Full speaker programme announced for AREG Energy Futures 2022

Source: press release, 10 November 2022

AREG’s Energy Futures Conference and Exhibition – the future of offshore renewables
AREG’s Energy Futures Conference and Exhibition – the future of offshore renewables (illustration: AREG/Allister Fraser)

The future of offshore renewables, Scotland’s hydrogen ambition, the changing supply chain, skills, and the transformation of the workforce will be amongst the major talking points at AREG’s inaugural Energy Futures Conference and Exhibition next week.

Whilst world leaders gather for COP27 in Egypt to discuss the acceleration of climate action, senior industry leaders will meet in Aberdeen to discuss the major challenges and opportunities facing the North-east of Scotland as it transitions to net zero.

Opening the event at P&J Live on 15 November, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport, Michael Matheson, will set out the scale of the opportunity for the region as it vies to become a global centre of excellence in transition.

The plenary will be followed by a session dedicated to the future of offshore renewables, and how the sector can capitalise on the opportunities from ScotWind, INTOG and other marine developments.

Richard Sandford, vice president offshore wind, UK at bp will be joined on the panel by:

  • Bethan Vasey, energy transition manager, Shell
  • Catrin Jones, head of stakeholder engagement, Vattenfall
  • Dr Johnathan Lindsay, operations and technology director, EMEC
  • Dr Nigel Robinson, director sustainable energy, Apollo
  • Beena Sharma, managing director, Imperium Experts

As principal event sponsor, bp will form part of the hydrogen programme, curated by North East Scotland Hydrogen Ambition (NESH2A) Steering Committee, a group of experienced executives from both public and private sector organisations who are actively working on developing a hydrogen economy in the region. NESH2A comprises bp Aberdeen Hydrogen Energy Ltd, Storegga, Hydrasun, AREG, Net Zero Technology Centre, ERM, SGN, ETZ Ltd, Scottish Enterprise and North East Scotland College.

bp Aberdeen Hydrogen Energy Ltd, the joint venture between bp and Aberdeen City Council developing a scalable green hydrogen production facility in the city, will also host a lunchtime showcase for their hydrogen ambition for invited guests.

Richard Sandford, vice president offshore wind for bp in the UK, says, “The energy transition is happening at pace in Scotland with Aberdeen playing a central role, building on its reputation as a global centre of excellence in energy through decades of oil and gas production. bp is excited to be a part of this transition developing three gigawatts of clean energy through the Morven offshore wind project with our partner EnBW and scaling up Aberdeen’s green hydrogen production capabilities. This activity is underpinned by our near-60 years of safe and reliable production of oil and gas from the North Sea, driven by a skilled workforce who will play a vital role in our energy transition businesses as they scale up. bp is proud of our long association with AREG which has for many years backed Aberdeen and Scotland’s renewable ambitions while championing the skills and expertise of a world-leading supply chain. We’re delighted to be sponsoring the inaugural Energy Futures event.”

Dr Oliver Taylor, bp Aberdeen Hydrogen Energy Ltd Chief Executive, adds, “Aberdeen has been at the leading edge of using hydrogen as a fuel source for many years with ambitions to grow its hydrogen economy further. bp too sees the important role hydrogen will play in our future energy systems with plans to reach a 10% share in core markets by the end of this decade. The bp and Aberdeen City Council joint venture brings together these shared ambitions to create a unique public, private sector offering that aims to scale up clean hydrogen production in the city while growing the supply chain and developing new skills and jobs. We look forward to showcasing progress around these plans at the AREG event and speaking to key fleet managers in and around the city to stimulate hydrogen demand.”

Further sessions taking place throughout the day, include the changing supply chain and skills challenges, as well as the transformation of the workforce. Session facilitators include Allister Thomas, European editor at Energy Voice, also event media partner. Other facilitators include Nassima Brown, Fennex Gordon McIntosh, AREG Allan Taylor, BEIS, and David Rodger, AREG.

AREG CEO, David Rodger says, “With the INTOG decarbonisation round closing the same week as our event and COP27 taking place in Egypt, we are looking forward to timely debate on the region’s role in net zero and how we speed up the pace of change and ensure our local supply chain benefits. We can’t wait to welcome all of our delegates, speakers and exhibitors and showcase the North East as a centre of excellence in the energy transition.”

Joining the opening plenary to discuss the size of the prize, investment opportunities and barriers to success are:

  • Maggie McGinlay, CEO of ETZ Ltd
  • Bob Sanguinetti, CEO of Port of Aberdeen
  • Davide Coppola, head of science applications at the European Space Agency
  • Michael Tholen, sustainability director of OEUK
  • David Rodger, CEO, AREG.

The exhibition space will include an OPITO/Aberdeen Science Centre STEM activity, interactive displays and a “tech bites” area, hosted by OGV, featuring short presentations examining the latest solutions to reduce carbon emissions. The event will conclude with an evening dinner.

Event sponsors and supporters include bp, Shell, STC INSISO, Vattenfall, North Star, OPITO, Aberdeen Science Centre, North East Scotland Hydrogen Ambition (NESH2A) Steering Committee, Fennex, Scottish Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association (SHFCA), Energy Voice, OGV, Scottish Renewables.

To view the full speaker list and agenda visit the AREG website.