Energy Transitions 2016

Technology, data and investment - structural changes in today’s energy sector

28 Nov 2016 - 09:30 to 29 Nov 2016 - 13:30
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The Royal Society

Difficulties and inefficiencies in calculating energy supply and demand have led to overinvestment across a number of regions and sectors. Coupled with ongoing market volatilities, this has threatened to inhibit investment and in doing so presents a clear obstacle to successful and sustainable energy transitions. In other areas, lack of clear government policy and/or market incentives has led to a chronic lack of investment resulting in lack of energy and unstable prices.  This is compounded by uncertainties over the strategic direction for the sector as policy-makers continue to balance the ‘energy trilemma’, with the need to ensure secure energy supplies, meet rising demand and curb emissions all seemingly competing. 

However, recent advancements in technology, alongside rapidly expanding data gathering and processing capacities, now present the opportunity to increase system efficiencies and more accurately forecast supply and demand. How can business leaders and policy-makers create frameworks to take advantage of these developments to more accurately target investment and achieve successful energy transitions, while reconciling conflicting political drivers to create coherent energy strategies? This conference will aim to assess:

  • The status of  energy transitions globally;
  • The role of big data;
  • The role of regulation in transition finance and investment;
  • The role of political structures in determining transition success;
  • Demand-side technologies, distribution networks and decentralization;
  • The most significant disruptive technologies including storage options;
  • The ongoing status of hydrocarbon investment;
  • Innovations in energy transition finance;    

The Chatham House Rule 
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

Suggested hashtag:#CHEnergy


Register by Friday 30 September 2016 to benefit from the early booking rate.

For any questions about which rate applies to you, please call Alex Cook on +44 (0)207 957 5727



Major corporate member rates    
All organizations£545£654£645£774
Corporate member rates    
Commercial organizations£1,190£1,428£1,390£1,668
Government departments£720£864£820£984
NGOs and academics£440£528£540£648
Standard rates    
Commercial organizations£1,335£1,602£1,535£1,842 
Government departments£810£972£920£1,104
NGOs and academics£490£588£595


Monday 28 November

Session One | The Evolving Energy Landscape

This session will evaluate the ever-changing energy sector and identify key economic and political drivers to assess their continuing significance for sustainable transition globally. 

  • What is the status of energy transitions globally? What have been the most significant developments, and what milestones can be identified to benchmark them?
  • Which sectors and regions have seen significant levels of over and under investment? What are the economic and political drivers of this, and where is it likely to occur in the future?  
  • How can policy mechanisms support the development of disruptive technologies and renewable production without hindering competitiveness and risking overinvestment? To what degree is regulation needed to foster innovation in this space? 
  • Where and to what extent do sometimes competing political drivers for access to affordable energy and environmental protection affect progress on energy transitions? 
  • What are the implications of other regulatory developments for energy markets globally, such as the closure of the investigation into Energy Markets and Competition for the UK?

Session Two | Panel Discussion: The Relationship Between Political and Energy Transitions  

This panel will explore how ongoing shifts in political structures will continue to effect regional transitions towards sustainable energy futures.

  • What are the most significant political developments and how will they influence regional energy transitions?
  • How will these implications vary across different areas of transition focus, such as distribution network development and hydrocarbons investment?
  • To what extent do existing energy structures continue to influence the makeup and survival of political institutions?
  • How will ongoing political shifts continue to effect energy transition investor confidence?

Session Three | Investment in Hydrocarbons 

This session will examine ongoing hydrocarbon market volatilities, forecast accuracy, and how regulatory and economic drivers continue to affect the viability of coal, gas and oil as energy sources. 

  • How accurate are forecasts for hydrocarbon production? How can data be better utilized to prevent overinvestment?
  • How has market volatility affected the long-term viability of hydrocarbons investment? What are the drivers of this volatility?
  • What can regional consumption data reveal about long-term demand for oil, gas and coal products? How will this continue to affect prices regionally?
  • How can technological advancements, such as sensors, allow for more sophisticated reserve estimation and reduce uncertainty for oil and gas investors?
  • To what degree will legislative changes and political transitions affect investment in hydrocarbon assets differently across oil, gas and coal? In what ways might this be offset by government measures to protect oil and gas industries across different regions?

Session Four | Innovation in Energy Finance 

This session will examine innovations in energy finance and explore technological and regulatory strategies for encouraging further innovation and de-risking investment.

  • To what extent does finance continue to be a roadblock to sustainable energy transitions?
  • What are the most substantial opportunities for de-risking finance, such as public–private partnerships?
  • What will ongoing developments in self-generation and demand action mean for utility companies? What are the implications for traditional energy finance structures?
  • How important will crowd sourcing, consumer and community funding be for the energy sector of the future?
  • What is the role of policy in incentivizing investment in renewable energy generation? What can ongoing legislative dynamics reveal about continuing investment risk? 

1730 Close of day one and reception hosted by Chatham House


Tuesday 29 November

Session Five | Big Data in Energy Forecasts and Transitions 

This session will look at the role of data in benchmarking energy transition progress and targeting appropriate investment, as well as regulatory strategies and technologies to improve information gathering and analysis.

  • What does existing data indicate regarding progress in decarbonization so far? Is the ability to measure this progress critical to transitions overall?
  • To what degree have previous energy forecasts produced overinvestment? What kind of data has driven these forecasts, what are the sources of the inaccuracies and how can they be improved?
  • How can regulation allow for greater data sharing and cooperation?
  • What are the most effective policies for ensuring accurate reporting and energy data management?
  • Where does this data come from, and how have methods and technologies for gathering and processing it improved? In what ways are they more effective than they were five years ago?

