Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir, Director, SFI MaREI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine

Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir is Director of the MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine. MaREI comprises over 220 researchers in 12 institutes around Ireland undertaking a €60 million collaborative research programme addressing the grand challenges of the energy transition, climate action and the blue economy. Brian is also Professor of Energy Engineering in UCC, and Programme Director of UCC’s B.E. (Energy), M.E. (Energy) and M.Eng.Sc. (Sustainable Energy) Programmes. Prof. Ó Gallachóir’s research focuses on using energy modelling to undertake scenario analyses in order to better inform energy and climate change mitigation policy. His research has informed Irish, EU and global policy decisions. Brian is also the elected Chair of the Executive Committee of IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programme on energy systems modelling (IEA-ETSAP). He has published extensively (over 100 journal papers, over 5,000 citations and h-index of 36) and has directly informed energy and climate action policy decisions. Brian is also Vice Director of UCC’s Environmental Research Institute, a member of the national Gas Innovation Advisory Group, has a B.Sc. from TCD and a PhD from UCC.

Minister Seán Canney TD, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Seán Canney comes from a small family farm in North County Galway on the West coast of Ireland. Prior to entering politics, he spent 25 years in the private sector. Mr Canney is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor by profession and lectured at GMIT on Construction Law and Quantity Surveying prior to his election to Dáil Eireann. Seán Canney TD was appointed Minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development on 16 October 2018. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as an Independent TD for Galway East in 2016 and had served as Minister of State for OPW and Flood Relief from May 2016 until June 2017 before his latest appointment. Seán served as Assistant Government Chief Whip from 2017 – 2018. He was a member of the Council of Europe. Seán also sat on the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Rural and Community Development, and the Joint Oireachtas Committee for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. He was first elected to Galway County Council in 2004 and re-elected in 2009 and 2014. He served as Mayor of County Galway in 2007-2008.

Marie Donnelly, Chairperson, Renewables Energy Ireland and former Director for Renewables, Energy Efficiency and Innovation at the Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission

Throughout her thirty-year career in the European Commission, Marie has been a leading advocate of future oriented policies and strategies – most recently to accelerate the energy transition. As the Director for Renewables, Energy Efficiency and Innovation, at DG Energy, she formulated key elements of the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package designed to put energy efficiency first, achieve global leadership in renewable energies and provide a fair deal for consumers. Currently, Marie is Chairperson of Renewable Energy Ireland – an open partnership of sustainable energy associations working collectively to support the energy transition in Ireland; a non-executive director of Tipperary Energy Agency – a social enterprise for energy efficiency; and E3G, a climate change think tank operating to accelerate the global transition to a low carbon economy. As European Advisory Board Member of the Hawthorn Club, the only International Network for professional women in the energy industry, Marie advances the appointment of women to senior positions and mainstreams gender equality, with the emphasis that equality is for both women and men.

Roisin Cullinan, Network and Emergency Planning Manager, CRU (Commission for Regulation of Utilities)

Roisin Cullinan is currently the Network and Emergency Planning manager for gas and electricity at the CRU. Following early roles in the private sector in pharma and fire safety engineering, Roisin joined the Energy Safety Division of the CRU in 2010 to establish the Petroleum Safety Framework, which she then managed through its early operational years. She has extensive experience in legislative design and implementation and has represented Ireland on a number of fora internationally. In her emergency planning role, she is currently tasked with implementing the Risk Preparedness Regulation in the electricity sector along with monitoring the security of our gas supply. In terms of network planning, her work overlaps with a number of areas including procurement of future generation to feed into long term network development plans.

Dr. Matt Kennedy, Head of Strategy and Business, International Energy Research Centre, Tyndall

Dr. Matt Kennedy is Head of Strategy and Business in the International Energy Research Centre at Tyndall, Cork.He is the European Commission’smitigation expert for the European Green Capital Programme. Matt was previously responsible for strategic planning and R&D for SEAI. He was lead EU Negotiator for technology at COP21 UNFCCCand was a member of the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee). Matt was Chair of the UNEP’s Climate Technology Centre and Chair of the IEA’s Renewable Energy Technology Agreement. Matt holds a PhD in Engineering from Trinity College Dublin, and Masters’ degrees from NUI Galway and University College Dublin.

