Programme Overview

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

With a new UK Government in place and a firm cross party and multi-government commitment to net zero, onshore wind needs to be seen as a primary means of delivering this commitment. But after its first 100 days, what priorities have  been identified to get us to net zero?  Starting with an expert presentation on the road to net zero, our senior panel will discuss if and how net zero supports the case for future 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 HallSam 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




  • 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




  • 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





  • Phil Graham, Chief Executive, National Infrastructure Commission Ssam Hall

Prior to joining the National Infrastructure Commission, Phil        Graham worked on many of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects for the Department for Transport. He led the development of the government’s high speed rail strategy from its inception and took it through one of the country’s largest ever consultation and analysis processes, as well as leading the team supporting Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission and working on the London Olympics. Previous roles include posts running DfT’s incident response team, working on the Eddington study of transport and economic growth and as‎ Private Secretary to the Secretary of State.



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


  • Dane Wilkins, Head of Energy and Infrastructure Advisory, JLL 


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




  • Sath Ganesarajah, CEO, Lake Parime Ltd

    I’m 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




  • 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, Asset Optimisation and Management, DNV GL            Cristian Lopez CEO Smartive UK                                                                                                                                                                                
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





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




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


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




  • 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 played a pivotal role in establishing NatWest's credentials in the UK.  She has been involved in structuring and arranging market leading deals across a range of sectors including onshore and offshore wind, waste and biomass. In onshore wind she has led a number of single asset and portfolio transactions, having financed c.2.5GW of onshore wind capacity. 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 for JPM Asset Management, £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



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


  • Marina Valls, Chief Economist, RenewableUK Richard Koiak