Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General, ENTSO-E, France

Laurent Schmitt has been ENTSO-E’s Secretary General since January 2017. Before joining ENTSO-E, he was Global Smart Grid Strategy Leader at General Electric Grid Solutions. Laurent worked in Europe, the United States and Asia, first on power generation then on transmission and distribution specialising in smart grids solutions. Laurent is a member of strategic committees in CIGRE, IEC, EPRI and European Smart Cities Platform. He took part in expert task forces of the IEA and the European Commission. In 2015, he was named one of the most 40 influential people in the European Smart Grid by the Metering & Smart Energy International Magazine. Laurent is a French national. He graduated in Power System Engineering from Supélec in Paris and holds an Executive MBA from INSEAD, France.

Dr. Mark O’Malley, Chief Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA

Mark O’Malley is Chief Scientist, Energy Systems Integration at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA. He is on sabbatical from University College Dublin where he holds the Chair of Electrical Engineering. He is a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering, a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and has received two Fulbright Fellowships. He is recognized as a world authority on Energy Systems Integration and in particular grid integration of renewable energy. He works closely and collaboratively with researchers in other disciplines, including economists, social scientists and geologists, and is on the advisory board of the European Platform for Energy Research in the Socio-Economic Nexus. Most recently, he was the James M. Flaherty Visiting Professor in Electrical Engineering at McGill University where he worked on strategies to decarbonize the combined Eastern Canada and North Eastern US electricity grids. He has very strong industry collaborations and is the Chair of the Research and Education working group of the Energy Systems Integration Group, a global organization that brings together industry, regulators, policy makers and the research community to further our collective knowledge and understanding in Energy Systems Integration.

Mark Foley, Group Chief Executive, EirGrid

Mark Foley joined EirGrid Group as chief executive in June 2018, having held the role of Managing Director of Land Solutions in Coillte since January 2016. Previous to that, Mark was Managing Director of Coillte Enterprise where he had responsibility for land sales and property development; telecommunications infrastructure and services; as well as a +400MW renewable energy programme. Before that, from November 2000 to August 2008, Mark was Director of Capital Programmes at Dublin Airport Authority. In this role he was responsible for masterplanning, permitting, planning and delivery of c. €1.5bn in airport infrastructure at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports. Mark has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from University College Dublin and a Masters in Industrial Engineering from University College Dublin.

Ian Davis, Head of Information Security, Gemserv

Ian is a highly experienced information security and business continuity consultant with over 20 years’ experience in the design, implementation and management of information security projects across diverse sectors. Ian has led on major information security projects for Gemserv across Europe in a number of sectors. In recent years he has worked on such diverse projects as the planned National Smart Metering Programme infrastructure, and a cyber security/ business continuity exercise observed by the national regulator for TBC Bank in the Republic of Georgia. He is responsible for the development of the information security practice of Gemserv Ltd, and is at the forefront of Gemserv’s thinking on solutions for organisations facing the challenges of the EU Network and Information Systems Directive (NIS).

Dr Lisa Ryan, University College Dublin

Lisa is the ESIPP lecturer in energy economics in the School of Economics. She joined the UCD Energy Institute as senior researcher in energy economics in September 2014. She was the senior energy economist in the Energy Efficiency Unit at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris until summer 2013 where she led research projects relating to energy efficiency finance, transport, and cross-sectoral policy. She subsequently worked as an independent consultant in energy and environmental economics. From 2006-2009 she was the Director of Research at Comhar Sustainable Development Council and research fellow in the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, UCD. Lisa also previously worked as emissions engineer at Volkswagen AG in Germany. Lisa is currently a Board Member of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.Lisa completed a PhD in environmental economics from University College Dublin (UCD) in 2006; she also holds a Masters in Economics and other postgraduate and undergraduate degrees in economics and chemical engineering from UCD and Colorado School of Mines, USA. She has published numerous journal articles and research reports in the areas of energy and climate change policy, economics, and energy efficiency. Her primary research interests are in the economics of energy supply and demand and the efficient design of energy markets and policies.

Brian Carroll, Assistant Secretary General, Department of Communications, Climate Action and Natural Resources

Brian Carroll is the Assistant Secretary General leading the Climate Action and Environment function at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. Brian joined the Department in 2008, and worked as Assistant Secretary General for Natural Resources, Head of Decarbonisation and Head of Finance and Corporate Affairs before taking up his current role. He has wide experience across the public service, having also worked in the Departments of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Justice. Brian holds degrees in business, anthropology and economics, and is a graduate of University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, the Institute of Public Administration, and the Dublin Business School.

