Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Next steps developing the renewable energy sector - regulation, funding and innovation

Morning, Tuesday, 12th January 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will focus on the priorities for further developing renewable energy capacity in the UK.

 The discussion is bringing stakeholders together with key policy officials who are due to attend from BEIS; Defra; DfT; DIT; the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; the HSE; HMRC; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Infrastructure, NI; DAERA NI; The Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.

The agenda:

  • The long-term policy priorities for renewable energy growth, and latest thinking on delivering a green recovery
  • Establishing a market framework for renewables - participation, technology, and costs for consumers and sector stakeholders
    • Reform to Contracts for Difference (CfDs) and maximising industry support for clean capacity - Pot 1 auctions, onshore technology, and sector growth
    • Adapting the Capacity Market for low-carbon - next steps for thresholds and prequalification rules, and increasing engagement with smaller generation and non-generation technologies
    • Supporting renewables sector growth across the whole system - reducing framework barriers and developing pathways to net-zero
    • Market design for financial sustainability and stakeholder engagement
  • Energy infrastructure development and regional growth as part of a clean recovery plan - local energy and industry plans, and preparing local networks for flexible capacity
  • Priorities for innovation - support for the R&D base, commercialisation of clean technology, and new business models
  • Preparing the regulatory and network framework for whole-system change and net-zero objectives
    • System operator duties and grid flexibility - clean capacity integration and scaling up smart balancing
    • Expanding offshore wind power capacity, and coordinating and meeting long-term grid connection needs
    • Reducing regulatory barriers for renewable energy grid access, and creating a charging regime that supports decentralisation

The discussion in detail:

The market framework

  • capacity expansion - strategies for incentives, increasing participation in the market and reducing barriers to entry
  • government reforms - assessing what they mean for the how the CM and CfD support renewables and open up wider opportunities, and further options that might be considered
  • whole-system change - incentive frameworks, factoring net-zero targets into future developments, and ensuring that smart infrastructure supports cost effective integration
  • innovation, competition and costs:
    • reducing barriers - options for
      • reforming prequalification metrics and enabling a wider array of technologies across services that meet capital expenditure requirements and can provide more cost effective capacity to the grid
      • scaling up the deployment of established and cost competitive technologies like large-scale solar and wind
    • engaging with consumers - including on lower supply costs
    • investment and funding:
      • investor confidence - supporting the financial sustainability of participants and attracting private capital
      • options for utilising auctions - looking at project and technology commercialisation, reducing Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for developers, and the decline in operational costs

A clean and infrastructure-led economic recovery

  • the role of the UK renewables sector - including expansion in regional and local areas and innovation to support the scale up of renewables
  • local collaboration:
    • the role of industry and government stakeholders in local energy plan and strategy development - expanding collaboration with regional supply chains, supporting jobs and skills, and growing the production base for clean energy capacity manufacturing
    • steps for enhancing collaboration between local industry, government and distribution network operators, and whether more is needed to support the design of smart, flexible and low-carbon regions 
  • innovation and commercialisation - developing capacity for R&D facilities, innovating emerging forms of technology like floating wind and hydrogen, reducing costs, and supporting new businesses
  • COP26 - the UK’s role as host and priorities for advocating the widening of ambitious UK climate commitments, as and showcasing the success of the UK renewable energy sector

The regulatory and electricity network system

  • priorities for developing a regulatory regime that can support whole-system change
  • preparing electricity networks for renewable energy integration, widespread use of smart services, and contributing to meeting net zero commitments.
  • steps for designing a regulatory system which supports the expansion of low carbon energy - amending charging rates for grid connection, reducing additional costs on generators, and aiding the integration of local and community energy projects 
  • priorities for ensuring power networks enable renewables and support decarbonisation - enhancing real-time grid management, integrating and balancing flexible capacity across the network, and translating cheaper operation costs onto consumers
  • designing a network fit for expanded capacity of offshore wind power - scaling up coordination between generator and community stakeholders, innovating connection design and infrastructure, and increasing cooperation with onshore network operators

Key developments:

  • New plans to make UK world leader in green energy - government plans that include wind energy and CfDs, with a focus providing green energy to all homes, as well as boosting green jobs and supporting the decarbonisation of industry
  • Contracts for Difference: proposed amendments to the scheme 2020 - consultation in preparation for the next round of CfD auctions in 2021, looking proposals on:
    • reintroducing Pot 1 auctions for onshore wind and solar power
    • widening participation to technologies like floating wind and energy storage
    • how supply chains and regional economies can further benefit from auctions
  • Capacity Market: proposals for future improvements - the official response to the consultation, following its formal reestablishment by the European Commission, committing to:
    • reduce minimum capacity thresholds from 2MW to 1MW
    • lower barriers for non-generation services like demand side response
    • further widen participation through an annual review on new technologies to include. 
  • Offshore Transmission Network Review - assessing:
    • the long-term needs of transmission capacity for offshore wind
    • steps that can be taken to expand grid capacity cost effectively and at the lowest impact on coastal communities 
  • Proposals for a green gas levy - the recently launched government consultation, aiming to help scale up contributions from gas to the grid and to reduce emissions
  • the Energy Network Codes Review - continuing between BEIS and Ofgem, which seeks to:
    • identify measures for reducing regulatory barriers for renewable and smart energy technologies
    • make rules for smart and low-carbon energy integration easier 
  • The net-zero policy agenda - government’s pledge to create a pathway for a clean and infrastructure-led economic recovery
  • Spending policy - the Spring Budget, which announced:
    • doubling of the £500m Energy Innovation Programme this Parliament
    • increasing the support of UK Export Finance for exporters in North of England and Scotland, involved in clean energy development 
  • COP26 - the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the UK’s role as host, with the delayed conference expected to take place in Autumn 2021

Policy officials attending

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders. Places have been reserved by BEIS; Defra; the Department of International Trade; the Department for Transport; the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; the Health and Safety Executive; HMRC; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Infrastructure, NI; DAERA NIThe Scottish Government; and the Welsh Government.

Overall, we expect further speakers and other delegates to be an informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government officials involved in this area of public policy, together with energy sector specialists including renewable energy developers, power generators, energy suppliers, network, energy storage and ancillary service providers, infrastructure, construction and engineering firms, investment and legal groups, and academics and commentators, as well as reporters from the national and trade media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Declan Burke

Director Clean Power Strategy & Deployment, BEIS


Dr Alan Whitehead MP

Shadow Minister for Energy and the Green New Deal


Wafa Jafri

Director, Power and Utilities and Deal Advisory, KPMG

Chris Hewett

Chief Executive, Solar Trade Association

Emrah Durusut

Managing Director, Xynteo

Sarah Keay-Bright

Practice Manager, Policy & Regulation, Energy Systems Catapult

Low Carbon Contracts Company

Patrick Cassels

Head of Electricity Systems Flexibility, Ofgem

Kayte O’Neill

Head of Markets, National Grid ESO

Liz Dunn

Partner, Burges Salmon

Professor Nick Jenkins

Professor of Renewable Energy, Cardiff University

Tristan Zipfel

Director of Strategy and Analysis, EDF Renewables