The Future of Energy – Net Zero (Virtual Events)

Do you have unanswered questions about the role you can play in the future of energy?

13 May - 29 July 2021

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Event Information

  • Are there gaps in your understanding around the implications for the oil and gas industries of the UK Government Energy White Paper?
  • Have you had enough of the conjecture and want to hear from the people who know what’s happening in renewable/clean energy and its forecast impact on UKCS?
  • This series is unique, it is a collaboration between the PESGB and the REA (representing the renewable/clean energy industry). These webinars will ask the tough questions around future careers in both industries, what the Net Zero target means for your current role and where the opportunities are.
  • Increasing your understanding will increase your capacity to benefit from the coming changes. Sign up now!

For the first time, the UK industry exploration community will join together with the REA to review and explore the UK Government’s Energy White Paper published in December 2020, and its commitments to meeting this country’s Net Zero targets, together with the emerging opportunities and ideas from all parts of the energy spectrum and the consequences for the PESGB and its members.

The Energy White Paper is a means of reinforcing the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan that puts Net Zero and the UK’s efforts to fight climate change through this framework, at its core. This has significant implications not only for opportunities in the fast-growing renewable energy and clean technology industries but also for the oil and gas sector.

This webinar series will be delivered collaboratively by industry bodies representing both the oil and gas industries, renewable energy and clean technologies. These are the industries that will drive the transition, and will have a stake in the vision of how this will be achieved by government and industry working together.

The targets and polices set out in the Energy White Paper will have profound implications on the oil and gas industry.

This event series will enable you to gain a better understanding of how these changes will affect you, your future employment and the industry as a whole.

This is set to be a unique – and uniquely valuable – event series!


In partnership with:

Session dates

  • Thursday 13 May 2021 – Introducing the Energy White Paper and Net Zero ambition
  • Thursday 20 May 2021 – How the energy transition must support consumers and remember you are a consumer too!
  • Thursday 27 May 2021 – Progress in decarbonising power over the next 10 years could make or break the Net Zero strategy as a whole 
  • Thursday 03 June 2021 – Energy Systems – our race to Net zero must accommodate a digitised, decarbonised, decentralised and democratic energy world
  • Thursday 10 June 2021 – Transport  understanding the six strategic priorities on the journey to deliver a Net Zero Transport system 
  • Thursday 17 June 2021 – Buildings – what will it take to eliminate emissions from our homes and businesses by 2050? 
  • Thursday 24 June 2021 – Industrial Energy – the transformation of industry through the decarbonisation of energy 
  • Thursday 01 July 2021 – Oil & Gas – rising to the challenge of the energy transition and the profound implications of the change ‘imposed’ on the oil and gas industry 
  • Thursday 29 July 2021 – Summary and final thoughts – bringing it all together for a Net Zero future

More information on all session topics and speakers soon to be announced.

Individual tickets are available for the complete event series (9 sessions) or per session. If you purchase a session ticket, you can indicate your preference when you register. Subject to speaker permission, the recordings of the sessions will be made available to paid participants after the event series.

Session recordings
Recording only ticket options are available for those who would like to view the sessions but are unable attend the live events. All recordings are subject to speaker permission.

* Concessionary tickets available on application. Please email Lydia Dumont, PESGB Senior Events Manager:


Session Information

Session 1: Introducing the Energy White Paper and Net Zero ambition – Thursday 13 May 2021

The UK Government’s white paper builds on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan outlining how the national energy and electricity mix will change in a long-term strategic vision for our energy system, consistent with net zero emissions by 2050. It is described as confirming the goal of a decisive shift from fossil fuels to clean energy in power, buildings and industry, while creating jobs and growing the economy and keeping energy bills down. A gargantuan task – needing government, industry and society as a whole to make this energy transition.

To bring the plan alive we will be joined by a senior official from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Committee on Climate Change, the UK Government’s challenger for Net Zero. They will be in conversation with Dr Nina M Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive, REA and panel Host, where we will delve to understand what measures are being considered now, is it ambitious enough and what more will need to be done to meet the milestones. What can we expect to read in the promised Net Zero Strategy to be published before COP26?

