On May 22nd the BIEE celebrated its 30 year anniversary with the launch of an annual lecture series “The Future of Energy”. The guest speaker was Ian Marchant, Chairman Designate the Wood Group, and former CEO of SSE who gave the inaugural lecture ‘Keeping the Lights On’ .
In his former role as CEO of SSE, Ian Marchant was outspoken about the risk of the UK’s ”lights going out” unless further action was taken over the generation and supply of power. In March 2013 he warned that the government was seriously underestimating the “capacity crunch” currently facing the country. “The government is significantly underestimating the scale of the capacity crunch facing the UK in the next three years and there is a very real risk of the lights going out as a result.” He added the government could reduce this risk significantly by taking further action to provide a greater clarity on its various electricity market reforms and also by bringing forward capacity payments for existing plants from 2018 to 2014.
One year on and now Chairman of The Wood Group, Ian expanded on his own views of how the UK can keep the lights on, reflecting on 25 years in the energy industry and discussing issues and challenges facing the energy sector.
“Our modern way of life is almost completely dependent on the provision of reliable and affordable energy and as a result rarely a day goes past without the energy industry making headlines. I am pleased to have this opportunity to take a step back and look at some of these issues and hopefully make a constructive contribution to the energy debate.”
Ian Marchant was Chief Executive of SSE plc, a leading UK energy utility company, for over 10 years until stepping down in the summer of 2013. He is Chairman of Scotland’s 2020 climate delivery group and Chairman designate for Wood Group, non-executive Chairman of Infinis Energy plc and non-executive director of Aggreko plc, Cyberhawk and Linknode. He is also President of the UK’s Energy Institute and Chairman of Maggie’s Cancer Charity.
BIEE members can see a copy of Ian’s presentation in the Downloads section of the website