Dr Piyush Verma, Senior Energy Market Analyst, IERC – International Energy Research Centre

Piyush leads the policy & regulatory innovation work at the International Energy Research Centre. He works on the intersection of technology, policy and society, and has significant expertise researching, developing and implementing energy transition policies. He has been selected as Global Future Energy Leader by the World Energy Council London, where he regularly contributes on energy transition and innovation policies. He also works as Vice Chair of the Energy Efficiency Expert Group at United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva to shape the digitalisation policy agenda for the Energy Sector. Piyush is an Electrical Engineer, has a PhD in Energy Technology and Policy from The University of Auckland, New Zealand and has completed a programme on 21st Century Public Policy Challenges from University of Virginia, USA.

Neil Naughton, Chairman, Glen Dimplex

Neil Naughton studied at University College Dublin between 1988 and 1991 and graduated with a BA (Hon) in Economics. Neil also studied at Columbia University, New York (1995-96) and graduated with a Masters in Business Administration. Neil joined Glen Dimplex in 1991 and worked in a number of roles in the UK, Germany, Ireland and Canada before attending Columbia University. Upon graduation in 1996 Neil assumed the role of Chief Executive Office of Glen Dimplex Benelux, a post held for 4 years. In 2000 Neil was appointed Chief Executive of Glen Dimplex International. In 2003 Neil joined the Board of the Glen Dimplex Group and had a special responsibility for International Business and in 2010 became the Deputy Chairman and most recently Chairman since 1st August 2019. Neil sits on the Advisory Council of the Mendoza Business School at Notre Dame University and is currently the Chairman of the steering committee of the American College Football Classics.
Neil is married to Deirdre and they have an eleven year old son, Martin.

Professor Andrew Keane, Director, Energy Institute, University College Dublin

Andrew Keane is Director of the Energy Institute at University College Dublin and Lead Investigator of the SFI Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme, a research programme which brings together multiple disciplines to address research challenges facing the energy sector, in particular as we move towards decarbonisation. Andrew’s research interests include the impact of new energy resources on the power system from the residential network up to the high voltage transmission system. Current research topics focus upon the impact and opportunities presented by renewable and distributed energy resources on the electrical network. Previously, he has worked with ESB Networks in the areas of renewable generation planning and smart networks and as a Senior Engineer with Smarter Grid Solutions in Glasgow. He is a Co-Founder of NovoGrid, a grid automation company delivering control solutions which enable renewable generators to increase their energy output. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and past chair of the IEEE Power and Energy Society UK and Ireland Chapter. He has published over 100 peer reviewed publications, including over 50 papers in leading journals.

Jim Scheer, Head of Low Carbon Technologies, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

Jim has over 16 years’ experience working in the field of policy analysis and development related to environmental issues. He holds a Professional Diploma in Advanced Management Performance (Smurfit Business School), MSc. Economic Policy Studies (Trinity College Dublin), BSc. Environmental Science (Flinders University, South Australia). He is currently Head of Department (Low Carbon Technologies) at SEAI. Jim is passionate about getting people connected to the need for immediate climate action

Brian Mullins, Head of Regulatory Affairs, Gas Networks Ireland

Brian Mullins is Head of Regulatory Affairs for Gas Networks Ireland, with responsibility for market development, market operations and regulatory compliance in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the UK and Europe.  Brian has over 15 years’ experience across a number of roles in both the supply and networks aspects of the gas business.  Brian joined Bord Gáis Éireann on its Graduate Programme in 2004, working firstly in the Energy Trading side of the business across a number of roles before joining the Networks business in 2013.  Since then, Brian has held a number of senior regulatory roles until his appointment to his current position in 2018. Brian holds degrees in Commerce (B.Comm) and Economics (MEconSc) from University College Cork and a Diploma in Management Practice from the IMI.

David McAuley, Founder & CEO, Bitpower

David established Bitpower in 2017 in response to the increasing demand for independent advice on power options for data centres. His background in energy technology and policy provides a unique position from which to advise data operators. Bitpower works directly with data centre developers to create and deliver their power strategies. David has supported Host In Ireland since 2016 where he provides data industry analysis and quarterly market updates. David worked for almost a decade with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland where he helped Ireland’s largest energy users to create and implement energy policies. He was Ireland’s national delegate for energy research in the EU Horizon 2020 programme, and he helped to develop Ireland’s energy research strategy in 2014. He also has extensive industrial experience in project management with multinational pharmaceutical and tech companies.

