Programme Overview

Registration & Networking Coffee
A1: Onshore Wind & the Route to Net Zero

The independent Committee on Climate Change envisions an expansion of onshore wind in order to meet net-zero. But with a general election on the horizon, the business environment and the policy framework in which onshore wind operates could change markedly. Hear from our senior panel about how the political currents around onshore wind have been moving with public opinion and technological advancements, and what the diverging priorities of each political party could mean for the future of onshore wind.


  •  Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive, RenewableUK  

    HughHugh McNeal has been Chief Executive of RenewableUK since April 2016. He was a senior civil servant from 2006, including spending almost five years as the Chief Executive of the Office for Renewable Energy Deployment, and leading work on the development of the UK’s first Low Carbon Industrial Strategy as Deputy Director of Low Carbon Business from 2008 to 2010 at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Hugh is a Board member of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. Hugh was educated at the London School of Economics and Harvard University where he also taught from 1995 to 2000. He 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. Hugh lives in South London with his wife and young son.


  • Sam Hall, Director, Conservative Environment Network Ssam Hall

    Sam is the Director of the Conservative Environment Network, an independent forum for conservatives that support conservation and decarbonisation. Sam joined CEN after having served as a Policy Adviser to Michael Gove when he was Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. He was also the Head of Research at the liberal conservative think tank Bright Blue, leading their work on energy and the environment and authoring several policy reports. Before that, Sam was a Parliamentary Researcher for Graham Stuart MP. 
  • Kate Turner, Policy & Regulation Director, ScottishPower Renewables Ssam Hall

Kate leads ScottishPower Renewables’ policy and regulatory team with responsibility for both onshore and offshore renewables projects, covering all government energy policy, grid, planning, consenting and aviation matters. Prior to joining SPR, Kate was Legal Director at Pinsent Masons LLP where she advised on renewable and low carbon energy projects, PPAs, ESCOs, grid connection and low carbon/energy efficiency and district heating schemes, acquisitions/disposals and joint ventures. Kate was previously on the board of the Scottish Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, appointed to the District Heating Loan Fund Panel and has been involved in Government led working groups on low carbon transition in the UK.

  • Paul Cooley, Director of Capital Projects, SSE Renewables Ssam Hall

    Paul is Director of Capital Projects at SSE Renewables where he is responsible for the growth of the company’s renewable portfolio. This includes the development and delivery of a diverse capital programme including onshore and offshore wind, hydro, solar and storage projects. Previously he held the roles of Director of Generation Development and Director of Performance Improvement within SSE’s Wholesale business and was also General Manager for SSE/Airtricity in Ireland. Prior to joining the energy industry he held various senior positions within the chemicals and manufacturing industry in the UK, Ireland and overseas, including operational, regulatory and engineering management roles at DuPont, Koch Industries and the Quinn Group. He has an Honours degree in Electrical Engineering from Queens University, Belfast and lives in Troon  with his wife and three children.
  • Clark MacFarlane, Managing Director, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy  Ssam Hall

 Clark MacFarlane is the Managing Director of the company’s UK business, a position he has held since 2014, having joined the Siemens Wind Power business as Managing Director, Offshore in 2012. Since joining Siemens in 1997, Clark has been the CEO or MD of 5 Siemens UK Businesses covering Power Generation and Services, Defence, Building Technologies and IT Solutions | Services. Clark is a board member of Renewable UK, is part of the G+ Industry Strategy Group and SafetyOn showing his commitment to Safety across the Industry. As a member of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) that successfully concluded a Sector Deal, Clark is keen to drive Energy Policy to achieve a cost-effective future for sustainable renewable energy in the UK and whilst increasing UK jobs. Siemens Wind Power opened its doors to a new £310m development in Hull in late 2016, creating 1000 new jobs and further invested in the next blade generation which began production in 2019. Clark’s background is in Mechanical Engineering, along with an MBA, and prior to joining Siemens, spent 15 years working in the Energy Sector for Parsons and Rolls-Royce. Clark is married with three adult children and is a keen sports enthusiast managing to support both Newcastle United and Hibernian. 

  • Lang Banks, Director, WWF Scotland Ssam Hall

    One of Scotland’s leading environmentalists, Lang has worked for global conservation organisation WWF for over a decade and has been integral in their work addressing issues relating to climate change, clean energy, and marine protection.  Lang was appointed Director of WWF Scotland in 2013 and is a key player in WWF’s UK and international network where he advises on communications and campaigns. A biologist by study, his interest in the natural world stems from childhood and has led to him becoming an influential and dedicated environmentalist. During his time at WWF he has successfully spearheaded multi-year public campaigns to help deliver the world’s strongest piece of climate legislation and halt plans for a new coal-fired power station. Lang regularly Tweets and blogs about these and other subjects. You can follow him at: @LangBanks
Networking & Coffee Break
A2: Onshore Wind & Rural Low Carbon Communities

Onshore wind has a track record of investing in rural communities across the UK. These communities face challenges in attracting jobs and in funding their own low carbon infrastructure. Onshore wind can be a catalyst in vital work to make sure our communities are ready for a low carbon future.In this plenary session with audience feedback and discussion session we will discuss potential roles for onshore wind supporting rural communities including: Grid upgrades from single to 3 phase to support EV penetration and electric heating; Hydrogen and rural communities and attracting new industries attracted by access to renewable power.


