Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Research and innovation in UK energy - investment, commercialisation and the impact of policy

Morning, Thursday, 5th March 2020

Central London


This conference will assess priorities for accelerating innovation in energy technologies in the UK - looking at both established and emerging sectors.

Areas for discussion include:

  • Accelerating innovation development and adoption;
  • Funding, partnerships and fostering investor confidence; and
  • Skills to support energy innovation in the UK.

Key policy developments and initiatives

Discussion is expected to reflect issues related to:

  • The Energy Innovation Programme - and the transition to low-carbon energy - including efficiency gains, renewables and smart technology;
  • The Government’s forthcoming Energy White Paper - with its expected roadmap for UK energy policy up to 2050 - the legislated target for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050;
  • The upcoming National Infrastructure Strategy - and commitments for net-zero emissions, as announced in the Spending Round;
  • Renewable energy - including improvements to manufacturing techniques, flexibility, and whole-system integration;
  • Natural gas - and its preparation for low-carbon targets, such as conversion to hydrogen and enhancing turbine and generator efficiency; and
  • Advanced nuclear technologies - looking at policy objectives, prospects for cost reductions in small modular reactors, and fusion technology, in light of £220m recently announced for commercialising conceptual-stage power stations;


There will be a keynote contribution from Matthew Billson, Head of Strategy - Energy Innovation Programme, BEIS and a senior speaker confirmed from the Department for International Trade.

Further keynote speakers include: Willem Bode, Director, Energy, Navigant; Laura Brown, Energy Research Programme Manager, Newcastle University; Susan Falch-Lovesey, Local Liaison Officer and Skills Champion, Vattenfall; and Filippo Gaddo, Director, Energy Economics and Regulation, Arup.  There will also be speakers from: Atkins UK and Europe; the National Nuclear Laboratory; the PowerHouse Energy Group; and Siemens Gas and Power.

The agenda

  • Investment, the Energy White Paper, and meeting net-zero emissions by 2050;
  • Innovation in established and emerging energy technologies - decarbonisation, cost reduction, and bringing projects to market;
  • Business development, commercialisation, and supporting investor confidence;
  • Future models for investment and support - and expansion of the regulated asset base;
  • Exports based on UK energy technology development - assessing the opportunities;
  • Research, innovation and scalability across the energy sector:
    • Growing national clusters for research and innovation in energy, and addressing regional imbalances in resources and capacity;
    • Ensuring technology development works for industry - whole-system compatibility, working with supply chains, and minimising costs;
    • Access to skills and technical capabilities for advanced technology, and preparing the workforce;
  • Using latest developments in scientific research and evidence to inform policymaking and long-term strategies.

Keynote Speakers

Senior speaker confirmed from the Department for International Trade

Susan Falch-Lovesey

Local Liaison Officer and Skills Champion, Vattenfall

Matthew Billson

Head, Strategy - Energy Innovation Programme, BEIS


Lord Ravensdale


Dr Kirsty Hewitson

Head, IP and Innovation, National Nuclear Laboratory

Filippo Gaddo

Associate Director, Energy Economics and Regulation, Arup

Laura Brown

Energy Research Programme Manager, Newcastle University

David Ryan

Chief Executive Officer, PowerHouse Energy Group

Matthew Knight

Head of Business Development, Siemens