Smart Grid Forum hosted by Bird & Bird and GP Bullhound

16 February 2011

Bird & Bird's Energy and Utilities Sector Group and GP Bullhound would like to jointly invite you to the second seminar in Bird & Bird's series on CleanTech and Renewables.

Faced with increasing energy demands, carbon reduction targets and the advent of new low carbon, but intermittent energy sources, the world finds its old energy networks in need of modernisation. The grid of the future needs to not only carry energy but also (or: more importantly) information if it is to cope with these seemingly contradictory challenges. This raises all sorts of questions about how smart grids are best achieved, at what cost and, equally, how the wider energy community (including users) can benefit most from the advances the smart grid brings.

Within the framework of a series of panel discussions, preceded in each case by a short presentation, we will examine:

  • Challenges and opportunities in making the smart grid a reality;
  • How much Investment / Capex will really be needed and where; and
  • Who are the emerging players in Europe and what do they have to learn from their peers in the US?

This 'by invitation only' interactive forum brings together key industry players from the worlds of communications, IT, technology, energy and Venture Capital and Private Equity with a view to sharing their unique insight into the opportunities and threats that are emerging as technology is developed to reshape the world of power. 

A selection of the speakers and panellists include GE, SSE, SmartReach, Power Plus Communications, Onzo, PassivSystems, Elster, Climate Change Capital, WHEB Partners, TSystems, Novus Modus and Yellow&Blue.

We hope you'll be able to join us to discuss how the evolution of the smart grid will affect your organisation, and the part you can play in its development.

For further information, or to register to attend this seminar please contact the Events Team at or call +44 (0)20 7415 6000.

The programme

16.00 - 16.30
Registration and refreshments

16.30 - 16.45
Welcome and introduction

'Will the Smart Grid turn our World upside down?
Andre Shortell, Partner GP Bullhound

16.45 - 17.30
'Challenges and Opportunities in making the Smart Grid a Reality'

Investigating what issues need to be addressed to ensure that the Smart Grid will see a successful roll out in Europe, including changes to the regulatory environment, price deregulation, incentives and how that would help and be implemented, standards and how the industry overcomes the issue around proprietary protocols

17.30 - 18.15
'Investing in Grid transformation: a tech manufacturer view'

Exploring the different views on what is needed to build out the Smart Grid and how new players will interact. Will info tech and increased communication reduce the need for increased Capex? Who will emerge as the new leaders? Will new entrants challenge incumbent utilities? How are different parts of the value chain coordinating?

18.15 - 19.00
'Who are the emerging players in Europe and what do they have to learn from their peers in the US?'

Exchanging views on the areas where new technology is likely to be deployed, what opportunities distributed generation may offer, where value will be generated and who has it as a core competence today?

19.00 - 19.10
Closing Comments
Ronald Hendrikx, Bird & Bird

19.10 - 20.30
Networking drinks and canapés