Paddy Finn, Managing Director, Electricity Exchange

Paddy Finn, Managing Director of Electricity Exchange, is a representative of Demand Response Aggregators of Ireland (DRAI). As Ireland continues to tackle the engineering challenges posed by its ambitious renewable energy targets, DRAI’s members aim to reduce the need to build additional infrastructure by utilising the capabilities of existing electricity customers to deliver valuable flexibility services to the power system. With a combined capacity in excess of 600 MW and growing, DRAI members deliver a range of services across the capacity, energy, and DS3 System Services markets, including sub-second Fast Frequency Response. Paddy holds a PhD in ‘The facilitation of renewable power generation using demand response’ from the University of Limerick and is an industry representative on the Grid Code Review Panel, Trading and Settlement Code modifications committees, and DS3 Advisory Council. He was previously listed as one of the ‘Thirty under 30 shaping Ireland’s future’ and was a finalist in the 2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Peter Lefroy, Director, innogy Renewables Ireland

Peter Lefroy is a Director of innogy Renewables Ireland, a subsidiary of innogy SE. innogy Renewables has an extensive portfolio of hydro, solar and biomass plants and we are one of the major operators of offshore and onshore wind energy in Europe. Our aim is to continue to expand renewables worldwide, both on our own and working with partners as we believe that working together in this way is the key to making the energy transition a success. Peter is leading the development of Dublin Array Offshore Wind Farm, a >600MW project on the east coast of Ireland. He has extensive experience in the energy industry in Ireland, having worked in both engineering consultancy and project development and construction and holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Limerick and an MBA from Trinity College Dublin. Peter is also chair of the IWEA Offshore Wind Committee.

Andy Kelly, Andy Kelly, Senior Principal Consultant, AFRY Management Consulting

Andy Kelly is responsible for supporting a wide range of clients in addressing the future evolution of the market, with a particular focus on the significant decarbonisation anticipated across the island of Ireland. Andy has more than 18 years’ commercial experience in wholesale power and commodity markets and brings a detailed knowledge of the electricity markets in Ireland and the UK, including the new I-SEM market and support schemes for renewable generators. He has a deep understanding of the commercial aspects of the electricity generation and trading markets, and extensive experience of leading strategic and commercial activities in the wholesale and renewable markets, involving a range of stakeholders.

Derek W Bunn. Professor, London Business School

Derek is a Professor at London Business School. He is the author of over 200 research papers and 10 books in the areas of forecasting, decision technology and energy economics. He is a former Editor-in-chief of Energy Economics, the Founding Editor of the Journal of Energy Markets and has been Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Forecasting for many years. He has worked with the electricity sector for over 35 years, advising many organisations including the House of Commons, and providing expert witness evidence in legal disputes. He is currently chairman of the UK Government’s panel for the capacity market and an independent board member of the Balancing and Settlements Code

Michael Mahon, Director, Grid Development & Interconnection, EirGrid

Mr Mahon joined EirGrid Group as Director of Grid Development and Interconnection in August 2019. He previously held the position of General Manager, ESB Smart Energy Services. Mr Mahon has 20 years’ experience with ESB, with significant leadership experience in major project delivery. He is also a Chartered Engineer with Post Graduate Diplomas in both Project Management and Management.

Dr Barry Hayes, School of Engineering, University College Cork

Barry is a lecturer in Electrical Power Engineering at University College Cork. His research interests are in the grid integration of sustainable energy technologies, and the operation and planning of future power systems, and he has authored more than 30 international publications in this area. He has over 10 years’ experience as a researcher in various academic and industry roles in Ireland, the UK, Spain and the USA. Barry is the UCC lead investigator on a €3 million research project on local energy trading called “CENTS” (Co-operative Energy Trading System)”, and is a funded investigator in the UCC MaREI research centre. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Sean Casey, Head of Energy and Assets, EY

Sean has over 25 years of Utilities, Energy and senior management experience. Prior to joining EY, Sean served as Ervia’s Interim Group Chief Executive Officer, Ervia’s Group Chief Operating Officer and as Managing Director for Gas Networks Ireland. As the Ervia Group COO Sean was responsible for the operational performance and alignment of the five business divisions of Ervia (Irish Water, Gas Networks Ireland, Major Projects, Shared Services and Group Centre) and for company-wide transformational change programmes. Since joining EY Sean has led a number of key engagements across the energy sector.