All-Energy, the UK’s largest renewable energy exhibition and conference, proved it could pull out all the stops thanks to its move to Glasgow, and welcomed a record-breaking attendance of 8, 250 (preliminary figures) from over 50 countries last week (6-7 May at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre – SECC) at the 15th show in the annual series. Previous events had been held in Aberdeen, with attendance at All-Energy 2014 being 6, 875.
“What an action-packed and productive two days it proved to be, ” said All-Energy’s Event Director, Jonathan Heastie of Reed Exhibitions. “We had packed aisles in an extraordinarily busy exhibition featuring 450+ exhibiting companies from 20 countries; and in many conference sessions ‘standing room only’ in the 11 equally packed conference and seminar halls and theatres, where over 440 speakers took part in 120 hours of discussion, debate and knowledge sharing.
“Added to that we had a tremendous turnout for the Giant Networking Evening at the Glasgow Science Centre. It was a splendid two days, naturally we are delighted by the numbers, a 20% rise in attendance is no mean feat, and by the warm welcome, encouragement and active participation we received from so many key Glasgow organisations. Complementary emails and phone calls are coming in thick and fast, and so too are space bookings!
“We look forward to being back in Glasgow on Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 May 2016.”
Views from the City Council and SECC
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: “Glasgow’s first year of hosting the UK’s largest renewable energy exhibition and conference has been an unprecedented success with the city welcoming the best attended All-Energy on record.”
“We proudly hold the title of Scotland’s renewables capital as meetings organisers continue to choose Glasgow as the host destination for their energy and sustainability conferences.
“Our credentials speak for themselves. We are the UK’s first green super city and our world-class academic institutions are at the forefront of industry innovation. For example, the University of Strathclyde’s £50 million Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult is accelerating commercial green technologies. We’re the first city in the UK to launch a green street-lighting project which will see the replacement of 10, 000 street lanterns with low energy versions along main arterial roads leading into Glasgow.
“Over the past week, Glasgow’s hotels, restaurants, venues and local businesses have all benefited from the All-Energy Exhibition and Conference. More than £4.7 million has been injected into the local economy with delegates travelling from over 50 countries to enjoy the warmth and humour Glaswegian hospitality is so famous for.
“This year marks the first of a three-year contract, with Glasgow preparing to host the All- Energy Conference and Exhibition in 2016 and 2017 and we look forward to a prosperous partnership in the years ahead.”
Dan Thurlow, Head of Exhibition Sales at the SECC, commented: “All-Energy was a brilliant show last week, the organisers created brilliant content and it was a great experience for both visitors and exhibitors. We’re also pleased that the partnership between ourselves and the city of Glasgow worked hard for the event; this was their first time here and the whole place had a real buzz about it. This is a city and a country that really cares about sustainability and it was reflected in their excellent attendance figures.”
Off to a flying start
The SECC concourse was packed by the official opening time of 08:30 and visitors streamed into the exhibition hall. The conference too got off to a flying start on the first day (6 May) with a superb plenary session, before a completely full auditorium (capacity 624). Chaired by Keith Anderson, Chief Corporate Officer of ScottishPower, the panel of speakers comprised The Leader of Glasgow City Council, Cllr Gordon Matheson CBE; Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Scottish Government; Professor Sir Jim McDonald Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde; Benj Sykes, Head of Asset Management, DONG Energy Wind Power; and Ian Marchant, former CEO of SSE.
Conference attendees could then chose any one of nine conference and two seminar strands to attend – all, like attendance at the exhibition and the Giant Networking Evening, free of charge to all with a business/professional interest in renewable and sustainable energy, business energy efficiency and the development of sustainable cities. Presentations given by many of the speakers at All-Energy will be online by the end of May and accessible free of charge. The full interactive conference programme is online and it is to this that presentations will be uploaded in due course.
A second plenary session was held on Day 2 on ‘Looking forward to the future energy world’ and throughout the event, conference sessions embraced all forms of renewable energy – on- and offshore wind, wave and tidal, bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, solar, renewable heat. They also looked at associated topics such as the grid, energy storage, energy systems, hydrogen and fuel cells, skills, finance and funding, legal frameworks for renewables, business energy efficiency, low carbon transport, local carbon economies, renewables for the farming community, community energy, and sustainable cities. Both the offshore wind and sustainable cities conference streams were held in ‘silent’ theatres on the exhibition show floor.
Some sessions were organised by specific associations, professional bodies, government departments/bodies, or organisations working with government, regional development agencies, and academia (such as the British Hydropower Association, Industrial & Power Association, The IET, WiRES, the Scottish Government, Marine Scotland, Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network, Local Energy Scotland, Highlands & Island Enterprise, Centre for Energy Law – University of Aberdeen). The vast majority thought were the result of the highly successful Call for Papers (the 2016 call will be open between September and December 2015) and by invitation.
Features at All-Energy 2015
In addition to the innovative ‘silent theatres’ on the exhibition show floor, All-Energy featured more 1-2-1 meetings than ever before thanks to its ‘Meet the Buyers’ Share Fair; 1-2-1 opportunities to meet UKTI Trade Officers from 17 countries; and opportunities too to have meetings on the Irish-Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) project, on community energy funding, and on business energy efficiency. It also had an ‘Arrive and Drive’ area; the Power Club for senior members of the industry to use as a meeting and networking area; and, as ever, its traditional Giant Networking Evening – this time in Glasgow’s Science Centre, just a short walk from SECC.
Supporters and sponsors
Shepherd & Wedderburn sponsored all the conference and seminar theatres on the showfloor (offshore wind, sustainable cities, and the quick fire seminar theatres) at All-Energy 2015; ScottishPower Renewables sponsored registration and the banners around Glasgow; Centrica sponsored the bags, Gaia Wind the visitor badges and Café, and Element Power once again sponsored The Power Club and its executive lounge for those responsible for the management and development of new renewable projects. The hydropower trail was sponsored by the British Hydropower Association and the onshore wind one by Ecocel Renewables.
All-Energy is held in association with UK Trade & Investment, the Renewable Energy Association, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group (AREG), with the Society for Underwater Technology as its Learned Society Patron, and supported by over 30 government departments, professional bodies, learned societies and trade associations.