Speaker profile

22 JULY 2020:  Economic Recovery

Offshore wind will have a significant role in the powering the international economic recovery, with the UK at the forefront of investment in a sustainable economy. Join these two sessions to hear about how industry is playing its part in helping the economy to emerge from the Covid-19 downturn, growing the supply chain and the future of renewable hydrogen. Learn from experts looking at the economic recovery from a global perspective, to consider opportunities and how to make the most of them in 2020 and beyond.




Over the past months we all heard a great deal about the green economic recovery. What are the investment plans required to make this happen? What innovations will speed up this process? What will governments need to do to help? 

Live Q&A


Hugh McNeal, Chief Executive, RenewableUK

Hugh McNeal has been Chief Executive of RenewableUK since April 2016. He was a senior civil servant from 2006, including spending almost 5 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.


Declan Burke, Director, Clean Power Strategy and Deployment, BEIS

Declan is a Director in BEIS with responsibility for Clean Power Strategy Deployment including renewables and Carbon Capture Usage and Storage (CCUS). Previously he worked in a range of commercial and policy roles including the Electricity Market Reform programme and Civil Nuclear projects. He also worked in in UK Government Investments (UKGI) – the team in Government responsible for managing HMG’s interest in publicly owned companies and the Mergers & Acquisitions team at Deutsche Bank. He has an MEng in Avionic Systems Engineering from the University of Bristol


Dr Paolo Frankl,  Head of the Renewable Energy Division, International Energy Agency

Paolo Frankl is Head of the Renewable Energy Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), which he joined in 2007. Dr. Frankl leads the IEA’s work on renewables, providing analysis and policy advice on technology, markets and system integration issues to 30 Member and eight Association countries. A physicist by training, Dr. Frankl holds a Ph.D in energy and environmental technologies from the University of Rome and has been post-doc Marie Curie research fellow at INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France. Dr. Frankl has 30 years of experience working on renewable energy systems and markets, life cycle assessment and eco-labeling.

   Andrew Jamieson, CEO, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult 

Andrew is Chief Executive of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a technology and innovation centre supporting businesses to accelerate the design, deployment and commercialisation of renewable energy technology.  The Catapult provides deep technical expertise alongside large scale plant test capabilities. He was previously at ScottishPower where he was responsible for energy policy and regulation in the renewables business. He sits on the Scottish Government's Energy Advisory Board, is a past Chair of Renewable UK and Scottish Renewables and has led a number of reports for Government, including the Cost Reduction Task Force for Offshore Wind in 2012.


Lindsay McQuade, CEO, ScottishPower Renewables

Lindsay McQuade is responsible for ScottishPower Renewables’ fleet of over 2GW of renewable generation and future developments of wind, storage and solar plant across the UK and Ireland.  Prior to her appointment as CEO, Lindsay was the Policy & Innovation Director of ScottishPower Renewables, having held a number of strategic roles across ScottishPower over the last 20 years. Lindsay is also a board director of RenewableUK.


 Ray Thompson, Head of Business Development, Siemens Gamesa RE

Ray leads on policy, regulation and government affairs in the UK for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and has chaired a number of cross-industry groups on the areas of Supply chain and Innovation. An electrical engineer by background, Ray holds an MBA from Newcastle University. With over 40 years experience in the engineering and energy sectors, Ray has worked in transmission & distribution, fossil generation and renewables in both public and private sectors roles.





Countries around the globe are setting their sights on green recovery. The renewables industry has a key role to play in this. How are countries intending to seize this opportunity and what is the size of the prize? This session will explore the role of governments and business in getting global economies back on track, what compromises might need to be made, and the specific role of the UK Government as COP President.

Live Q&A


Rebecca Williams, Head of Policy, RenewableUK

Rebecca leads RenewableUK's work to develop policy and engage stakeholders on the next steps in the energy transition. Rebecca specialises in market design, working closely with governments and regulators to effect change that will deliver renewable energy at the scale needed for net zero. In addition to mature renewables like onshore and offshore wind, Rebecca leads RenewableUK’s work to create the right policy framework to bring innovative technologies – such as floating offshore wind, tidal energy and electricity storage – to market.


