Smart energy systems - challenges and opportunities

Date: 22 May 2014
Time: 17.30 - 21.00    Venue: Bird & Bird
15 Fetter Lane

Bird & Bird and the Cambridge Alumni Energy Society are delighted to invite you to a seminar examining various examples of how new smart energy systems are being developed and tested to transform the energy market and its value chains.

This seminar adopts a practical, hands on approach relying on the considerable experience of our panel to examine the challenges for local government, service providers and others in securing the potential benefits and handling any disruption to the existing energy market, its infrastructure and value chains.

Speakers will look at: existing programmes aimed at enabling the delivery of efficient heat to meet local as well as national requirements; how future energy systems will respond to new technologies and market mechanisms such as demand management; and, ambitions and practicalities surrounding energy systems transformation.  Short presentations from our speakers will be followed by a panel discussion examining these issues as well as regulatory and legal pitfalls.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Grant Bourhill, Project Director, Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) Smart Systems and Heat Programme.
    Grant joined the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) as Director of  Programme Delivery in April 2008.  Responsibilities included commissioning and the subsequent safe and successful delivery of all projects within the ETI portfolio. In 2013, Grant was selected to lead the ETI’s Smart Systems and Heat activity as Director of the ETI’s second office in Birmingham.
    Grant was formerly Director of Business Development at Sharp Laboratories Europe.  Prior to Sharp, Grant spent five years at QinetiQ in emerging technology management, including work on innovative composite damage sensors, which was recognised by the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics.  Grant graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a First in Chemistry and subsequently completed his PhD in Nonlinear Optics at the same university and was awarded the prize for best thesis. He has been a recipient of both a NASA Fellowship and a Von Humboldt Research Fellowship and has over 30 patents and more than 40 publications in peer-reviewed journals.  He holds an MBA(Distinction) from Oxford’s Said Business School, for which he received the Dean’s Award.
  • Phil Lawton, Future System Operations Manager, National Grid.
    Phil Lawton is National Grid’s Future System Operation Manager responsible for taking a long term view of how the gas and electricity grids will operate, and the issues that will need to be managed.  This work focuses on both the impact of new sources of electricity such as wind/solar and the potential electrification of heat/transport.  Recent assignments include a secondment to DECC, working on energy resilience, and leading a project on the most economic way to achieve an 80% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. 

  • Sacha Meckler, Smart Grid - Regulatory and Business Development Manager, Wipro Technologies.
    Sacha provides strategic, technical and market advisory services as well as comprehensive implementation and execution functions for Wipro's clients. He specialises in the innovation and transformation of systems and organisations to meet the challenges of emerging cross sector trends in generation, distribution and consumption of utility services.

We hope you can join us.

Would you like to attend?

The programme

17.30 - 18.00
Registration and refreshments

18.00 - 18.05
Welcome and introduction
Joshua Partridge, Associate, Bird & Bird

18.05 - 18.15
Smart Systems and Heat
Dr Grant Bourhill, Project Director, Energy Technologies Institute

18.15 - 18.25
UK Future Energy Scenarios and the Grid
Phil Lawton, Future System Operations Manager, National Grid

18.25 - 18.35
Ambitions and practicalities of energy systems transformation
Sacha Meckler, Smart Grid - Regulatory and Business Development Manager, Wipro

18.35 - 18.45
Panel discussion including all speakers
Moderated by Ronald Hendrikx, Partner, Bird & Bird

18.45 - 19.30
Questions and answers

19.30 - 21.00
Drinks and networking

Location map