Rushlight Transport Briefing

UK Energy: Analysis and Strategy


Thursday 25 January 2018, commencing at 8.00am

 The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London

 Sponsored by:

This event opens the Rushlight Show. Breakfast will be served from 8.00am for those who are pre-registered. Breakfast will then finish being available by 8.30am when the panel commences.  The panel session will end by 10.00am and then there will be the address by the Minister which will be available to everyone.  After the address, delegates for just the UK Energy Seminar are asked to leave the theatre and visit the Exhibition before leaving by 11.00am.

The presentations will set out the current position and way forward for the UK energy market, looking at onshore and offshore wind, solar, bioenergy, marine energy, nuclear, fracking, coal-fired power station closures, geothermal and other heating and cooling systems with what remains of the subsidy arrangements and without any financial support.  Following the launch of the Clean Growth Strategy, some of the necessary detail underpinning the report will start to be available at the time of this event.

The decarbonisation of the UK Energy Market is taking place.  Whether it is happening fast enough and effectively to meet the needs of energy sustainability, security and affordability is open to question, with responses to the Clean Growth Strategy suggesting that targets will be missed.  With new nuclear moving forward slowly and fracking becoming more uncertain, what is the unified UK energy vision and strategy, what is the current economic position for renewables and is it all economically and technologically  sustainable?  What role will smart meters and grids, energy efficiency, demand response and storage play in delivering the final objective?

As decisions are made about BREXIT and the implications for EU energy trading, will gas remain as the central stepping stone to an energy-secure future?  While clearly preferable to coal,  new  fossil gas-fired power stations will nevertheless be a major source of carbon emissions for the next 50 years if allowed to run unabated.  The role of nuclear, another mainstay of the energy portfolio, in improving the affordability of energy is open to challenge.

The broad idea of electrifying transport and to a lesser extent heat (with hydrogen being touted much more loudly now) and decarbonising electricity generation to achieve the trilemma objectives increases the demand for electricity in the UK by a factor of about 6 at a time when coal-fired plant, the original mainstay of the centralised grid, comes off tap.  Can all these variables converge on a reliable, affordable, clean energy system?  Meanwhile, a new report has suggested that there should be a “bonfire of the traditional obsessions of energy policy makers and regulators” and that policy has been distorted by an undue focus on security of supply and fuel poverty.  Furthermore, Dieter Helm’s recent study calls for radical changes to Britain’s energy policy and the current onshore wind policy is described as perverse in some quarters.

This seminar will seek to set out the current status of UK energy, the relative costs of the different power generation sources and the likely contributions they can provide.  We will assess the waste to energy capacity, the situation of biomass, the role of localised energy and see if hydrogen can play a significant part in the mix.

This is a fundamentally important event for anyone involved with the UK Energy Market.


Chair:                    Richard Black, Director, Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit

8.35am                 Opening remarks:  Richard Black, Director, Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit

8.40am                 UK Energy Market analysis – Mike Hemsley, Senior Power Analyst, Committee on Climate Change.  Presentation is HERE

8.55am                 Update from BEIS: John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser, BEIS (subject to diary).  Presentation is HERE

9.10am                UK Energy Trader Perspective – Andrew Anderson Shepherd, Senior Energy Trader, BIU.  Presentation is HERE

9.25am                 Panel discussion and Q&A, augmented by

Philip New, Chief Executive Energy Systems Catapult

Cathy McClay, Head of Commercial Electricity, National Grid

                               Michelle Hubert, Head of Infrastructure & Energy, CBI


Chair:                   Beverley Gower-Jones, CEO, Carbon Limiting Technologies and Chair of BEIS Energy Entrepreneurs Fund Grants Commercial Panel

10.00am               Claire Perry, Minister of State, BEIS

10.15am               UK Energy Seminar delegates leave the theatre for networking and the Exhibition

11.00am               Event closes for delegates who are registered for just the UK Energy event



The cost of a UK Energy Breakfast & Seminar ticket is £45 plus VAT, which includes a hot breakfast. the seminar, the exhibition, networking and the whole Show up to 11am.

Registered delegates for the whole Show can join the UK Energy event for free, provided that they pre-register to attend this part of the event before the day.