Tanya Harrington, Head of Government Affairs, Powerscourt

Tanya leads Powerscourt’s government and regulatory advisory practice across London and Dublin. She offers clients in-depth expertise across a range of economically regulated sectors and trusted council on domestic and EU-level political, policy and regulatory developments. Previously, Tanya was Director of the NTR Foundation, a Ministerial Advisor in the Department of Transport, a Ministerial Advisor the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Head of Energy, IBEC and a policy analyst at the European Commission. Tanya holds a Doctorate in Governance, from the School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast, which focused on the topic of accountability and regulatory governance. She maintains an active academic interest in accountability and regulatory governance, institutional design for multi-level governance and the development of EU regional energy governance.

John Mullins, Chief Executive Officer, Amarenco

John Mullins is Chief Executive Officer of Amarenco, a fast growing company which is focused on the development, financing and ownership of renewable assets in Europe. Previous to this role, John was Chief Executive of the Bord Gáis Eireann. He has held senior management positions with ESB, ESB International, PricewaterhouseCoopers (UK) and NTR plc. He is Chairman of the Port of Cork Company. He is also Chairman of Heneghan PR and Sustainability Nation Ireland. He is a Director of Mainline Group and Wisetek and Chairman of several charities John is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and the Irish Academy of Engineering. He holds a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Engineering from UCC and an MBA from the Smurfit Business School in Dublin. John was Graduate of the Year in UCC in 1989.John was awarded the honour of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French Government.

Ian Kilgallon, Innovation & Business Development Manager, Gas Networks Ireland

Ian’s team in Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) is focused on developing and implementing new strategies to decarbonise energy in support of a circular and low carbon economy. Current priorities are focussed on Renewable Gas initiatives which aim to deliver Sustainable, Environmental, Economic, and Social benefits across a range of sectors, along with enhancing Security of Supply (energy independence). Working in the gas industry for over 15 years, Ian has previously held the positions of National Metering Manager, Market Operations Manager, Regulatory Affairs and Key Account Manager. Prior to working in gas, Ian, who is an Industrial Engineer, spent 18 years supporting new-product development, and establishing manufacturing and supply chain operations across Europe, Asia and North America, for Apple, EMC and Dell.

Kieran Coughlan, Senior Manager – Asset Management, UK Power Networks Services

Kieran heads asset management and technology at UK Power Networks Services, a company that provides energy technology consultancy, design and build, operation and maintenance and finance of major energy infrastructure, and is part of UKPN which is also the largest Distribution Network Operator in the UK. Previously, Kieran was Head of Engineering and Safety at the Energy Networks Association (ENA), and has also worked in infrastructure strategy, investment, consulting and engineering roles in Ireland, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

Kieran is a Chartered Engineer and member of Engineers Ireland and key areas of interest are in energy systems, strategy and new technology.

Bill Sadlier, Senior Investment Manager, NTR

Bill leads NTR’s business development and financing activities in Ireland, focusing primarily on wind and solar renewable energy as well as energy storage. NTR is an active renewable energy investor in Ireland since 1999 and is now building on its experience to partner with developers and communities to deliver projects through its new €500m 30-year fund which has an allocation to finance development capital. Having joined the industry in 2004, Bill has experience across all aspects of the project life cycle including greenfield development, procurement, project finance and private equity in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, France and the Nordics. He is a founding member of RECAP (Renewable Energy Consumers and Producers) working with the Irish Government and energy consumers to deliver the build-out of renewable energy targets in Ireland.

Andy Kelly, Senior Principal Consultant, Pöyry Management Consulting

Andy Kelly leads Pöyry’s commercial work in the Irish Electricity Market, and has more than 15 years’ commercial experience in wholesale power and commodity markets. He has a detailed knowledge of the electricity markets in Ireland and the UK, including the impending I-SEM market and support schemes for renewable generators.

Andy’s clients include utilities, financial investors, developers and trade associations, with interests in conventional and renewable generation projects, as well as interconnector, storage and other related assets.

Andy 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.

Jim Gannon, Chief Executive, SEAI

Jim Gannon has been Chief Executive of SEAI since May 2016, and has overseen the growth of the organization from a budget of €75m to €150m, initiating a change process across a range of incentive programmes and delivering SEAI’s policy advisory and statutory functions for the Government of Ireland. Prior to this role, Jim spent 15 years in the private sector with RPS working in energy and environmental consultancy on both policy and infrastructure projects.

