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Aurora Spring Forum 2020

Tuesday 24 March 2020

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Capitalising on Net Zero: Strategies to thrive in a deeply decarbonised energy sector

The Aurora Spring Forum has grown into one of the leading gatherings of the European energy industry, bringing together executives and senior decision makers in an one day event in Oxford.

After another year of record-busting temperatures, climate change has rarely been far from the headlines. With protesters increasingly taking to the streets to demand action, governments across Europe have begun to adopt ambitious targets to reach Net Zero by 2050, or in some cases even sooner. Also the outbreak of the COVID-19 has sent shockwaves across the globe and the energy industry is no exception, having been significantly impacted. Decarbonisation will require a radical transformation of the energy industry, encompassing everything from supply and demand dynamics to fundamental questions of market design.

The Aurora Spring Forum 2020 took stock of where we are and where we are heading in terms of getting to Net Zero by 2050, tackling also the COVID-19 implications on energy industry.

Aurora Spring Forum 2020 Highlights

In response to the UK Government’s advice and our wider concerns related to COVID-19, the Spring Forum 2020 became a fully virtual event, with remotely recorded sessions which were shared with our delegates on a daily basis, over a period of three weeks.

With a series of 14 recorded sessions, the Virtual Spring Forum hosted some great discussions and panel debates with leading industry figures, together with original analysis and insights from the Aurora team. The key topics included:

  • Global Net Zero by 2050 – feasibility and financial implications
  • The role of the utilities in achieving Net Zero and the policies needed in this parliament
  • The role of hydrogen in Net Zero as one of the most promising decarbonisation options
  • Financial implications of Coronavirus on energy companies
  • Net Zero technologies: the role of nuclear and Government support for the next wave of emerging technologies
  • Renewables investment – strategies in an increasingly competitive sector
  • The role of the company board during the transition
  • The European Green Deal and what it means for the power sector

Live the experience! Listen to a Spring Forum podcast

As Coronavirus is at the heart of conversations around the world right now and there are significant impacts on the energy sector, we selected one of the topical Virtual Spring Forum recordings to share with you. In this podcast, Aurora’s CEO John Feddersen interviews Iain Smedley, Managing Director – Investment Banking at Barclays. As one of the most prolific utilities investment bankers in Europe, Iain discusses the short and long term financial implications of COVID-19 on energy companies in terms of markets and investment banking, tackling diversification vs nationalism and resilience vs pressure on consumers.

Aurora Spring Forum 2020 speakers

Carol Bell - Founder Member, Chapter Zero Board
Baroness Brown - Vice Chair, Committee on Climate Change
Tony Cocker - Chairman, Infinis
Laura Cozzi - Chief Energy Modeller, International Energy Agency
Juliet Davenport - Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Good Energy
Laurie Fitch - Partner, PJT Partners
Will Gardiner - Chief Executive, Drax Group
Emily Gosden - Energy Editor, The Times
Stephen Halliday - Former Chief Executive Offier, Wood Mackenzie
Louise Kingham - Chief Executive, Energy Institute
Markus Krebber - Chief Financial Officer, RWE
Guillaume Leprieur - Director - Power & Renewables, MUFG Bank
Mike Lewis - Chief Executive Officer, E.ON UK
Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith - Professor, University of Oxford
Sinead Lynch - UK Country Chair, Shell
Rosheen McGuckian - Chief Executive Officer, NTR
Guy Newey - Strategy and Performance Director, Energy Systems Catapult
David Nussbaum - Senior Independent Director, Drax Group
Basil Scarsella - Chief Executive Officer, UK Power Networks
Andreas Schierenbeck - Chief Executive Officer, Uniper
Mark Shorrock - Chief Executive Officer, Shire Oak International
Fintan Slye - Executive Director, National Grid ESO
Paul Spence - Director of Strategy and Corporate Affairs, EDF
Jeremy Taylor - Director, Green Frog Power
Emma Tinker - Chief Investment Officer, Asper Infrastructure
Deepa Venkateswaran - Managing Director and Senior Analyst, Bernstein
Toni Volpe - Chief Executive Officer, Falck Renewables
Simon Hobday - Partner, Osborne Clarke
Iain Smedley - Managing Director, Barclays

Special thanks to our Spring Forum 2020 partners:

Rethinking energy