Ministerial Opening Address:

Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive, RenewableUKHughMcNeal New small version

Hugh McNeal took up his post as Chief Executive of RenewableUK in April. Before this, he spent a substantial part of his career as a senior civil servant, most recently as Director of Change at the Department of Energy and Climate Change. His other roles have included Chief Executive of the Office for Renewable Energy Deployment at DECC, and Deputy Director of Low Carbon Business at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He was educated at the London School of Economics and Harvard University where he also taught from 1995 to 2000. Hugh was on the Board and then Chair of Equinox, a charity providing services to people seeking to overcome alcohol, drug and mental health problems, from 2002 until 2012. He lives in south London with his wife and young son.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and EnergyPaul Wheelhouse credit 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.


 A1: Our Opportunity in Floating Wind

Chair: Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish RenewablesClaire Mack

Claire works across a wide range of sectors and technologies and is focused on creating opportunities for the renewables industry in Scotland to deliver strong future growth and enable it to deliver on future ambitions of securing a low-carbon economy. Scottish Renewables is the representative body of the renewables energy industry in Scotland. Claire was previously Director of Policy and Place at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry and led on telecoms, spectrum and postal issues. She has also worked in various roles at Ofcom in Scotland, focusing on economic regulation 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.

Sonja Chirico Indrebø, Vice President Strategy & Innovation, StatoilSonja Chirico Indreb

Sonja Chirico Indrebø is Statoil’s Vice President for Strategy & Innovation in New Energy Solutions, the company’s new business area established to drive profitable growth in renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions. Sonja’s career spans more than two decades in the global oil and gas industry. She was most recently Statoil’s global Chief Information Officer, responsible for information technology/security - strategy, innovation and development. She has previously held multiple leadership and technical positions in Statoil, including responsibility for large-scale projects and operations of global IT services. Sonja started her career in 1992 as an instrument and telecommunication's engineer in Aker Solutions, a global oil service and technology provider. She holds a first class BEng. degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Surrey, England.

John Robertson, Head of Wind, Crown Estate ScotlandJohn Robertson 2

John Robertson has been with Crown Estate Scotland and its predecessor body since 2010 and is a 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.

Matthew Taylor, Deputy Director, Clean Electricity, Department for Business, Matt Taylor
Energy & Industrial Strategy

Matt is a Deputy Director in the Clean Electricity Directorate at BEIS, covering such areas as the CFD, RO and FiTs.  Matt has spent a year at the Low Carbon Contracts Company which is the counterparty to CFDs. Prior to this Matt led the team on the design and implementation of the renewables CFD.  Matt has worked in a number of other fields in energy policy including nuclear and electricity retail markets.


A2: The Next Generation: Development Update on UK Projects

Chair: Úna Brosnan, Businesss & Strategy Development Manager, AtkinsUna Brosnan

Úna is the Business and Strategy Manager for the Offshore Wind (OSW) Energy business. She is a Chartered Civil Engineer with over 15 years’ industry experience with the last seven years immersed in Offshore Renewables.  She has hands on experience  on projects in UK, Europe,  Asia and is actively engaged in  emerging markets in US and Europe. She has worked in OSW projects from early inception  to detailed design, along with stakeholder engagement roles in the UK, Europe and the US and has been involved in the early development of a number of the Floating wind projects in Atkins portfolio.

Chris McConville

Chris McConville, UK General Manager, Floating Power Plant Ltd

Chris is a chartered engineer and with a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Edinburgh. Chris currently leads the development of Floating Power Plant’s UK subsidiary, FPP Ltd, and is responsible for delivering the company’s first projects as well as establishing the necessary UK value chain to support the company’s growth. He has worked in renewables for over 7 years, having previously worked as a project manager responsible for the development of an innovative floating LiDAR system.

Marcus Thor, Projects Director, HexiconMarcus Thor

Marcus Thor has spent most of his career within offshore industries, mainly in various project management roles. He started his career as a design engineer of floating oil & gas units before moving on to oversee various types of projects within oil & gas, mobile communications and offshore wind. Marcus joined Hexicon in 2012 and has led the Dounreay Tri Project since inception in late 2014.


Allan MacAskill, Director, Kincardine Offshore Windfarm LtdAllan MacAskill

Allan has 40 years’ experience in offshore energy. He conceived and developed the Beatrice demonstrator project, pioneering the development of large-scale windfarms in deeper waters. In 2008 he founded SeaEnergy Renewables. It became a leading independent in the UK offshore wind sector establishing a portfolio of 3.3 GW and international JV’s in Taiwan and China. Repsol purchased the company in June 2011. In 2013 he founded Pilot offshore Renewables with Nicol Stephen to pursue the development of the Kincardine Offshore windfarm, a 50 MW test and demonstration project for floating wind which will commence generation in summer 2018.In 2015 he received the “Outstanding Achieving award” for his contribution to renewables in Scotland.  He is a former Director of Scottish Renewables and Carnegie Wave Energy UK.