Seán Canney, T.D, Minister of State, Department of Rural and Community Development and Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Seán Canney TD was appointed Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Natural Resources on 16 October 2018.

Seán 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.

He had previously been a member of Galway County Council for three terms where he held various positions including Mayor of County Galway (2007-2008).

Seán is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and lectured at GMIT prior to his election to Dáil Eireann.

Emeka Chukwureh, Energy Markets Programme Manager Enel X

As Energy Markets Programme Manager at Enel X (formerly EnerNOC), Emeka is charged with liaising between the Irish grid system and large Irish industrial and commercial energy to ensure mutually-beneficially pathways to electricity market participation.

He is actively involved in market rules design, development, and modification of the current electricity market arrangement (I-SEM) as a member of the SEM Modifications Committee, Demand Response Association of Ireland (DRAI), Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) and various other working groups.

Prior to Enel X, Emeka was chair of the Electricity Association of Ireland’s Markets committee and was Ireland’s national representation to Eurelectric’s Markets committee. Emeka’s experience spans 19 years covering coal, oil and gas production, wind and natural gas electricity production and trading, electricity market economics, policy and regulation, and demand-side flexibility. He has worked for leading global energy companies, like ExxonMobil and Airtricity (now part of SSE), in four different countries: Nigeria, USA, Ireland, and the UK.

Ellen Diskin, PR5 Project Manager, ESB Networks

Ellen is leading the Price Review 5 (PR5) Project for ESB Networks, the sole Irish Distribution System Operator and Owner, and Transmission Asset Owner. PR5 is the process to secure regulatory approval and funding for the development, maintenance and operation of the Irish electricity networks from 2021 – 2025. As European and global energy systems are being redesigned to reflect emerging environmental, technological and social realities, ESB Networks’ 2021 – 2025 proposals must reflect and nurture the dynamic economic relationship between network development, customers’ values, today’s electricity market, and tomorrow’s energy system.

Ellen joined the ESB in 2009, with prior professional and research experience in telecommunications. An electronic engineer, in 2015 she was shortlisted for Irish Chartered Engineer of the Year. She has worked in investment planning, R&D, regulation and operations, and has extensive international experience in policy and strategy development. She is currently Vice Chair of Eurelectric’s Business Models and Customers Working Group, and has contributed to or led various working groups and task forces with ACER, ENTSO-E, CIGRE, European Commissions and Eurelectric.

Brian Ó Gallachóir, Professor of Energy Engineering, University College Cork

Brian Ó Gallachóir is Professor of Energy Engineering in University College Cork’s School of Engineering and Vice-Director of UCC’s Environmental Research Institute. He is also Director of the national SFI MaREI Centre, an energy and marine-based research, development and innovation hub. Brian is elected Chair of the Executive Committee for the International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programme on energy systems modelling (IEAETSAP). His research focus is on building and using integrated energy systems models to inform energy and climate change mitigation policy.

Fran McFadden, National Connections Manager, Gas Networks Ireland

As National Customer Acquisition Manager at Gas Networks Ireland, Fran McFadden is responsible for growing the number of natural gas customers nationally and for the company’s overall customer acquisition strategy, across the industrial, commercial, new housing and mature domestic sectors. A Donegal native, Fran has worked in Gas Networks Ireland for over ten years. Prior to joining Gas Networks Ireland, Fran held sales management positions in the telecommunications sector, with Artesyn Technologies. Fran holds a BA in Electronic Engineering from University College Dublin.

Vera Silva, Chief Technology Officer, GE Grid Solutions

Vera Silva is the Chief Technology Officer of GE Grid Solutions, reporting to the CEO and leading a global team of 3,400 engineers in over 17 countries. In this role, she leads the engineering team is responsible for designing and producing world-class products in high voltage equipment, HVDC systems, grid automation, grid software and grid services. Prior to her role at GE, Vera Silva was program director for electricity systems and markets and senior R&D engineer at Electricité de France (EDF). During her 20 years working in the power industry she worked on solutions to facilitate large scale integration of renewables and the transformation of electricity grids and markets. She let several European projects, developed strong international collaborations with regulators, utilities, associations and research organizations and has authored 4 books and over 40 papers. Vera has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College London.