I’m still coming down off the high following our Egni 2023 conference – as the Low Carbon Innovation Manager for M-SParc’s Egni team, and a passionate advocate for low carbon energy opportunities, it was amazing to be able to organise such an exciting and engaging event. I really wanted to hear about all the brilliant innovations happening across North Wales, and so that’s what we delivered! Join me as we delve into the exciting discussions and thought-provoking sessions that took place during #Egni23!
The Egni 2023 Conference brought together leading experts, scientists, entrepreneurs, and policymakers from across Wales. They all united at M-SParc with a shared goal: to accelerate the transition towards a net-zero future! From nuclear to wind energy, hydrogen to tidal, the conference covered a wide range of topics in the Egni sector, leaving no stone unturned in exploring viable solutions to combat climate change.
The first session featured distinguished speakers from the Welsh Government, the Welsh Government Energy Service, Ambition North Wales, Anglesey County Council, and our platinum sponsors; Perago. The speakers delivered thought-provoking keynote addresses, providing deep insights into the net-zero policy landscape and key interventions from across Wales. For me, this session was really important to set the context for the whole conference, it’s so important to understand the commitments we’ve all made to Net Zero before we dive into the innovations and ideas as to how we do it.
The second session gave us a lot to think about in a short space of time, as we saw flash talks from 10 different stakeholders! They discussed their individual actions and activities which are helping us collectively reach those all-important net-zero targets. Amongst the talks we heard about Green Finance opportunities from the Development Bank of Wales, and B-Corp accreditation and low-carbon energy system reviews from tenants BIC Innovation and Baileys and Partners.
Dr Christian Dunn, who is leading on Bangor University’s 25 by 25 project, along with representatives from the Undeb Bangor Students Union, gave the final flash talk of the session. Their goal is to reduce 25% of the University’s carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2025. Nyah Lowe, the President of the Students’ Union, brought a young voice to the conference and spoke about some of the innovative ideas the team are exploring which have been suggested by both staff and students at Bangor Uni.
During the breaks, we enjoyed music from Josh Weaver, a local musician, and had an opportunity to visit the innovation showcase; a melting pot of breakthrough technologies from local companies. Attendees had the opportunity to witness first-hand the ingenuity that drives the renewable energy sector forward as exhibitors showcased cutting-edge solar panels and advanced energy management systems, to name a few!
Refuelled by lunch, we engaged in an insightful panel discussion with key developers across the region who shared updates on their developments, and the exciting opportunities these bring. North Wales has the opportunity to become one of the only regions in the UK with such a variety of low carbon energy generation projects and gives us an opportunity to lead by example on the quest to net zero.
While all these sessions were taking place, we were inspiring the younger generation as Ysgol Esceifiog joined us to learn about algae and the energy opportunities it presents! Mollie, from the School of Ocean Sciences at Bangor University, lead the session and the children experienced touching and naming seaweed, discovering household objects that utilize algae, and learning about the journey algae undergoes to generate energy. They left brimming with new ideas and enthusiasm for science. Following that, we conducted our Clwb Sparc session, a Welsh-language STEM club, where local children came along with their families to learn more about algae.
To close the conference, we had my favourite session: our young persons’ panel. It’s so important for us to listen to the younger generation, because they will be the ones who feel the impact of our interventions (or lack thereof!) and are uniquely placed to challenge us to meet our promises and ensure we deliver the green future they deserve. They challenged our panel and ensured we all left the conference inspired and determined to do what we can to help us achieve net zero as quickly and efficiently as possible!
One of the most valuable aspects of the Egni 2023 Conference was the opportunity to network with key individuals across the sector. The discussions, innovations, and connections forged during this event are certain to have a lasting impact on the energy landscape, propelling us closer to a future powered by clean, renewable sources.
As I reflect on the vibrant discussions and incredible breakthroughs showcased at Egni 2023, I am filled with a renewed sense of optimism. The commitment and dedication exhibited by all participants serve as a powerful reminder that, together, we have the potential to transform our energy systems and create a sustainable world for generations to come.