  • Claire Mack, Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables Ssam Hall

 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.


  • Morven Smith, Head of Community Investment, SSE Renewables Morven

Morven is Head of Community investment at SSE and is responsible for delivering a programme of community funding worth over £8 million annually in the UK and Ireland. Over the last five years, SSE has provided more than £30m in community and charitable giving or benefits-in-kind; the vast majority of which has been granted through SSE’s community benefit funds which deliver financial support to a diverse range projects in the communities near to SSE’s renewables developments. Morven has worked in the energy industry for over twenty years and has a background in communications and community and stakeholder engagement.

  • Clare Lavelle, Associate Director -Energy Consulting Leader – Scotland, Arup
    Ssam Hall
    Clare is an Associate Director who leads Arup’s energy business in Scotland. Clare has over 15 years’ experience the energy industry and has been involved with a range of mature and novel energy technologies in UK, Ireland and internationally. Clare’s current focus is on the transition of energy systems and developing solutions that cut across industries and vectors to enable deep decarbonisation of heat, transport and electricity. She believes that these integrated energy projects are critical to enabling a net zero ambition.  Clare is currently leading the design and development of SGN’s H100 project in Levenmouth Fife. This world first demonstration of hydrogen production and distribution will supply 100% green hydrogen to circa 300 homes for domestic use.Alex Cacciamani, Managing Director, Borderlink
  • Alex Cacciamani, Managing Director, Borderlink Alex Cacciamani

Alex founded Borderlink early 2017 to meet the demands of digital connectivity across Southern Scotland and Northumberland. Borderlink has established a high speed wireless network covering 3,500 km^2 growing to 8,000 km^2 in 2020 with providing speeds upto 100mbit. In his previous life held positions in senior management and IT architecture positions for global enterprises and UK government.

B2: Onshore Asset Management - latert trends and critical issues

Onshore wind companies are at the forefront of work to rethink how to manage existing power assets to improve efficiency and extend lifetimes. This session will look at changes in sector ownership and how companies are rethinking asset ownership using tools such as co-location; benchmarking and data and new technologies.                                                                                                               


  • Laura Fleming, Head of Onshore, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Ssam Hall

Specialised in the development and commercialisation of renewable energy schemes Laura leads the Wind Farm Solutions team for NE&ME region at Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.  Laura has over 15 years’ experience in the renewables industry and in her current role she is responsible for the delivery of renewable energy projects from inception right through to commercial operation.  Together with her team she delivers advisory and innovative solutions to SGRE customers ranging from developers to investors with the objective to enable projects to be realised. 



  • Iain Dinwoodie, Senior Asset Performance Engineer, Natural Power Consultants 

Ssam Hall

 Iain has worked at Natural Power since 2016, bringing 10 years of experience in the wind industry. His role within Natural Power is focused on improving the performance and value of O&M analysis from a variety of operational data sources including SCADA, CMS, grid services, forecasting and expert knowledge within the asset management and ControlCentre teams at Natural Power and industry wide data analysis. Iain has a MEng in Mechanical Engineering with Aeronautics and a PhD on the reliability, operations and maintenance of offshore wind turbines, both from the University of Strathclyde.

  • Sath Ganesarajah, CEO, Lake Parime Ltd Sath
    Sath is the founder and CEO of Lake Parime, a company which has developed a mobile data-centre ‘on-demand’ that will plug into renewable energy operators – specifically wind farms in the UK. What we do may look a little different to how the rest of the group is thinking about asset optimisation. We optimise wind assets by tapping into curtailed power or when wholesale electricity prices are lower than prices paid for computing power.
  • Jethro Browell, Research Fellow, University of StrathclydeSsam Hall

 Jethro Browell is a Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, where he completed a PhD in wind power forecasting 2015. His research interests span all aspects of energy forecast production and use. This includes wind, solar, demand and price forecasting in the context of power system operation and participation in energy markets. Recent highlights include working with the wind industry and electricity system operator to widen access to ancillary service markets by developing analytics to support participation by renewables and market re-design. 

