Vision 2050: Options for a New Northern Ireland Strategic Energy Framework

Eye on Energy – Presented by Policy Eye Events

11 September | 9:00am – 4:30pm | Titanic Belfast

In partnership with

cleaver fulton rankin logo

Sponsored by

phoenix natural gas logosse ireland logo




The energy sector on the island of Ireland sits on the cusp of transformation. Climate change has begun to drive decarbonisation, digitisation will transform the management of consumption, while emerging technologies promise both demands on energy networks and great benefits. To guide this transformation with fresh vision for the Island’s energy market the Department for the Economy has set out to develop a new Strategic Energy Framework for Northern Ireland.

On 11 September 2019, to coincide with publication of this much anticipated Departmental green paper, Policy Eye events, in partnership with Cleaver Fulton Rankin, will host a landmark conference providing unique insights into the issues that need to be considered as the Department seeks to develop an energy vision for 2050.

With participation from senior departmental officials, industry leaders and politicians this event promises an unparalleled opportunity to inform government thinking.


Richard Rodgers, Head of Energy Group, Department of the Economy Jenny Pyper, Chief Executive at the Utility Regulator Charlie Simpson - Partner and Head of Mobility 2030, Global Strategy Group at KPMG UK

Richard Rodgers

Head of Energy Group at the Department of the Economy

+ Read Biography

Jenny Pyper

Chief Executive at the Utility Regulator

Charlie Simpson

Partner and Head of Mobility 2030 Global Strategy Group at KPMG

+ Read Biography


Stephen Cross Michael McKinstry Marian Troy
Stephen Cross

Director and Head of Energy at Cleaver Fulton Rankin

+ Read Biography

Michael McKinstry

Group CEO at Phoenix Natural Gas

+ Read Biography

Marian Troy

Head of Corporate Affairs at SSE Ireland

+ Read Biography

Declan Billington MBE Pat Austin Andrew Cripps
Declan Billington MBE

Chair of CBI Northern Ireland Energy Forum

+ Read Biography

Pat Austin

Director at National Energy Action Northern Ireland

+ Read Biography

Dr Andrew Cripps

Regional Director, Sustainability at AECOM

+ Read Biography



08:30 Morning Coffee and Registration
09:00 Opening Remarks from the Chair Jamie Delargy
09:10 Future Options: Developing the Energy Vision for 2050

Policymakers face major decisions on the future of energy in Northern Ireland. We must balance the requirement for a secure, affordable and reliable energy supply with the need to decarbonise.

This session will examine how we might design a policy to achieve these ambitions. Will we be able to generate enough low-carbon electricity to electrify heat and transport?  What does the future hold for gas, hydrogen and biomass generation? Can we reduce our industrial carbon emissions without creating new burdens on companies? And, crucially, can development of a long-term policy be truly successful, when such difference of opinion exists about the best technologies to drive our energy future?

09:10 Session Keynote Richard Rodgers – Head of Energy at Department for the Economy
09:30 The Regulator’s view Jenny Pyper – Chief Executive at Utility Regulator
Driving innovation and delivering change: the role of business as a partner of government in the energy transition Declan Billington MBE – Chair of CBI Northern Ireland Energy Forum
Protecting the most vulnerable: ending fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency Pat Austin – Director at National Energy Action Northern Ireland
Implementing policy: effective regulation and support Stephen Cross – Director and Head of Energy at Cleaver Fulton Rankin
10:15 Panel Discussion/Q&A
10:45 Refreshments & Networking

Northern Ireland has made great strides in transitioning to renewable energy. In 2018, we generated 38.2% of our total electricity consumption from renewable sources.  However, significant transition still lies ahead in generation, networks and for the consumer.

In this session, we take a closer look at the main considerations to be taken into account when planning for the energy transition. We’ll ask how the cost of energy for consumers can be managed and how they can be given a chance to participate in the new structures? How we will generate our electricity in the future? What impact will the decarbonising of heat have for the wider energy system? And what are the opportunities and what considerations must be taken into account as we begin decarbonising transport?

11:15 Decarbonising power: considering clean low-cost power generation options for the future Speaker TBC –  SONI TBC
Decarbonising heat: implications for the wider energy system Dr Andrew Cripps – Regional Director, Sustainability at Aecom
Decarbonising transportation:  vehicle electrification and connectivity Charlie Simpson – Partner and Head of Mobility 2030, Global Strategy Group at KPMG in the UK
Planning for a low carbon future: Smart cities and the role of local government in the energy transition Grainia Long – Commissioner for Resilience at Belfast City Council TBC
12:15 Panel Discussion/Q&A
12:45 Buffet lunch, networking and exhibition
13:30 phoenix natural gas logo


Parallel Session 1

Eye on energy consumption: Use less, pay less

This parallel session will examine the role of the consumer as an active participant in our energy future. New technologies, policy makers, businesses and spatial planners all have a role to play in enabling consumers to manage, store and produce their own energy.

Chaired by

Michael McKinstry – Group Chief Executive Officer at Phoenix Natural Gas


Karl Purcell – Programme Manager of Behavioural Economics Unit at Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

Sam Knox – Energy Resource & Efficiency Team at Invest Northern Ireland

Richard Leach – Local Area Energy Planning Consultant at Energy Systems Catapult

sse ireland logo


Parallel Session 2

Eye on Energy production: decarbonising our energy supply

This parallel session will look at the  power sources and technologies that will allow us to cut our reliance on carbon. Digital and power storage technologies promise to revolutionise our grids. But to what extent will these technologies penetrate the market? How will they and other innovative technologies be funded?

