SCOTLAND’S First Minister Nicola Sturgeon us expected to deliver the main address to more than 7000 delegates attending what is being billed as the UK’s largest renewables and low carbon energy conference.
Her May 2 address to the All-Energy event is potentially significant, coming just eight months after she told the SNP party conference in Glasgow, that her government would will establish a publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company to deliver renewable energy to Scottish customers “as close to cost price as possible”.
She said at the time: “The idea, at its heart, is simple. Energy would be bought wholesale or generated here in Scotland – renewable, of course – and sold to customers as close to cost price as possible.”
And she added: “No shareholders to worry about. No corporate bonuses to consider. It would give people – particularly those on low incomes – more choice and the option of a supplier whose only job is to secure the lowest price for consumers.”
The Scottish Government has just published its Climate Change Plan but has been urged by environmental groups to do more, before it pushes a much anticipated Climate Change Bill into law.
It is thought she may use her address to the 18th All-Energy event at the Glasgow Event Campus to reinforce her message.
Some 7,000 participants from home and overseas; up to 300 exhibiting companies; and a and seminar programme with more than 400 speakers takes place over the two-days,
“We are delighted to be welcoming Scotland’s First Minister back to the show on opening morning,” All-Energy’s Event Director, Jonathan Heastie of organisers, Reed Exhibitions said.
“She made her first visit a year ago during the build up to the UK General Election.
“The First Minister’s presence will add to both the topicality and significance of the programme particularly now that Scotland has published both its Energy Strategy and Climate Change Plan.”
Other speakers in the opening day plenary session to be chaired by ScottishPower’s CEO, Keith Anderson are: Lord Provost Eva Bolander, Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow; Sinead Lynch, Chair, Shell UK; Councillor Susan Aitken,Leader of Glasgow City Council; Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of Strathclyde; and Ian Miekle, Director-Infrastructure Systems, Innovate UK with Graham Oakes, CEO, Upside Energy.
The events theme for the next day will be ‘Electric free for all – anarchy or ecstasy? – Will decentralised generation, digital disruption, decarbonisation of transport and customer choice bring benefit to the UK or our power system to its knees?’
It will be chaired by Lindsay McQuade, CEO, ScottishPower Renewables with four panellists: Matthew Knight, Head of Business Development Power and Gas and Power Services, Siemens plc; Dustin Benton – Policy Director, Green Alliance; Charlotte Ramsay -Team Coordinator – FSO Programme, National Grid; Dr Tim Rotheray – Director, Association for Decentralised Energy; and Rt Hon Charles Hendry, Chair, Smart Power Industry Alliance.
Renewable generation, energy efficiency, low carbon heating and low carbon transport and associated topics such as energy systems, energy storage, carbon capture and storage (CCS), decarbonisation of industry, sustainable and smart cities are among other topics to be covered.
Additionally there are sessions and programmes on the farming community; local authorities and communities. A POWERful Women networking event will be another feature of Day 2.
Commercial disclosures show that among those sponsoring the event are headliners Shepherd and Wedderburn and also ScottishPower Renewables .
Some 40 trade associations, government departments, professional bodies and learned societies are also involved, and is held in association with the Renewable Energy Association; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Scottish Enterprise; Innovate UK; Sustainable Glasgow; and the Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), with Glasgow as its Host City, and the Society for Underwater Technology as Learned Society Patron.
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