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About the Event

Our decision makers need to make some hard choices on Britain's journey to a post carbon economy. How can we manage the transition so we have access to secure, affordable and of course low carbon energy? The drive to substantially decarbonise the power sector by 2030 is an important milestone along the road and a stimulus for innovation. Large scale infrastructure is still at the heart of our system but decentralised energy schemes so long in the background are coming to the fore.

There have been welcome and necessary developments towards solving the policy trilemma, with a patchwork of imaginative initiatives underway from Aberdeen to Bristol, but some key questions remain unanswered. Is a more decentralised system better for the environment? Is it more resilient to environmental hazards? Low carbon is one element of the environmental equation. What about flooding and solar storms? Extremes of temperature would affect supply and demand. What are the consequences of siting small power plants close to homes and businesses?

Atkins, in partnership with Imperial College, is hosting a half day conference with live voting to debate these vital questions. We are bringing together the brightest minds from industry, academia, NGOs and city authorities to exchange views and share the latest research. We need to be clear eyed about the choices we make and this conference will bring the fresh thinking that is needed so we can future proof our energy system with confidence.

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Join us for a half day conference at the Royal Geographical Society where we are bringing together the brightest minds from industry, academia, NGOs and city authorities to debate vital questions and share the latest research around the topic of decentralising of the energy system.

23 September 2015
12:00 - 13:00
Registration and lunch
Venue: Map Room
Join us in the Map Room for registration and a light lunch before the debate.
13:00 - 13:10
Welcome from chair
Professor Martin Siegert
Professor Martin Siegert, Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London is chairing the afternoon’s debate and will begin by introducing the debate.
13:00 - 13:30
Launch of the Energy Research Partnership Cities Report
Dr Mark Workman
Dr Mark Workman, Analyst at the Energy Research Partnership and Affiliate Researcher at Imperial College, London, will be talking through the findings of the Energy Research Partnership's Cities Report. The report focuses on the role of decentralised energy technology deployment, the implementation of demand side measures and smart grid development activity in cities on the nature of UK energy systems development and the potential role of energy / infrastructure development on regional economic competitiveness and amelioration of social issues.
13:30 - 13:50
National Grid Presentation
Roisin QuinnHead of Energy Strategy and Policy at National Grid
National Grid Presentation
23 September 2015
13:50 - 14:10
Coffee break
14:10 - 14.20
Introduction to panel and voting technology
Professor Martin Siegert
Introduction to panel and voting technology.
14.20 - 14:50
How can we realise the environmental benefits of a more decentralised energy system?
Professor Martin Siegert
Panellists to be confirmed.
14:50 - 15:20
How can a more decentralised energy system assist in the realisation of UK climate and environmental goals by better engaging with energy users especially regarding energy demand?
Professor Martin Siegert
Panellists to be confirmed.
15:20 - 15:50
What lessons can we draw for policy and practice at international, UK and city levels?
Professor Martin Siegert
Panellists to be confirmed
15:50 - 16:00
Final vote and comment
Professor Martin Siegert
Panellists to be confirmed
23 September 2015
16:00 - 16:10
Conference wrap up
Dr Martin Grant,CEO Energy, Atkins
Drinks and canapés
Venue: Map Room
Continue the debate in the Map Room, where refreshments will be served. You will also have the chance to view the Atkins Environmental Photographer of the Year 2015 finalist images. This captivating collection of images taken by Atkins staff around the world provide us with insight into some of the most significant environmental challenges facing the planet today.


We have secured an exciting and varied mix of expert panellists to lead the day’s debate. More panellists to be confirmed nearer to the event.

  • Portfolio Item

    Professor Martin Siegert

    Is Professor of Geosciences and co-Director of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London. He was formerly Head of the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh.

    Portfolio Item

    Martin Grant

    Has been Chief Executive Officer of Atkins’ Energy business since 2009, an executive board member position.

    Portfolio Item

    Dr Mark Workman

    Is an analyst at the Energy Research Partnership, 11 Princes Gardens, London and an Affiliate Researcher at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, Imperial College London.

  • Portfolio Item

    Roisin Quinn

    Is Head of Energy Strategy and Policy at National Grid. She has led the Energy Strategy and Policy team since January 2015, after managing the Electricity Market Reform Team.



Climate change adaptation




Can rivers warm our homes?


Emerging challenges for policy makers


Future Proofing Energy



1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

Tel: 020 7591 3000


Getting There


There are several bus routes which stop outside or within the vicinity of the Society building.


Hammersmith/King’s Cross


Kensington/Elephant and Castle



Bicycles can be locked against the Society’s bike stands, located at the main entrance on Exhibition Road. Space is limited.

Bicycles are left at their owner’s risk. Please make sure bicycles are secured.

Alternatively, you can use the London cycle hire scheme. There are a number of docking stations within close walking distance to the Society (search using postcode SW7 2AR).


The nearest tube stations to the Society building are South Kensington (Circle, District, and Piccadilly Lines) - a 10 to 15 minute walk up Exhibition Road (beyond the Science Museum and Imperial College) to the Society.

Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line) 15 minute walk along Kensington Road to the Society.

Lancaster Gate (Central Line) 15 to 20 minute walk across Hyde Park to the Society.


The nearest mainline railway stations are London Victoria (you can then take the 52 bus to the Society) and London Paddington (a 25 minute walk to the Society)


There are no car parking
facilities at the Society.

The Society is no longer located
within central London’s Congestion Charge area.

There is limited public parking in Hyde Park, although car parking restrictions operate in the area, often until late at night.



Marketing Assistant

0121 483 5896



Marketing Assistant

0137 275 6553