Ben Backwell,  CEO, Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC)

Ben Backwell is a leading commentator and strategist in the renewable energy sector. Prior to joining GWEC, he was a Managing Director at FTI Consulting, one of the world’s largest advisory firms, advising companies in the clean energy sector on strategy, communications, and government affairs, including work on a number of major M&A transactions. Previously, Ben worked as a journalist and analyst for 20 years, covering energy policy and markets around the world. He helped design the SolutionWind campaign for the European Wind Energy Association (now WindEurope) ahead of COP21 in 2015, before joining FTI Consulting. He has taken part in the work of a number of industry organizations, including the board of GWEC, the IRENA Business and Investor Group, the IEA’s Renewable Energy Industry Advisory Board, Solar Power Europe, and others.


Jonathan Cole, Managing Director, Iberdrola Renewables Offshore 

Jonathan is the Managing Director, responsible for the creation and running of Iberdrola’s Global Offshore Business.  He is responsible for the development, construction and operation of a pipeline of over 10,000MW of projects in the UK, US, Germany and France and the development of project pipeline in other areas.  Jonathan leads a team of over 400 professional staff and has overseen the growth of the business from its inception to a business running an investment programme in excess of €14Bn. Jonathan has also acted as Chairman of a number of industry bodies, including the Global Offshore Wind Health & Safety Organisation, the UK Government’s Offshore Wind Programme Board and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s Industry Advisory Group.


 Mary Quaney,  Group CFO and Executive Director, Mainstream Renewable Power

Mary joined Mainstream in 2009 and has held the role of Group Chief Financial Officer since 2017. Mary leads the finance, corporate finance and commercial functions across the Group, helping to shape and drive the company's strategic direction. Mary sits on Mainstream’s Global Leadership Team, its Risk & Investment and Corporate Social Responsibility Committees. She was appointed to Mainstream's Board of Directors in 2019. Mary has established a reputation for building world-class teams, implementing new reporting structures and systems across the company and for aligning the company’s finance strategies to support the business strategy and high growth. Mary has graduate and post-graduate qualifications from UCD and is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). She is an advocate and spokesperson on gender diversity and participated as a mentor for the Global Wind Energy Council’s (GWEC) Women in Wind programme in 2019.


 Benj Sykes, Vice President, UK Offshore, Ørsted

After setting up the Asset Management business with P&L responsibility for Ørsted’s portfolio of operational windfarms across NW Europe, he is now focussed on strengthening the company’s business platform in the UK - currently the world’s largest offshore wind market. Benj co-chairs the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), alongside the Energy Minister, and led the work to agree a programme of activities and commitments between industry and government through the Offshore Wind Sector Deal - to support the continued growth of the sector. 


Mary Thorogood, Senior Specialist Development, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind

Mary Thorogood (Senior Specialist, Business Development) leads MHI Vestas’ global policy and government relations function, building frameworks and political support to drive sustainable, long term market growth.  She has strong experience of the UK and European markets as they have grown as well as collaborating with Governments and stakeholders to establish supportive mechanisms in new global markets.  Mary joined MHI Vestas in 2018 from Vattenfall, the state-owned Swedish utility and one of the world’s largest offshore wind developers where she led UK Government and Stakeholder Relations. 


Sven Utermöhlen, COO Offshore Wind and Member of the Board, RWE Renewables

Sven has held various senior executive roles in Renewable Energy for more than 13 years, with a focus on offshore wind. After the merger of the former Renewables businesses of innogy and E.ON under the roof of RWE, Sven is the COO for Offshore Wind in the new RWE Renewables. RWE Renewables is a leading global player in Renewable Energy, the #2 worldwide in Offshore Wind and amongst the top 10 players in Onshore Wind.


Offshore wind is a global opportunity. This session will focus on updates from today’s biggest markets and emerging markets across the global. Join this session to learn about market opportunities as well as the regulatory, consenting and financial frameworks for offshore wind in each region. This session is the first of three over the course of GOW V-Fest and will focus on UK and Europe.


