Get to know the latest additions to RenewableUK's Board and their priorities.
Following RenewableUK’s Board election earlier in the year which saw four members elected, our Board is being further bolstered by new members co-opted to join the Board for a 1-year term. Our latest additions come from a range of companies and bring a wide range of experience to help steer the growth of RenewableUK as we help our members deliver the transition to net zero. Read on to find out more about each of them and their priorities for delivering the UK's transition to renewable energy.
CEO of Hitachi Energy UK, Laura Fleming, wants to tackle the challenge of scaling up renewables deployment, as well as the supply chains and grid infrastructure needed to achieve this:
"I am delighted to join the Board of RenewableUK (RUK) at this critical time for our industry and the energy sector, representing the grid and wider supply chain.
After more than 20 years in renewables, I have witnessed our industry move from being niche to becoming the central plank of the energy transition. The acceleration of the deployment of renewables combined with increased grid capacity and flexibility has never been more pressing to reduce energy costs and increase energy security. Our industry and supply chain must now deliver faster than ever, incorporating all areas required to deliver the targets for increased renewable capacity in the network and grid to deliver the energy transition.
RUK is in a great position to pull all the strands that will create the energy transition together and to encourage collaboration across sector and with government to keep the UK amongst leading nations focused on delivering net zero, delivering low carbon power and to attract international investment in our energy systems. RUK can help by advocating the inclusion of grid as a requirement to deliver the plans and programmes such as ScotWind but also for additional onshore and solar generation, as well as furthering the decarbonization of transport and industry through renewable technologies."
Jonathan Cole is CEO of offshore wind specialist developer Corio Generation and sees the huge opportunity for renewables to drive economic growth:
"At a time of economic uncertainty and rising energy costs, it is more important than ever to accelerate deployment of clean, affordable and reliable renewables.
The UK is well placed to take full advantage of the green industrial revolution, creating enduring employment and economic benefits right across the country.
In the offshore wind sector, the long-term fundamentals are strong, but there are some very acute short-term challenges to overcome, not least in the supply chain, grids and permitting. I am delighted to join the board of RenewableUK, which has a vital role to play in addressing these challenges and driving forward the whole renewables sector. With my previous experience with the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Offshore Wind Programme Board, I hope I can make a position contribution towards these aims."
Jon O'Sullivan is Director of Onshore Wind & Solar at EDF Renewables and wants to see industry collaboration to tackle the energy trilemma.
"My current focus is on onshore wind and solar for EDF Renewables but I have experience across a wide range of renewable technologies including Onshore wind, Offshore Wind, solar, storage and hybrid projects. I hope to bring this depth and breadth of experience to the Board of RUK and promote the growth of Renewables as a whole.
If we are to hit our net zero targets then we need to work together - developers, OFGEM, BEIS, National Grid, DNOs, Governments etc. - to accelerate investment in grid while ensuring costs are reasonable. Another key priority for me is helping RenewableUK develop our supply chain. Attracting more investment from the renewables supply chain into the UK, creating jobs, promoting training and supporting a just transition.
RUK has an increasingly important role to play as the voice of our industry as we all seek to help address the challenges of the current Energy Trilemma. By working together better as an industry and with key internal and external stakeholders we can really make a positive difference to the challenges of climate change, energy security and cost of living."
Gordon is Managing Director at BayWa r.e. UK and sees the wide range of benefits that renewables bring as the sector's 'superpowers'.
"I bring a fairly holistic perspective to the Board having worked in the sector in the UK, US and across Europe in companies ranging from global utilities to family-owned - and in pretty much every technology and stage of project development. So I am committed to the sector, continuing its growth, realising its potential - and all that this brings to the UK commercially and the global environment.
We provide the lowest cost, most secure and environmentally acceptable energy. These should be the priorities and these are our superpowers.
I think we are still facing grid, route to market and planning challenges. But we are winning. And a key strength of the sector is its ability to collaborate and innovate. While the challenges are varied, first and foremost we need to work with governments and regulators to ensure they get it right and make long-term decisions."
CEO of ITM Power, Graham Cooper, sees the current gas crisis as a turning point for the energy transition, requiring a step-change in how fast we move away from fossil fuels in the UK.
“Fossil fuels are being weaponised, the price of natural gas has become untenable, and the energy transition isn’t happening fast enough. That’s why RenewableUK is critical to bringing together the organisations and decision makers best suited to transforming the UK’s fuel and energy system, and lobby for the policy and investment required to build a sustainable future.
“Remaining on the board of RenewableUK will enable me to continue raising the profile of green hydrogen and electrolysis as a clean, scalable solution to providing energy storage and decarbonising industry and mobility. Together with my fellow board members, I’ll aim to develop a support structure that will position the UK as a green hydrogen heartland.”