  • Cristian Lopez,  CEO, Smartive UK Ltd
    Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK
    His career has been focused in business development in the renewable energy for more than two decades. He has been cooperating with Smartive since 2017 as a Board Advisor. Prior to that Cristian was Regional Sales Manager at Alstom Wind (former Ecotecnia) being responsible for the sales activity in North Europe and Iberia. He previously worked in distributed and cogeneration energy sector. He holds a BS in energy technology engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and an MS in Marketing and Commercial Management from EADA business school.
  • Keir Harman, Director, Renewables Operations, DNVGL       Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK 

Keir Harman is Director of Renewables Operations at DNV GL (formally Garrad Hassan). He has worked in the wind energy industry for over 20 years spending the past 15 years founding, developing and running the global operational wind farm services for Garrad Hassan. He presently directs the renewable operations business including asset management, inspections, performance monitoring and energy forecasting. Keir has previously worked for Innogy and holds an MSc in Renewable Energy Systems from the University of Loughborough, UK and is a Chartered Engineer.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Networking & Lunch Break
A3: Onshore Wind & the Route to Market

Onshore wind developers are active across rural Scotland and Wales bringing forward new low-cost sites or reviewing their existing portfolio. New onshore wind sites need to be able to secure a return on their investment. Efforts to de-risk development and operation can go a long  way to reducing cost of capital and the growth of this new low-cost wind market.

In this session we will discuss potential routes to market including: The growth of merchant onshore wind; Government policy and longer-term outlook for the CfD market; Growing a UK PPA market for onshore wind – learning from Scandinavia and Alternative markets, revenue stacking and diversification. 


  • Esbjorn Wilmar, Managing Director, Infinergy Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK

Esbjorn is the CEO of Infinergy and has become one of the two shareholders of the company after the Management Buy-Out of Infinergy in 2017. He joined Infinergy 12 years ago and was instrumental in the delivery of over 25 on-shore wind projects around the UK, including approximately 350 MW in Scotland. He has considerable experience in both line management, project management and business development, gained in the Netherlands, the UK and overseas. Before Esbjorn joined Infinergy, he has worked for and with various high profile companies in the renewable energy, oil and gas and waste sector. Next to his day to day role in Infinergy, Esbjorn has always played an active role in the wider renewable energy industry, for example with Renewable UK and Scottish Renewables. Outside the renewable energy industry he has an interest in education through his role as Chair of Trustees of the Ringwood Waldorf School. 


  • Rebecca Williams, Head of Policy & Regulation, RenewableUK Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK

Rebecca is Head of Policy and Regulation at RenewableUK. She leads the association’s work on future market design and is responsible for developing new ways to bring innovative technologies, such as floating offshore wind, wave and tidal, to market. She has extensive experience in UK and international energy policy, and Parliamentary issues. 


  • Colin Williams, Director, Wind Development, Muirhall Energy Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK

Colin has been active in the renewable energy sector since 2000 having initiated the development of seven operational or consented wind farms, including the under construction subsidy-free Crossdykes Wind Farm. He joined Muirhall Energy, a leading independent developer of renewable energy projects based in South Lanarkshire, 7 years ago. The Muirhall Energy office neighbours our own wind farm and central to its success is a commitment to the communities in which we work. Originally an ecology graduate, he holds a Masters in Renewable Energy and is a Chartered Scientist and Member of the Energy Institute.


  •  Richard Murphy, Managing Director, TEC Alexander Meredith

A highly experienced Energy Professional with experience in all sectors of the energy industry from supplier to buyer, Richard is also a passionate and focussed leader of people and principles. Having added procurement and public sector experience during his time at Crown Commercial Services, Richard was appointed to lead TEC in September 2012 since then Richard and his team have established TEC as the recognised centre of excellence for energy procurement, principally in the HE sector. Integrity, collaboration, dedication and openness are Richard’s core principles, both in himself and in the organisation he leads.

  • Alex Meredith Head of Onshore Wind, Innogy Alexander Meredith

Alex leads innogy’s team of 12 onshore wind developers based in Perth, Baglan (South Wales) and Swindon which has delivered c.500MWs of onshore wind projects in the UK.

B3: Onshore Asset Management - Trends in Repowering and Life Extension

RenewableUK’s Spring 2019 report set out the scale of opportunity for industry to repower existing sites, and the challenges we face without a clear route to extending the use of existing sites.

In this session we look in detail about trends in repowering and discuss how our industry can best coordinate to manage some of the challenges and issues we face in managing existing sites and planning ahead.


  • Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive, RenewableUK Mike Daniel BW

    Maf Smith is the Deputy Chief Executive, RenewableUK. Prior to joining RenewableUK Maf worked at grid and regulatory consultancy Xero Energy, and for much of this time was seconded to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to work on Electricity Market Reform. Between 2006 and 2011, Maf worked as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Scotland for the Sustainable Development Commission, acting as advisor and scrutiny body to the Scottish Government. Between 2002 and 2006 Maf was Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables. 


