Events / POSTPONED – Energy Group: The Winds of Change

POSTPONED – Energy Group: The Winds of Change

February 27, 2024
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Energy Group: The Winds of Change

Tuesday 27 February, 18:30 for 19:00


Offshore wind forms the backbone of the UK government’s decarbonisation strategy for the power sector with an ambition to install 50GW in UK waters by 2030. In fact, most countries with any sort of coastline and relatively decent wind speeds have been looking at offshore wind as a way of decarbonising their electricity generation. Indeed, GWEC & IRENA were predicting in 2021 that more than 2000GW of offshore wind would need to be installed globally by 2050 to meet NDCs – this would account for one third of all wind projects installed globally.


However, recent geopolitical events have taken the proverbial wind out of the offshore wind sectors’ sails! From the lack of any offshore wind projects bidding for Allocation Round 5 in 2023 to the numerous developers who are trying to renegotiate their route to market contracts with governments in the UK and US, we have seen soaring inflation, high interest rates and intense supply chain pressures take their toll on project economics.


In this unique Energy Group event, we are bringing together representatives from an offshore wind developer, financier, lawyer and industry group to debate the meteoric rise of offshore wind as an asset class in the past 15 years, the current issues the industry is facing and what the future holds.


Richard Sandford has over 35 years of experience in the energy industry. An engineer by background, Richard started his career as an apprentice at the CEGB, holding roles in engineering, operations, and maintenance before moving into the renewables sector in 2008. He was Project Director for Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm and has held various global offshore wind leadership roles since. He is Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Chairman of the World Forum Offshore Wind, dedicated to fostering the global growth of offshore wind energy. More recently, Richard joined bp as Vice President of offshore wind in the UK, responsible for the development, construction, and operations of bp’s portfolio of projects including Morgan, Mona, and Morven.


Chris Towner is a Partner at WBD, a leading international law firm. Chris specialises in the commercial aspects of energy projects. He spent six years in the energy and projects team at Herbert Smith, advising a range of investment banks and public sector clients in relation to a wide range of issues connected with the UK electricity and gas markets. Since joining the firm in 2006, Chris has specialised in advising renewable energy projects. Chris is Chair of the RenewableUK Offshore Wind Delivery Group and Vice-Chair of the Renewable Economics and Markets Group.


Clément Weber is a founder of Green Giraffe and heads the London office. He coordinates Green Giraffe’s efforts in floating offshore wind and has led multiple transactions in offshore and onshore wind, both on the equity and debt side. He developed Green Giraffe’s offtake advisory expertise and supervised the sourcing of all its European renewable energy electricity for a large international corporation. Before founding Green Giraffe, Clément worked at Dexia in Paris. Prior to that, he spent a year in Beijing at AFD. He graduated from Ecole des Ponts ParisTech and holds an MSc in project finance from Université Paris X.


Rebecca Williams is the Global Head of Offshore Wind at the Global Wind Energy Council, an international organisation representing the global wind industry to the world’s leading political and economic institutions including the UN & UNFCCC, IMF, World Bank. She is responsible for promoting and facilitating the rapid acceleration of offshore wind globally, working with and advising governments and other key stakeholders in Asia-Pacific, MENA, Europe and Central Asia and the Americas. She works to create the right market, policy and regulatory frameworks for offshore wind to thrive. She is a market design expert, sitting on the UK Committee on Climate Change market design advisory board.


Rebecca leads two new and high-impact initiatives to accelerate offshore wind globally – the Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA), a diplomatic, multi-stakeholder effort on offshore wind, which GWEC co-founded along with IRENA and the Government of Denmark; and she is a board director at Ocean Energy Pathway, an offshore wind accelerator programme which brings together industry, governments and wider stakeholders to rapidly unlock the potential of offshore wind.


Moderator: Ranjit Mene (MBA 07D) is a former strategy consultant and has 14 years of experience in the offshore wind sector. Ranjit studied Chemical Engineering and worked in the water sector prior to his MBA. After INSEAD, he worked as a strategy consultant before moving into the offshore wind sector in 2010. In offshore wind, Ranjit has worked globally across the value chain in consultancy, development and for a wind turbine manufacturer. Ranjit currently works at RINA, a global energy consultancy. Ranjit is also an active angel investor.


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