Chaired by

Marian Troy – Head of Corporate Affairs at SSE Ireland


Dara Lynott – Chief Executive at EAI (Electricity Association of Ireland)

David Smith – Chief Executive at ENA (Energy Networks Association

Professor Neil Hewitt – Professor of Energy/Director of the Centre for Sustainable Technologies at Ulster University

14:30 Refreshments & Networking
Party Assembly spokespeople outline their priorities and respond to output from parallel sessions with opportunities for questions from the floor.
Gary Middleton MLA – Assembly Economy Spokesperson at Democratic Unionist Party TBC
Cathal Boylan MLA – Assembly Energy, Environment & Climate Change Spokesperson at Sinn Féin TBC
Daniel McCrossan MLA – Assembly Economy Spokesperson at Social Democratic & Labour Party TBC
Dr Steve Aiken OBE MLA – Assembly Economy Spokesperson at Ulster Unionist Party
Dr Stephen Farry MLA – Assembly Economy Spokesperson at Alliance Party TBC
16:15 Chair’s concluding remarks and conference close Jamie Delargy

Image result for cleaver fult</p> <hr /> <p>on rankinCleaver Fulton Rankin is one of Northern Ireland’s leading corporate law firms combining over 100 years of heritage with an innovative approach.  We’re conveniently located in Belfast city centre and employ 16 Directors, 5 Associate Directors, 9 Associates, 6 Senior Solicitors, 6 Solicitors and 11 trainees and paralegals with a total staff of approximately 100 people.Our main practice areas are: company and commercial law, corporate finance, litigation, property law, projects and private client services. We are also well known for our specialist work in Northern Ireland in construction law, intellectual property, employment, banking, planning and environmental law, corporate recovery, IT and charity law.We provide a full legal service to both commercial and private clients. In particular we have extensive experience in advising national and local private companies, developers, financial institutions, public institutions and quasi- public bodies, not for profit organisations and other government funded organisations.CFR has established links with many City of London law firms and other national and regional firms.  Also, although entirely independent, we have an association with Dublin commercial law practice Matheson and so provide an all island service for our clients undertaking business throughout Ireland. We are also a member of the International Lawyers Network which gives us access to a worldwide network of commercial law firms.

Our commitment to client service and reputation for providing high quality legal advice is well known. Our quality accreditation has recently been upgraded to ISO 9001/2015 LQS, the scope of which covers “the management and administration of the firm’s legal services”.

Our staff benefit from a high level of training and resources with online legal research tools and document management systems. Our strong investment in legal practice technology ensures that we are able to deliver a direct and state-of-the-art service to our clients.

We are committed to providing the best in information security and as such have been awarded the ISO standard 27001:2013, the scope of which covers “The Management of Information Security in the Provision of Legal Services Including Corporate; Banking and Finance; Property; Planning and Environmental; Litigation; Business Restructuring/Insolvency; Employment and Equality; Private Client and Public Law and Education”


phoenix natural gas logoPhoenix Natural Gas is the largest gas distribution business in Northern Ireland. The company operates a distribution network across the Greater Belfast, Larne, Whitehead and East Down areas, extending to over 3,800km of pipeline.

After 22 years in Northern Ireland, Phoenix Natural Gas has successfully developed the market and built its network, connecting 220,000 customers and establishing natural gas as the fuel of choice for customers in the licence area.

Since 1996, customers switching to natural gas has resulted in 7.5m tonnes of CO2 being from the atmosphere. Each year, householders using natural gas continue to save on CO2 emissions, equating to the removal of 350,000 cars from the road each year.

Phoenix Natural Gas also embraces its corporate responsibility and connects with the local community in its outreach programmes. For more information on Phoenix Natural Gas visit

sse ireland logo

SSE is the second largest energy supplier, and leading renewable energy generator, in Northern Ireland.

Since 2008, the company has invested over half a billion pounds in the development of Northern Ireland’s sustainable energy infrastructure, helping to green our economy and secure our energy future. The green energy generated at its four operational wind farms has played a significant role in helping Northern Ireland meet its 40% target of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020.

The company is now aiming to develop Doraville Wind Farm near Cookstown in Co. Tyrone which, at £150m, would represent its single biggest investment in the economy here to date. The 139MW wind farm would produce enough green energy to power around 200,000 homes, doubling the company’s generation capacity in Northern Ireland.

SSE Renewables has so far presented almost £2 million in community funding to groups close to its wind farms in Northern Ireland, supporting a variety of local energy-efficiency and sustainability projects. The company has also provided over £350,000 in scholarship funding to over 120 local students attending Ulster University, South West College and North West Regional College.

Meanwhile, SSE Airtricity is Northern Ireland’s second largest energy supplier, providing greener electricity, natural gas and essential services to around 350,000 home and business customer accounts in Northern Ireland.

In 2015, the company announced a naming rights partnership with Northern Ireland’s premier entertainment venue, The SSE Arena, Belfast. Through its SSE Reward programme, SSE Airtricity customers can access exclusive ticket presales and ‘money-can’t-buy’ experiences for shows at the Arena.

SSE employs over 200 people directly in Northern Ireland and is proud to be an accredited Living Wage employer.



For any enquiries, please contact Jack Gibson at


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