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Festival of Politics 2022
11 to 13 August
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Thursday, October 21, 2021

What will power my home in 2045?

Time: 7pm to 8pm

Discover how and when renewable energy inventions will power our homes and workplaces.


Event information

Scotland is cited as Europe’s potential green powerhouse where renewable and clean energy is plentiful. But how do we overcome the resource, commercial, cultural and behavioural barriers to achieve this impressive claim?

Join the panel to discover how and when renewable energy inventions will power our homes and workplaces – and what can we learn from other nations – and how will households with fuel poverty and social housing be affected by this low carbon revolution?

This event is bought to you in partnership with the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. It is chaired by Dean Lockhart MSP, Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee.


Dr Niall Kerr

Dr Niall Kerr is an interdisciplinary energy researcher at the University of Edinburgh with a background in social and political science, and economics. He is currently working as a Research Fellow on the INTEGRATE (Integrating seasonal thermal storage with multiple energy sources to decarbonise thermal energy) and the Going Dutch (assessing current governance approaches to heat decarbonisation in the Netherlands, the UK and Scotland) projects. Niall is part of the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) Unit in the School of Social and Political Science.

Stuart Paton

Stuart is currently Chair of H2Green, a Scottish based company focussed on the development of green hydrogen hubs for heavy goods vehicles and trains. The company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Getech plc (an AIM listed data, geology and geospatial analysis company on which he also serves as a Non-Exec director) has a range of Memoranda of Understanding with key partners throughout the value chain and is well advanced in projects in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Stuart has held a number of executive positions with start-up, small and large oil and gas companies in the UK and internationally. He was COO of Dana Petroleum when it was bought in a $2 billion acquisition by KNOC in 2010. Dana had assets in the UK, Norway, Netherlands, Egypt and NW Africa. He started his career with Shell working in the Netherlands, London and Aberdeen. Stuart has also written for Reform Scotland on various aspects of energy and the energy transition. Stuart holds a geology degree and PhD. He lives with his family in rural Perthshire.

Dr Claudia Aravena

Dr Claudia Aravena is an assistant professor in environmental and energy economics at Heriot-Watt University; Secretary and Board Member of the Latin American Environmental and Resource Economics Association (LAERE) and Research Associate of Environment for Development Initiative. She possess a PhD in Energy and Environmental Economics from Queen’s University Belfast and a MSc in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from Universidad de Concepcion (Chile). Claudia works extensively with multidisciplinary groups in the areas of energy, environmental and behavioural economics. Her research interests are in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicles, consumer behaviour, biodiversity, environmental valuation, payment for ecosystem services, policy instruments and sustainable development.

Dr Catherine Bale

Dr Catherine Bale is an Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds, working across engineering, economics and social science. She researches transitions to sustainable urban energy systems, with a focus on heating and cooling, and is particularly interested in the application of complexity science to energy modelling and policy decisions. Catherine’s research draws together academics and city decision-makers in addressing the challenge of Net Zero, and has informed energy policy at local, national and international levels

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