan

Deputy Chief Executive

Scottish Renewables

In addition to deputising for the Chief Executive, Jenny has strategic oversight of the 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.

Since 2010 and before taking on her current role, Jenny was Director of Policy and then Director of Policy & Membership. During this time she has been instrumental in implementing a major transformation of the organisation and its impact on the media debate and political decision-making in Scotland.

Jenny first joined Scottish Renewables in 2004, working initially in business development before leading on policy development for renewable heat, bioenergy and marine energy, and later the wind energy sector. She also led the policy, research and communications work of sustainable development charity, Forward Scotland, between 2007-8.

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.

Before joining Scottish Renewables, Claire was Director of Policy and Place at the Scottish Council for Development. She has previously worked in various roles at Ofcom in Scotland, focusing on economic regulation of telecoms, radio spectrum and the mail market while also looking at developing digital participation of individuals and businesses.

Prior to this Claire worked in retail and the construction industry as well as on regulation of regional broadcasting in the Borders and North East of England.

Nancy McLean

Offshore Development Manager

EDF Renewables

Nancy has recently joined EDF-RE to lead their Round 4 aspirations in both The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland leasing rounds. She has been working in the renewable energy sector for over fifteen years, and offshore wind specifically for over ten, and has been involved in projects across all phases of an offshore wind farm’s life cycle. She is a successful project and consent manager who has worked with a variety of offshore wind engineering teams to develop robust, defendable and consentable design envelopes, an experience relevant to the delivery of project descriptions to inform and shape Round 4 tender bids to both leasing rounds. Nancy enjoys liaison with landowners, stakeholders, consultees and determining authorities, and works pro-actively with industry bodies to further the aspirations of the offshore wind industry to deliver additional capacity to market.

Dr Philip Orr

Managing Director


Philip is the Managing Director and co-founder of Synaptec. He is an expert in photonic instrumentation for power systems, a member of the IEC SC86C working group on fibre optic sensors, and co-inventor of Synaptec’s core patents. Prior to founding Synaptec, Philip was Scotland’s first Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow, based at the University of Strathclyde’s Institute for Energy and Environment. He holds a doctorate in photonic instrumentation for fusion reactors in collaboration with the UK Atomic Energy Authority, and is the recipient of various engineering awards, including the Sir William Siemens Medal and the EPSRC Doctoral Prize.

John Robertson

Senior Manager

Crown Estate Scotland

John Robertson has been with Crown Estate Scotland and its predecessor body since 2010 and is Senior Manager in the Energy and Infrastructure team, leading on Offshore Wind and responsible for management of a portfolio of seabed agreements and of investments made to support project development. Prior to that his energy industry experience was gained in trading, commercial management and strategy roles with utility companies and independent power generators.

Jim Smith

Managing Director (Designate)

SSE Renewables

After graduating as Mechanical Engineer in 1983, Jim spent five years in power plant and automotive turbomachinery design. Jim joined SSE and its predecessors 27 years ago. During this time Jim has been involved in large scale power generation project development and construction including hydro, wind, gas, coal, gas storage and power transmission projects. He also spent time as Engineering Manager for the Company’s hydro generation fleet and was Station Manager at Peterhead Power Station.

In recent years Jim was Managing Director, Renewable Development, responsible for the development and construction of wind power projects on and offshore. In April 2014 Jim moved to Energy Portfolio Management, covering Energy Trading and Contracts, Risk Management and Planning and the upstream E&P business and latterly the role included responsibility for Business Energy in the retail supply market. From April 2016 Jim took up his current role with operational responsibility for SSE generation, gas storage and E&P assets. In November 2018 Jim was appointed Managing Director (Designate) of SSE Renewables, a new division which will be responsible for the Development Constitution and Operation of all of SSE’s renewable activity.

David Stevenson

Head of Energy Supply Chain

Scottish Government

David Stevenson is the Head of Energy Supply Chain, within the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Energy and Climate Change. Main activities include responsible for managing the relationship with energy developers and supply chain, and other private and public sector project stakeholders with a view to maximising the economic content of energy projects in Scotland. David is Secretary of the Offshore Wind Industry Group (OWIG) and is a member of both the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Industry Council and Offshore Wind Programme Board.

David Walker

Offshore Development Director

ScottishPower Renewables

David joined South of Scotland Electricity Board in 1987 prior to privatisation as ScottishPower and has worked in a variety of roles in the Energy Networks engineering and construction business including Network Development Director prior to joining the Renewables business in 2007 as Project Director with responsibility for development of new onshore windfarm sites.

David is the Offshore Development Director for ScottishPower Renewables, a division of Iberdrola which operates the largest renewables business in the world. His responsibility encompasses all of the company’s offshore wind development activities including the East Anglia programme in the UK and various major offshore developments across Europe and USA including Wikinger in Germany, St. Brieuc in France and Kitty Hawk in North Carolina. This includes the design, scoping, environmental assessment, planning, consenting, stakeholder engagement and environmental lifecycle asset management.

A chartered electrical engineer and MBA, David is married with 2 children.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands

Scottish Government

Born in Belfast, Paul was raised in Edinburgh, attending Stewart's Melville College. He has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Aberdeen and an MBA from University of Edinburgh. He has lived in Berwickshire since 2000.

‪Paul is a professional economist and, since 1992, had specialised in higher and further education markets, policy evaluation and economic appraisal and impact assessment of capital projects.‬

Between May 2011 and September 2012 Paul served on the Scottish Parliament's Finance Committee, and the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee. And was the Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy of the Scottish Government. Previously, between May 2011 and Feb 2012, Paul served as Parliamentary Liaison Officer for the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment and the Minister for Climate Change.

Prior to taking his Ministerial position Paul was a member of cross-party groups on Epilepsy, Rural Policy, Armed forces Veterans, Funerals and Bereavement, Boating and Marine Tourism and deputy convener of Sport.

Steve Wilson

Project Director


Steven Wilson is the Project Director for the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm. He has worked in a variety of Project Management and delivery roles in both the Oil and Gas and Renewables industries. He has been employed by SSE for eight years, initially working on the construction and operational handover of the Greater Gabbard offshore wind farm before becoming Project Manager for the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm in 2013, taking the project through development and into construction following Financial Close in May 2016.