Guest Speaker: The Rt. Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben
Host: Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI – Chief Executive of The Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA)


Session 2: How the energy transition must support consumers and remember you are a consumer too! – Thursday 20 May 2021

The Energy white paper promises smarter, cleaner energy for ALL consumers and whilst this transformation is already happening, it will only accelerate in the decade to come. The UK Government and OFGEM the regulator, will be introducing policies and regulations which place at the heart of these changes fairness and affordability, protect the interests of people, in their homes, communities and businesses, and create opportunities to save money.

We can already see today smart technologies, enabled by our increasingly digital world, offering new products and services which will help us, for those that wish to, take control of our energy use and carbon emissions. For this important change to happen we need TRUST in the technology, our service providers and installers.

To help understand the challenges this transformation faces, Laura Sandys CBE (Challenging Ideas) will host a conversation with the Regulator, forward thinking energy suppliers and an important people’s ”voice” – the Climate Assembly, all of whom play an important role in this consumer experience.

Host: Laura Sandys CBE (Challenging Ideas)
Panellists: Juliet Davenport OBE (Good Energy Group), Virginia Graham (Renewable Energy Assurance Ltd) and Rachel Fletcher, Director for Regulation and Economics at Octopus Energy


Session 3: Progress in decarbonising power over the next 10 years could make or break the Net Zero strategy as a whole – Thursday 27 May 2021

All key stakeholders agree that electricity is a key enabler for the transition away from fossil fuels and decarbonising the economy cost-effectively by 2050. This belief also acknowledges that electricity demand could double from what it is today as other energy requirements, such as how we heat and cool our homes, businesses and industry as well as transport turn to low carbon electricity to “power” the transition. The extraordinary progress in decarbonisation of power over the last 10 years gives decision makers confidence for this ambition. With such a reliance on power, it is also abundantly clear that the decisions and actions taken over the NEXT 10 years will determine whether Net Zero can be achieved at all. Whilst the White Paper describes the volume and mix of established renewable technologies in the UK Government’s focus, there is also a need to see major gains in the “less established” low carbon opportunities. Will we see at least one major power carbon capture usage and storage (CCUS) project by 2030 as well as further developments in nuclear technology in time? How does this continued focus on more centralised power projects sit with the growing deployment of renewables and smart technologies on buildings and in regional, decentralised forms of power solutions (a topic we will explore further later in the Webinar Series).

To help explore the challenges facing the deployment of these technologies and ability to progress them at pace, Hamish Wilson, Founder/Lead & Renewables Expert, BluEnergy, will host a conversation with the three leaders of companies championing the different technologies, from solar, wind and bioenergy through to nuclear and gas with CCUS.

Host: Hamish Wilson (Founder, BluEnergy)
Panellists: Alan Woods (Director Strategy and Business Development – SMR, Rolls Royce), Tom Glover (Chief Commercial Officer, RWE Renewables GmbH and Country Chair, RWE UK) and Clare Harbord (Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, DRAX Group PLC)


Session 4: Energy Systems – our race to Net zero must accommodate a digitised, decarbonised, decentralised and democratic energy world – Thursday 03 June 2021

The UK’s energy system is one of the most developed and successful anywhere in the world. It was, though, designed and built for the age of fossil fuels.  Whilst now at a record low level, fossil fuels, primary petroleum products and natural gas still accounted for just over 79% of energy supply in 2019. This dependency on fossil fuels is set to change dramatically and the Energy White paper model will see electricity providing over half of final energy demand, effecting both how we heat and cool our homes & businesses and transport people and goods across our land. This change will revolutionise the energy system and not because it must support the deployment of clean energy technologies, but its need to adapt to a world in which energy is far more decentralised. In session two we considered the importance of consumers, this webinar examines the need for a Smart electricity system, how do we make sure it is supported by efficient electricity markets, which in turn must tap into the burgeoning and exciting world that modern digital infrastructure developments can deliver by marrying both markets and physical networks.  It is not just about electricity, as our gas network, one of most established in the world, will need to adapt to accommodate the “push for power” and decarbonise too.