A3: The International Perspective

Alla Weinstein

Alla Weinstein, Founder, Trident Winds

Alla has been in the field of marine renewables for over 17 years.  Prior to founding Trident Winds, a deep water offshore wind project development company, she founded and ran two marine renewables technology startups and an ocean energy industry association. She is Governor Inslee’s Appointee to the Washington state Marine Advisory Council and an Ambassador with the DOE’s Women in Clean Energy Initiative.  Alla was ranked 20 in the first Women’s Power List compiled by the industry intelligence service, A Word About Wind.  She is an active member of the American Wind Energy Associations.

Aaron Smith, Head of Strategy, Principle PowerAaron Smith

Aaron Smith joined Principle Power in 2016 and leads Strategy for the company. He is responsible for business planning, economics, market analysis, as well as management of the WindFloat technology commercialization roadmap. Previously, Aaron was an Economist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he directed a portfolio of work for the US Department of Energy designed to identify high-value R&D opportunities for land-based and offshore wind technologies. In this role, and in his earlier work as a power-sector consultant, Aaron partnered with industry, research organizations, and academia to accelerate commercialization of innovative renewable generation technologies through targeted analysis. Aaron graduated with honors from the University of Vermont with degrees in economics and political science.

Rhodri James, Manager, Carbon TrustRhodri James

Rhodri is a Manager in the Policy & Innovation team at the Carbon Trust, where he leads on activity in floating offshore wind and offshore wind policy development. This has included authoring a market and technology appraisal on behalf of the Scottish Government and the set up and delivery of a floating wind joint industry project involving 10 leading international offshore wind developers. Rhodri has also authored several industry leading reports on offshore wind policy in both mature and emerging markets and he continues to provide ongoing advisory support to government bodies in Japan, China, Taiwan, and the US.

Bruno G Geschier, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, IdeolBruno Geschier

Bruno Geschier is Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Ideol. He is also the Chairman of WindEurope’ Floating Offshore Wind Task Force and promotes floating offshore wind in events across the world. Educated on both sides of the Atlantic, Bruno started his professional career as entrepreneur and international business development specialist in the US and Canada, focusing his efforts on the construction, engineering services and natural resources industries. He ensuingly managed the international expansion, the foreign subsidiaries and the export activities of innovative and fast-growing french SME in the electronics, energy efficiency and renewables industries. Passionate about renewables, innovation and international development, he joined Ideol in March 2014. Multilingual and multicultural, he holds a Master of Science degree in Management.


A4: Cost Reduction and Floating Wind: How Quick and How Far?

Chair: Gavin Smart, Head of Analysis & Insights, Offshore Renewable Energy CatapultGavin Smart

Gavin Smart holds the post of Head of Analysis & Insights at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. He is responsible for capturing and creating insights from across the ORE Catapult portfolio of projects and wider industry developments, and leads the financial analysis for all ORE Catapult projects. Gavin has led a number of floating wind-related engagements and studies. Gavin spent three years as Senior Investment Analyst for a major European utility. Prior to this he worked as a Valuation & Business Modelling consultant in the Middle East for one of the ‘Big 4’.

Martin Guzzetti, Financial Analyst and Contracting Advisor, Green GiraffeMartin Guzzetti

Martin joined Green Giraffe in 2016.  Over the past year, Martin has provided contracting advice to the developer of a pilot floating wind farm in France and collaborated with a floating technology provider regarding its project developments in Scotland. Previously, Martin worked in parallel on a master thesis in risk assessment of floating offshore wind farms and within Green Giraffe as a contracting advisor to offshore wind projects.  Martin holds a telecoms engineering degree from the Polytechnic University of Milan and has a master degree in project management of civil structures and infrastructures from the Master School Fratelli Pesenti.  He recently completed the European Master in Renewable Energy with a specialization in Ocean Energy from the Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centres.

Johan Sandberg, Country Manager, DNV GL

Louise Jakobsen, Project Manager, Siemens Gamesa Renewable EnergyLouise Jakobsen

Louise Jakobsen has worked in the wind industry for the last 10 years for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and processed various roles within project management. Louise holds a degree in Global Business Engineering. Louise started her career in onshore wind and executed projects in mainly the Mediterranean area and then she moved into the offshore sector and has i.e. executed Anholt Wind Farm and the test turbine at Hunterston Test Centre. Currently Louise is heading the Hywind Scotland project where Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has provided the turbines and has been responsible for the installation and commissioning of the turbines.

Lars Henrik Hosøy, Business Development Manager - Renewables, Aibel