  • Chris Calvert, Executive Director, Pegasus Energy Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK

Chris joined Pegasus Group in 2004 and established Pegasus Groups Leeds office in 2006/07. During his time at Pegasus Group, Chris has provided planning advice upon and managed a wide range of wind energy and other renewable energy schemes including those requiring Environmental Impact Assessments and the provision of expert witness services at Public Inquiries, hearings and written representation appeals. The most recent being the successful two week public inquiry relating to the ‘life extension’ of the Kirkby Moor wind farm in Cumbria.

  • Gauri Kasbekar-Shah, Director Structured Finance, NatWest 

    Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UKGauri has been working on project finance transactions for the past 17 years focussing mainly on the power and renewables sector and has played a pivotal role in establishing NatWest's credentials in the UK and growth into Europe. In onshore wind, recent relevant landmark projects include Project Helm which is the £355m onshore wind portfolio refinancing for Octopus, £80m Project Afton financing owned by Red Rock Limited, £680m Ventient Energy refinancing of 711MW onshore wind portfolio, £45m financing on Quixwood onshore windfarm for NTR Fund and the acquisition of 863MW operational onshore windfarms by First State in Portugal.
  • Colin Innes, Partner - Head of Planning, Shepherd and Wedderburn Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK

 Colin has substantial experience in advising clients in the private and public sectors on both contentious and non-contentious planning matters. On the contentious side he represents clients at Public Inquiries, Hearings and also advises in respect of Court challenges to planning decisions. He has significant expertise in relation to energy related projects including thermal plant, renewable energy and grid. He is also involved in other major infrastructure projects including road schemes and major mixed use schemes. He is a legal associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute and accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a planning specialist.


  • Richard Koiak, Head of Onshore Development, ScottishPower Renewables Richard Koiak

Richard has recently been appointed as the Head of Onshore Development to drive ScottishPower Renewables’ ambitious growth plans. He has been involved in the Energy Industry for over 15 years working as a lawyer in private practice and both ScottishPower Energy Networks and ScottishPower Renewables. Richard boasts an extensive knowledge of infrastructure and energy related developments along with practical experience of the leasing, acquisition and consenting process in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland for both on and offshore renewable developments.

  • Sam Johnson, Aviation Manager, RES  Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK                                                                                        

Sam has been the Aviation Manager at Renewable Energy Systems (RES) Limited for six years. She is also an active member of the RUK Aviation Working Group and is Vice Chair of the Aviation Investment Fund Company Limited (AIFCL), which is the funding body that supports the various work streams under the Government’s Aviation Plan, overseen by the BEIS chaired Aviation Management Board. Previously Sam led the Wind Farm Team at QinetiQ. She has an MMath from the University of Southampton and is a Chartered Mathematician. In her spare time Sam runs a charity, The Matchgirls Memorial, which celebrates of the victorious Matchgirls Strike of 1888.           

Networking & Coffee Break
A4: Onshore Wind – a deep dive into market trends and deployment

Following a RenewableUK update on current trends in the onshore wind market (new applications, consents, re-applications, repowering) our expert panel will debate the health of our onshore wind market and next steps – with audience participation and feedback.


  • Maf Smith, Deputy Chief Executive, RenewableUKRichard Koiak

Maf Smith is the Deputy Chief Executive, RenewableUK. Prior to joining RenewableUK Maf worked at grid and regulatory consultancy Xero Energy, and for much of this time was seconded to the Department of Energy and Climate Change to work on Electricity Market Reform. Between 2006 and 2011, Maf worked as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Scotland for the Sustainable Development Commission, acting as advisor and scrutiny body to the Scottish Government. Between 2002 and 2006 Maf was Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables. 


  • Marina Valls, Chief Economist, RenewableUKRichard Koiak

    Marina is RenewableUK’s chief economist, she leads thinking in the industry on renewable energy analysis by producing original analysis and reports that support RenewableUK’s advocacy and policy work. She has a quantitative background and over 6 years of experience in energy markets.                                                                                                         

  • Rachel Anderson, Head of External Affairs, RES Rachel Anderson v1

Rachel works for RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company active in onshore and offshore wind, solar, energy storage, transmission and distribution. At the forefront of the industry for over 35 years, RES has delivered more than 16 GW of renewable energy projects across the globe and supports an operational asset portfolio exceeding 5 GW worldwide for a large client base.  Rachel oversees RES’ public affairs, communications, media relations and community liaison. During her 12 years in the renewables industry Rachel has worked across all jurisdictions within the UK&I, on a range of different technologies – offshore wind, onshore wind, solar and energy storage, throughout the full project lifecycle from inception to generation.  Rachel has chaired the Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) since 2015 and was recently elected to the board of Scottish Renewables.