To help understand the system challenges, Dr Nina Skorupska CBE, Chief Executive REA will host a conversation with senior leaders of the System Operator, National Grid ESO, Leading Academic Energy Markets, a major power systems company that sees “Building as Grids” and the UK’s Energy Systems Catapult.

Host: Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI (Chief Executive, REA)
Panellists: Philip New (CEO, Energy Systems Catapult), Siobahn Meikle (Managing Director, Eaton Corporation), Randolph Brazier (Director of Innovation & Electricity Systems, Energy Networks Association), Matthew Wright (Head of Strategy and Regulation, National Grid ESO)


Session 5: Transport understanding the six strategic priorities on the journey to deliver a Net Zero Transport system – Thursday 10 June 2021

The Energy White Paper announced 6 drivers for policy

  1. A shift to public transport
  2. Place based solutions (optimising local transport networks)
  3. Decarbonising how we get our goods (supply chain decarbonising)
  4. Decarbonising vehicles
  5. Innovation
  6. Export to the global economy

A suite of incentives and grants have been announced to support these drivers.

The webinar will pull together leading representatives from the car industry, Electric Vehicle charge points, and aviation/marine sectors to discuss their response to the White Paper. Upper most in all our minds are questions about the pace of change and the effectiveness of the proposed policy to stimulate the change.

Host: Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI (Chief Executive, REA) 
Panellists: John Baldwin (Managing Director, CNG Services Ltd), Alex Williams (Director of City Planning, Transport for London), Jonathan W. W. Wood (VP, Renewable Aviation, Neste), Tanya Sinclair (Director of Policy for UK, Ireland and Nordics, Chargepoint)


Session 6: Buildings – what will it take to eliminate emissions from our homes and businesses by 2050? – Thursday 17 June 2021

Buildings are the second largest source of emissions in the UK (after transport), with 90% of homes using fossil fuels for heating cooking and hot water.  From an energy system perspective, decisions on a ‘gas/hydrogen’ led or an ‘electricity’ led transition are critical to understanding the role of natural gas in our energy mix.  A system majoring on using the existing gas network for hydrogen (produced from natural gas – blue hydrogen) clearly has implications on gas producers and LNG importers to the UK.  An electricity led system founded on heat pumps, brings a different set of challenges particularly combined with a transition to electric vehicles and a substantial increase in demand (this is addressed in the power webinar on 27 May 2021)

The government’s policy drivers are founded on two levers:

  • To make buildings more energy efficient and therefore provide incentives for building improvements
  • Incentives for the take up of new energy systems and technologies (heat pumps, biomethane, hydrogen)

It is interesting to note that despite the vast amounts of government support to make the building sector more energy efficient, nothing has substantially changed.  A critical discussion point for the webinar will be the effectiveness in the proposed policy interventions to drive change.

To debate this topic, we will be inviting leading housing providers, technology providers and representatives from BEIS to discuss how they will be responding to the White Paper

Host: Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI (Chief Executive, REA)
Panellists: Martin Wright (Chair, REA), James Wimpenny (Chief Executive, BAM Construct UK), David Williams (Chair, Sero Group)


Session 7: Industrial Energy – the transformation of industry through the decarbonisation of energy – Thursday 24 June 2021

The Energy White Paper states that by 2050, emissions from industry will have to fall by 90% from today’s levels.  This has to be achieved while creating a sustainable future for the manufacturing sector.  Underpinning this transformation is carbon capture usage and storage in which emissions from industry are captured and stored underground.

A central plank of this decarbonisation strategy are industrial clusters.  The white paper states that four industrial clusters will be supported by 2030 and at least one fully net zero cluster by 2040.

Decarbonising Industrial clusters involves capturing carbon dioxide emissions from a suite of emitters (power generation, refineries, chemicals, gas processing), consolidating and then pumping the carbon dioxide offshore for long term storage in either depleted oil or gas fields or saline aquifers.  All the clusters involve hydrogen to some extent, both for industrial processes (e.g. Ammonia production) and as an energy source.  Four clusters are in the lead for funding, Acorn in Scotland, Net Zero Teeside, Zero Carbon Humber and Hynet (centred on Liverpool).

