Region celebrates growing success of its wind energy sector 

3 Sun working on the Greater Gabbard Wind Farm

EEEGR's East of England Wind Week conference and dinner will be celebrating the region's fast-growing energy sector - Credit: AlAN O'NEILL

Delegates from across East Anglia’s fast-growing wind energy sector will be descending on Lowestoft to hear from experts about the latest developments in the industry — and celebrate the bravery of those who work in it.

Just days before the COP26 climate change conference begins in Glasgow, East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) will be hosting its first conference since the pandemic as part of Wind Week East of England.

Green entrepreneur and Greenpeace UK director Ed Gillespie will be after-dinner speaker at a pre-conference dinner on Thursday, October 28, at Ivy House Country Hotel in Oulton Broad.

Ed Gillespie, who will be guest speaker at EEEGR's East of England Wind Week dinner

Ed Gillespie, environmental campaigner, green entrepreneur and director of environmental campaign group Greenpeace - Credit: LONDON SPEAKER BUREAU/EEEGR

On Friday, Orbis Energy in Lowestoft will host a packed day as the Wind Week East of England conference takes place. It will include speeches by business and energy minister Greg Hands and Waveney MP Peter Aldous as well as a host of industry figures.

Among them will be Michael Somerville, project controls manager at ScottishPower Renewables and Andy Paine, head of wind development at Vattenfall. There will also be contributions from teacher Rob Whalen about the importance of industry engagement with youngsters and energy engineering masters student Joe Whitley, who is studying at the University of East Anglia, along with insights into projects in the region and innovations within the industry.

EEEGR executive director Simon Gray said: “EEEGR has put this event on for several years now and this is the first time we have done it with a face to face event since the pandemic. 

The SNS 2016 Offshore Energy conference at the Norfolk Showground. Simon Gray, chief executive EEEGR

Simon Gray, Executive Director of Policy & External Affairs at EEEGR - Credit: Denise Bradley

“It gives us the opportunity to thank those key workers who kept the nations lights on at a time that many of us were furloughed or working from home. These brave men and women continued travelling to and from the wind farms to ensure we had electricity to heat and power our homes and those essential businesses and facilities that remained open. 

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“It also allows us to celebrate what wind energy has brought to our region and help prepare for the projects that will be with us in the next couple of years to make sure our supply chain and our skills and training providers are ready for the challenge.”

Mr Gray said he hoped the event would lead to a better understanding of the sector and its demands and what businesses need to consider when coming into the industry.

Tickets start from £50 for the conference day.

Mr Gillespie wrote Only Planet: A Flight-Free Adventure around the World charting his globe-trotting plane-free journey. He is involved in businesses including Zero Carbon Food, a renewable energy powered farm in a disused London Underground tunnel, and, a pan European rail-ticket agency. He is also a London Sustainable Development Commissioner, advising the mayor and the Greater London Authority.

Tickets for the dinner start at £85.