In summary, you can choose to attend just the UK Energy event for £45 plus VAT and that includes the breakfast, or you can register for the whole Show and the breakfast event too in which case the UK Energy event is free.


To register for this breakfast event, please indicate against the appropriate ticket.



Prof John Loughhead – BEIS

Professor Loughhead is Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Prior to this he was Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).  Before joining DECC, John was Executive Director at the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). Prior to that, he was Corporate Vice-President of Technology and Intellectual Property at Alstom’s head office in Paris.

John’s professional career has been predominantly in industrial research and development for the electronics and electrical power industries, including advanced, high power industrial gas turbines, new energy conversion systems, spacecraft thermal management, electrical and materials development for electricity generation and transmission equipment, and electronic control systems. He has extensive international experience in both industry and academia.  John is a Chartered Engineer, graduating in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London, where he also spent 5 years in computational fluid dynamics research. 

Andrew Anderson Shepherd – BIU

Anderson Shepherd is currently the Senior Energy Trader at BIU having working in the energy consultancy sector for 14 years.  Andrew is responsible for all gas trading within BIU as well as being involved in the development and implementation of risk management strategies, various marketing campaigns and assisting the sales team with technical aspects of the procurement function. Prior to his career within the energy sector Andrew was an International Food Trader.

Richard Black – Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit

Richard Black studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University before joining BBC World Service in 1985 as a studio manager. He subsequently worked there as producer and presenter on a wide range of programming including current affairs, science, health and sport, and as Science Correspondent. He also ran an independent radio production company specialising in health and medicine. As BBC Environment Correspondent, his reporting assignments included many UN summits including five UNFCCC meetings and Rio+20. He reported from the field on issues such as carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, amphibian conservation, whaling, forestry, aquaculture and earthquake prediction. From 2012 Richard was Director of Communications for the Global Ocean Commission prior to setting up ECIU.

Mike Hemsley – Committee on Climate Change

Mike Hemsley leads the CCC’s work on power sector decarbonisation, having joined the Committee on Climate Change four years ago. He has focused on technologies and policies to reduce emissions in the UK power system, as well as improving electricity system flexibility and producing research on the costs of low-carbon policies on consumer bills in the UK. Prior to joining the CCC, Mike studied Environmental Technology and energy policy at Imperial College London, and worked in Brussels at the European Renewable Energy Council.

Philip New – Energy Systems Catapult

Philip started at the Energy Systems Catapult in November 2015.  Prior to joining the Catapult, Philip was the CEO of BP Alternative Energy, which was made up of a portfolio of operating and developmental renewable energy businesses. These included a material onshore wind operation in the US, significant sugar cane ethanol and renewable electricity production in Brazil, and biotechnology and process engineering research and development activities, delivered through proprietary, joint venture and academic collaboration programmes.  He has held a number of positions during his time at BP, with a focus on building new businesses, deploying innovative technologies, understanding changing market structures and working with both consumers and industrial customers.  He has been involved in developing policy positions and has worked with a diverse range of external stakeholders. He was an active advocate for the Biofuels sector and engaged with policy makers and opinion leaders in Brussels, Washington and Whitehall.  He was a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and was on the Governing Board of the Energy Biosciences Institute. He has a MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford.

Cathy McClay – National Grid

Cathy joined National Grid in September 2015 as Head of Commercial, Electricity in the System Operator. Her teams are responsible for ensuring that the Electricity Control Room has the operational strategy and commercial tools in place to manage the network in real time. Activities covered include: running the capacity market and CfD auctions; purchasing and settlement of all balancing services; development of future system operability strategy and appropriate incentives; within year operability strategy development and delivery. She is current leading the work on Flexibility for National Grid.

Prior to joining National Grid, Cathy spent the previous 16 years working for a number of energy companies where her focus was on trading and risk management. She has experience of developing commercial strategies for a wide range of technologies including pumped storage, gas, coal and nuclear. She also has experience of a wide range of energy markets and countries. She spent 1 year working for a pan-European energy company in Amsterdam where her team was responsible for analysis of all the European energy markets. More recently she spent 3 years working for EDF in Paris developing and implementing a new risk management framework for all of the European energy assets.