The oil and gas industry are heavily involved in these clusters both in being the project operators (BP and Equinor) and managing carbon storage (Eni and Acorn).

The role of carbon capture and storage is an essential component of the strategy.  How this funded and how carbon is priced is critical to success.  An emissions trading scheme is being proposed similar to the one operating in the EU.

The session will invite representatives from the four leading clusters to discuss the Energy White Paper and the ability of the industrial strategy, enacted through clusters will reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 90% of what they are today.

Host: Hamish Wilson (Founder, BluEnergy)
Panellists: Debbie Baker (Public Affairs Director, CF Fertilisers UK Limited), Mike Smith (CEO, NECCUS), Frank Aaskov (Energy & Climate Change Policy Manager, UK Steel), Tony Parton (Managing Director, CR Plus)


Session 8: Oil & Gas – rising to the challenge of the energy transition and the profound implications of the change ‘imposed’ on the oil and gas industry – Thursday 01 July 2021

The white paper acknowledges the role that oil and gas contributes to the economy both in jobs and revenue, but also notes that gas demand will drop to 80% of current levels.   The paper outlines the Net Zero Basin strategy proposed by OGA while also policy levers to incentivise the switch to clean energy.  The paper also introduces the North Sea Transition Sector Deal which presents support for:

  1. Cleaner energy production through reductions in fugitive emissions and on site energy consumption
  2. Supporting the delivery of CCUS
  3. Diversifying the oil and gas supply chain into new energies
  4. Supporting the development of hydrogen production
  5. Safeguarding existing jobs and establishing tens of thousands of new high-quality jobs across the sector in diversified energy technologies.

Sessions 5, 6 and 7 discussed the energy demand and the pace of change.  These will have profound implications on the pace and nature of the change ‘imposed’ on the oil and gas industry.  A faster switch to an electricity driven economy would result in a reduced demand for hydrogen and consequently a faster drop in demand for gas.

These are big questions that impact all of us in the energy sector,  be it oil and gas, nuclear and renewables.

To discuss the response to the White Paper and the Energy Transition, the webinar team are inviting representatives from the leading operators and supply chain along with OGA.  The regulator working alongside industry through the transition will be a key success factor in enabling a ‘just transition’.

Host: Neil Frewin (Exploration Manager – Global New Ventures, Shell)
Panellists: David Hemmings (VP Business Development & Commercial, Neptune Energy), Iman Hill (Executive Director, IOGP), Dr. John O’Sullivan (Chief Operating Officer, dCarbonX)


Session 9: Bringing it all together for a Net Zero future – Thursday 29 July 2021
Reviewing the topics that have been discussed throughout the series and looking forward to the UK’s Net Zero Strategy and COP26

After eight weeks of examining each chapter of the UK Government’s Energy White Paper (EWP) as the framework shaping the Energy Transition, we are coming to the concluding session where we want to recap what we have heard from leading experts and now turn our focus forward – towards the all-encompassing Net Zero Strategy due in time for COP26 in November 2021.

Many of the series devotees/ participants will also be aware that much has happened in those 8 weeks, for example, the Committee for Climate Change (CCC) has rebuked the UK Government for needing to do more and faster. We heard Lord Deben’s views (Chair of the CCC) in week one.

With less than three weeks to go before parliamentary recess (22 July) , we should see the publication of the “promised” Heat and Buildings Strategy (mentioned in week 2 and 6), Decarbonisation of Transport Strategy (week 5) and hopefully, the Hydrogen Strategy (discussed week 5, 7 and 8).  Each of these publications are so important to the renewables and oil and gas sector in different ways.

During the final session, we will be hosting a Panel that can explore the transitioning landscape from all angles including hearing from the government. We will explore the jobs opportunities in more depth (using REA’s jobs data published on 21 July) to project what this can mean for you and your businesses.

Host: Neil Frewin (Exploration Manager – Global New Ventures, Shell)
Panellists: Dr Nina Skorupska CBE FEI (Chief Executive, REA), Frank Gordon (Director of Policy, REA)

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