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Renewable Energy Innovations: Evening Panel Discussion

  • Osborne Clarke 2 Temple Back East Bristol, England, BS1 6EG United Kingdom (map)

The Future Economy Network is delighted to announce we will be joined by subscribers Cadence Planning, Vattenfall, Ashfords and University of Bristol to discuss 4 types of renewable energy; Solar, Wind, Hydro & Geothermal.

Roland Billington, Head of Development at Cadence Planning, will discuss:

- What has solar achieved in the recent past; what have been the challenges and hurdles to overcome? 
- Landowners; rental incomes, diversification, food production.
- What is the next generation of solar going to look like? How can this be achieved given existing land use constraints?
- How does solar fit in with the overall generation mix now and where does it need to be?  
- Subsidy free world…. Where will Investors make their money?
- Repowering of solar parks. Better panels, longer periods.
- Is there a strategy to achieve Net Zero?

Eoghan Maguire, Head of Business Development, Vattenfall Heat UK

Eoghan will talk about the road to innovation, from how wind has gone from a small niche form of electricity generation to one of the largest contributors to the UK grid today. This talk will cover what technical and commercial components combine to deliver subsidy free generation, and what the future of wind will look like. Eoghan will touch upon a number of innovations that have ensured that wind is in a position to be the cheapest form of new build generation; from foundations, to nacelle, cables to operation as well as commercial and policy drivers. The future of wind as a technology is interesting, in particular when looking at how sector coupling between electricity and the other key energy segments of transport and heat will play out. Eoghan will look at how this might play out to enable the UK to decarbonise its wider energy system.

Neel Mehta, Partner in the Construction and Infrastructure Department at Ashfords LLP, will be giving a talk entitled 'A Brief Review of the Legal Aspects of Creating a Heat Network' in relation to hydrothermal energy.

Joe Quarini, Professor of Process Engineering at University of Bristol, will be speaking about Geothermal Energy.

There is a lot of thermal energy trapped beneath our feet. For example, the Romans used it to provide warm water for their baths at ‘Bath’. There are several places in the world where this Geothermal energy is being used to provide significant thermal heat and electrical power (e.g. Iceland). However, geothermal power tends to be very difficult to harvest in most parts of the world and so accounts for a small proportion of our planet’s energy needs. Geothermal energy sources provide no electricity and insignificant amounts of low grade heat in the UK. The typical 30C temperature rise per kilometre depth in the soil/rocks beneath our feet means that it is expensive to drill to a depth where it might be possible to harvest thermal energy at a sufficiently high temperature to economically use heat engines to convert thermal into mechanical power. This is not the case where, due to local geological characteristics very high temperatures are available near the earth’s surface. These high temperatures tend to arise near instabilities in the earth’s crust (such as near volcanic activity) or where there are high concentrations unstable elements (regions of relatively high radioactive materials near the surface).

The alternative to ‘passively’ harvesting geothermal energy is to use a heat pump and actively ‘suck’ energy out of the ground to provide low grade comfort heating or to actively pump heat into the ground to provide comfort cooling. In these cases a small amount of high grade energy (usually in the form of electricity) is used to run the heat ‘pump’ which is then capable of producing relatively large amounts of low grade heating/cooling. Ground Source Heat Pumps, GSHP, are not limited to specific parts of the world and do not require very deep and expensive boreholes. GSHP are likely to become the greatest single contributor to the UK’s reduction in CO2 emission over the next 30 years.

Agenda

18:00 - 18:30 - Drinks Reception

18:30 - 18:40 - Introduction from The Future Economy Network

18:40 - 19:00 - Solar - Cadence Planning

19:00 - 19:20 - Wind - Vattenfall

19:20 - 19:40 - Hydrothermal - Ashfords

19:40 - 20:00 - Geothermal - University of Bristol

20:00 - 20:30 - Panel Discussion

20:30 - 21:00 - Networking & Nibbles

Get To Know Our Speakers!

Roland Billington, Head of Development, Cadence Planning

Roland has a huge amount of planning and development experience working in the private and public sector. Most recently, he spent six years as Head of Development with a well-regarded solar and battery storage developer where he achieved over 60MW of planning consents across nine large-scale solar sites and 100MW across ten battery storage sites.

In all the renewable energy development applications Roland has worked on, his key to success is his close working relationships and regular dialogue with all the relevant stakeholders. This allows him to get the best possible outcomes for our clients. His professional and diligent attitude provides an assurance that nothing gets forgotten during a planning submission.

Neel Mehta, Partner, Construction and Infrastructure Department, Ashfords LLP

Neel has more than 16 years’ experience advising on significant and complex construction and engineering, infrastructure and energy (including hydrothermal projects and heat networks) and waste projects. He acts for a number of leading service providers and users in the construction and engineering, energy and waste sectors, including major contractors, developers, governmental departments, insurers and construction professionals. Neel has complete working knowledge and expertise in relation to all types of construction contracts and documentation used in the UK and internationally. Neel is independently recognised as an expert in the field of Construction by Chambers UK, a guide to the legal profession.

Joe Quarini, Professor of Process Engineering at University of Bristol

Joe studied Nuclear Engineering as an undergraduate (1970-1973) at Queen Mary London, when nuclear power stations appeared to be the answer to the world’s energy challenges. He joined the UK Atomic Energy Authority at Harwell and worked on Fast Reactors until 1993 when he came to Bristol University’s Mechanical Engineering Department to take up the Process Engineering Chair. During the past 25 years his research has focused on thermal-fluids aspects of engineering and has taught several power and environmental related modules to the undergraduates including ‘Power Generation for the 22nd Century’ and ‘Environmental Thermalhydraulics’. Two of his more recent research interests include the thermal performance of boreholes for GSHP and mechanical ways to reduce the cost of GSHP boreholes.

Eoghan Maguire, Head of Business Development, Vattenfall Heat UK

Eoghan's experience with Vattenfall’s Corporate Strategy and Strategic Planning teams builds on his background as a mechanical engineer. He has gained a wide breadth of experience working for Vattenfall in different roles across several business areas, from heat networks, onshore and offshore wind, ocean energy, decentralised energy, and energy markets. This work has been varied technically and commercially, but always focused on low-carbon energy solutions, gaining a deep understanding of the energy sector. 

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Earlier Event: 10 October
Afternoon Event: Health & Wellbeing
Later Event: 30 October
Netwalking