Back to news

northern irelands energy challenge

Conversations about Climate Change: A series



Join us, the Action Renewables Energy Association (AREA) for the launch of our latest webinar series: Conversations about Climate Change. 

Northern Ireland’s Energy Challenge 

As world leaders plan to meet in Glasgow later this year for the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), our new series has been designed to highlight the challenges Northern Ireland faces in its transition towards a renewable future. In the first of four conversations about climate change, we will be discussing Northern Ireland’s Energy Challenge and the obstacles and opportunities there are for us to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Led by a range of energy, policy and climate change experts from across the UK, Ireland and further afield, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about some of the most urgent issues facing Northern Ireland’s energy sector over the next 30 years.


David Surplus OBE, Managing Director of B9 Energy
 Belfast Power to X

David Surplus OBE is the Managing Director of B9 Energy, set up in 1992. The Group developed and built 10 onshore windfarm projects and became the UK and Ireland’s largest independent operator, with 49 wind farms under contract. B9 is now the proposer and lead developer of the “Belfast Power to-X” project which involves over 20 partners in a Belfast based project, producing hydrogen, oxygen and heat at scale using electrolysis powered by renewable energy. David is carrying out extensive work on energy storage, microgrids and district heating systems with a view to disrupting the constraints associated with the operation of wind, solar and tidal farms. 

David is also past Chairman of the MATRIX Sustainable Advisory Panel of Northern Ireland and current Chairman of the North-South Market Development Steering Group (NSMDSG) on waste management. He was awarded an OBE in the 2015 birthday honours list for “services to renewable energy, especially in Northern Ireland”. 

Steven Agnew, Head of Renewable NI
 Delivering 80 by 30

Steven Agnew is head of Renewable NI, a representative body for the renewable electricity sector in Northern Ireland. He previously served for eight years as MLA for North Down, during which time, he chaired the All-Party Group on Renewables and sat on the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee. 

Charlotte Nemo, Climate Change Committee (CCC) 
 The Path to Net-Zero 

After working in the development sector, Chloe joined the Climate Change Committee (CCC) as an Analyst to work on the 2019 Net Zero Report where she covered industry and power decarbonisation. As part of the Sixth Carbon Budget report, she was responsible for the power and hydrogen modelling that informed the CCC’s advice and policy recommendations. Chloe holds a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she specialises in low-carbon development strategies. 

Emiliano Mesa Arenas, Coordinator of the ISLANDER project
 Accelerating the decarbonisation of islands’ energy systems

Emiliano graduated in Architecture in 2013, completing a master’s degree in Intelligent Energy and Transport Systems, specialising in Smart Cities. In 2016 he joined AYESA Advanced Technologies to work in the R&D department and participated in 5 H2020 Projects related to energy (NETfficient, Starcell, ISLANDER, SDN microSENSE, SUPER PV) and other innovative work within the digital transformation sector. Emiliano is currently working on the ISLANDER H2020 project.

How to register? 

Our event: Northern Ireland’s Energy Challenge, will be hosted via Zoom. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email. Further details on how to join the webinar on the 9 March 2021 at 10.30 am will be sent to your registered email address prior to the start date. If you have any queries about this event or questions about the Action Renewables Energy Association (AREA), contact us at Don’t forget to follow us on Eventbrite, to stay up to date with the upcoming events in this series.

Interested in one of our services

Contact our team today.

Make Enquiry