Session Six | Panel Discussion: Decentralised Energy Production and Demand-Side Action

This session will explore how decentralised energy and demand-side policies and technologies can be developed, whilst scrutinizing the ongoing ‘democratization of energy’.

  • How can data be better managed to target distribution level investment for electricity and gas?
  • How can the latest demand-side technologies and policies be leveraged in successful energy transitions? What is the role of the ‘connected home’ in this context?
  • How can decentralized power sources play a role in maximizing system efficiencies? What does this mean in terms of future infrastructure requirements, and what are the implications for utility companies?
  • Can storage technology become a game-changer for energy investment and distribution? How could it transform grid interaction and enhance connectivity?
  • What are the implications of more consumer level action on the development of cross-border electricity grids and international networks? Is an international power grid politically feasible and/or desirable? 

Session Seven | Panel Discussion:  Electric Vehicles, Vehicle Data, Networks and Technologies

This session will explore EV demand data, evaluate disruptive vehicle technologies, assess necessary infrastructure levels and scrutinize regulatory frameworks to accurately forecast uptake and reveal long-term viability.

  • What are the most significant technological advancements in electric vehicle development? What can performance data demonstrate regarding viability and wider deployment? 
  • What are the risks involved in disruptive energy technology investments, and what lessons can be learned from other sectors? 
  • To what extent will policy continue to impact electric vehicle uptake, and how can this inform future strategy? 
  • What is the significance of EV uptake data for electricity distribution network investment and small-scale storage?

1330 End of conference


© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2016

Keynote Speakers


Heather Allen

Senior Consultant, Paris Process on Mobility and Climate, Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Partnership

Poppy Allonby to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Poppy Allonby

Managing Director Natural Resources, BlackRock

Antonella Battaglini to speak at the Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Antonella Battaglini

Chief Executive Officer, Renewables Grid Initiative

Sara Bell to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Sara Bell

Chief Executive and Founder, Tempus Energy

Martha Broad to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Martha Broad

Executive Director, MIT Energy Initiative

David Capper to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

David Capper

Deputy Director and Head of Electricity Systems, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Alicia Carrasco to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Alicia Carrasco

Director, European Government Affairs, Tesla Energy

Trisha Curtis to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Trisha Curtis

Co-Founder, PetroNerds

Liz Dalton to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Liz Dalton

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, US Department of Energy

Antony Froggatt

Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resource Governance, Chatham House

Patrick Graichen to speak at Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Patrick Graichen

Executive Director, Agora Energiewende

Seb Henbest to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Seb Henbest

Head of EMEA, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Simon Hill to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Simon Hill

Vice President EMEA Opower, Oracle

David Hobbs to speak at Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

David Hobbs

Head of Research, KAPSARC

Anthony Hobley to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Anthony Hobley

Chief Executive Officer, Carbon Tracker Initiative

Dr Tomas Kåberger to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Tomas Kåberger

Board Member, Vattenfall and Chairman, Japan Renewable Energy Foundation

Julia King to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Julia King

Baroness Brown of Cambridge & Vice Chancellor, Aston University

Ajay Mathur to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Dr Ajay Mathur

Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute

Klaus Mohn to speak at Chatham House Energy Transitions 2015 conference

Klaus Mohn

Professor of Petroleum Economics, University of Stavanger

Paddy Padmanathan to speak at Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Paddy Padmanathan

President & Chief Executive Officer, ACWA Power

Professor Paul Stevens

Professor Paul Stevens

Distinguished Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House

Neil Strachan to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Neil Strachan

Professor of Energy Economics and Modelling, University College London

Laszlo Varro to speak at Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Laszlo Varro

Chief Economist, International Energy Agency (IEA)

François Vuille to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

François Vuille

Director of Development - Energy Center, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Helene Winch to speak at Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Helene Winch

Renewable Energy Investment, Low Carbon

Audrey Zibelman to speak at the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

Audrey Zibelman

Chair, New York Public Service Commission


CLP sponsor of Chatham House Energy Transitions 2015 conference

Shell to sponsor the Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact
Ben Cumming on +44 (0) 20 7957 5729.     

Media partners

Bloomberg New Energy Finance media partner of Chatham House Infrastructure Finance 2015 conference

Carbon Tracker to partner with Chatham House on the Energy Transitions 2016 conference

IFIEC media partner of Chatham House Energy Transitions 2016 conference

UKSIF media partner of Chatham House Energy Transitions 2015 conference

If you are interested in becoming a media partner for this event, please contact
Amy Smith on +44 (0)20 7957 5755.


The Royal Society
6-9 Carlton House Terrace

+44 207 451 2500

Due to refurbishment works at Chatham House in the summer, please note that this conference will not be held at Chatham House and will take place at the above venue. 

Although we cannot book accommodation for delegates, we have arranged a reduced rate at some nearby hotels, where you can book your own accommodation. Please inform the hotel that you will be attending a Chatham House conference to qualify for the Institute's reduced rate.

Please note all rates are subject to availability.

Flemings Mayfair
Half Moon Street
London - W1J 7BH

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7499 2964
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7499 1817

Standard Single from £195 + VAT

The Cavendish London
81 Jermyn Street
London - SW1Y 6JF

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7930 2111
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7839 2125

Standard Single £205 + VAT

Book The Cavendish online

The Stafford London 
St James's Place
London - SW1A 1NJ

Tel: 020 7518 1125
Fax: 020 7493 7121

Standard Single £235 +VAT

The Savoy London
London - WC2R 0EU

Tel: 020 7836 4343
Fax: 020 7240 6040 

Standard Single from £250 +VAT

This conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Information for journalists.

Press can request a press pass.