Bahzad Ayoub, Senior Analyst, RenewableUK

Bahzad Ayoub is a Senior Analyst at RenewableUK and has over 8 years of experience working as an analyst in the Energy sector. Bahzad is responsible for the Project Intelligence Database, ensuring that the information is keep up to date and providing research and analytical data to members with regards to the offshore wind and marine energy sectors. Prior to joining RenewableUK he was an Energy Analyst at Visiongain where he was responsible for the production in depth forecasting reports on various sectors within the global energy industry. Bahzad holds a BA degree in History and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies.






A substantial UK supply chain has developed to support the construction and O&M of our offshore wind farms. The supply chain is geographically dispersed and as a result, clusters of innovation, industry and training are developing in coastal regions across the UK. How will these clusters respond and bring growth to coastal areas and regions therefore playing a role in the green economic recovery?

Live Q&A


 Julian Brown, Vice President and UK Country Manager, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind

Julian Brown is Vice President and UK Country Manager for MHI Vestas Offshore Wind. He has a career background in engineering and manufacturing and joined the wind industry in 2000 as Managing Director of NEG Micon Rotors (now Vestas). Julian went on to co-found leading wind consultancy BVG Associates, became Country Director for AREVA Wind and also co-founded consultancy 8.2Aarufield. He is a non-executive director of Tekmar plc and trade association Renewable UK which he also Chaired for four years.


Martin Dronfield, Cluster Champion for East of England, All Energy Industry Council (AEIC)

 Martin Dronfield is the Director, Strategy and Business Development for James Fisher Marine Services. He has led their growth into the offshore renewables sector and their increasing presence in, and commitment to, the East of England region. He is a strong advocate of the work that EEEGR does for its members and for the region and is an active member of the EEEGR board and its sub groups. Martin started his career in the Southern North Sea gas fields before gaining some 33 years’ experience in the global offshore industry from working and living in a number of locations around the world. He has worked as a Director, Managing Director and CEO for a number of large and small offshore contracting organisations and brings a significant amount of relevant experience to the EEEGR Board. 


Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive NOF and Deputy Chair Energi Coast

Joanne has been with NOF for 24 years. She joined the organisation straight from university where she did a degree in Business Studies, specialising in marketing. Working her way up through the organisation from grass roots level she is now Deputy Chief Executive. Main areas of responsibility include looking at strategies to take NOF forward, overseeing the delivery of services, engaging with members, partner organisations and the client community and taking a lead in NOF’s international business activities. Joanne has travelled widely to many global destinations and has led over 80 trade delegations around the world. She was also involved in the offshore wind sector deal around cluster development and remains committed to making sure UK clusters develop and grow to maximise UK content in domestic offshore wind projects. As Deputy Chair of Energi Coast, North East England’s offshore wind cluster, she is instrumental in driving the regional offshore wind industry forward. Joanne is also a member of the IoD and was awarded in 2011 New Year’s Honours an MBE for services to the offshore oil and gas industry.


Andy Macdonald, Programme Director, Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) and Senior Innovation Manager at Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult

Andy Macdonald is the Programme Director at the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) and Senior Innovation Manager at Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. These roles provide a combination of innovation support for high growth SMEs with business transformation support for the wider offshore wind supply chain.  Andy has worked in renewable energy for the last ten years helping to develop companies in the offshore wind and tidal energy sectors.


 Helen Thomas, Supply Chain Manager (Sofia & Awel y Môr Offshore Wind Farms), RWE Renewables

As RWE Renewables lead on supply chain clusters, Helen has been instrumental in delivering on Offshore Wind Sector Deal commitments in this area. This has included setting up a brand new cluster in the North Wales North West region called The Offshore Energy Alliance (OEA). Helen recently joined Sofia Offshore Wind Farm as Supply Chain Manager. Her role focuses on delivering Sofia’s Supply Chain Plan commitments and facilitating valuable engagement between the project and supply chain companies - including within the North East region where the project will be based. Helen is committed to improving engagement across the supply chain, helping raise awareness and therefore maximising opportunities. Helen has a background in energy research, policy and stakeholder engagement. She previously worked at Trade Association Energy UK on a range of topics including Grids, Networks and the Smart Meter rollout. Before that she worked at the Energy Research Partnership, Imperial College London. Here she led and co-authored research publications on a range of energy system topics including The Integration of Renewables, Ancillary Services, Public Engagement and Hydrogen.