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Guest Speakers

Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith FRS​

Title: Large-scale Electricity Storage​

Abstract: Electricity will meet an increasing fraction of the world’s growing energy needs as fossil fuels are phased out.  In Great Britain most will be provided by wind and solar. To match wind and solar, which are volatile, with demand, which is variable, they must be complemented by using wind and solar generated electricity that has been stored when there is an excess, and/or supply from large-scale flexible low-carbon sources, of which there are very few. I will describe the findings of a study (which can be found at of options that can provide reliable electricity when wind and solar generation is unable to meet demand directly (with or without steady baseload supply). The long-term variability of wind speeds requires some very long-term large-scale storage, which would best be provided by hydrogen. The cost appears to be acceptable, but new market mechanisms will be needed to attract the investment that will be needed.​

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Biography: Chris Llewellyn Smith, who is a theoretical physicist, is currently interested in all aspects of energy supply and demand. He led the Royal Society study large-scale electricity storage, which was published in September 2023 – see


Chris has inter alia served as Director of Energy Research, University of Oxford (2011-17); President of the Council of Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (2008-17); and Director General of CERN (1994-1998), when the Large Hadron Collider was approved and construction started.

He has written and spoken widely on science funding, international scientific collaboration and energy issues, and served on many advisory bodies nationally and internationally, including the UK Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Science and Technology (1989-92).


His contributions to theoretical particle physics and leadership have been recognised by awards and honours world-wide, including election to the Royal Society (1984), which awarded him a Royal Medal in 2015.​

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Dr Andrew Garrad CBE FREng

Title: Some thoughts on large scale renewable energy​

Abstract: It is understood that this meeting is primarily intended for young researchers who are all working on innovative aspects of wind and marine renewables. Andrew Garrad has been in this business for some 45 years and, rather than attempt to compete with these younger brains for ideas for the future, this presentation will seek to put the present efforts into a somewhat personal historical context and describe “how we got here”. There will, nevertheless, be some thoughts, in rather general terms, of what the future hurdles, both technical and political, might be.

Biography: Dr Garrad built his first wind turbine in 1971. He has been professionally involved in wind energy for 45 years.  In 1984 Andrew Garrad co-founded the Garrad Hassan Group which grew to become the world’s largest renewable energy consultancy. When he retired, in 2016, it had 1,000 staff in 29 countries. Its activities spanned mathematical modelling, wind turbine design, control system design, energy assessment and technical due diligence. GH worked all over the world and spearheaded the development of the Chinese wind industry which now produces half the world’s turbines. When he first arrived in China there were no turbines and no cars!


From 2013 to 2014 he was President of the European Wind Energy Association. In the 1980’s he was chair of the British Wind Energy Association. He is a member of the board of Ambition Community Energy CIC which built England’s largest onshore wind turbine in Bristol. It is 100% community owned and started operation in May 2023.


He chaired Bristol’s year as European Green Capital in 2015. In January 2024 he was appointed a Chair of the Independent Commission on Energy for the Severn Estuary. In February he was awarded the global Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering together with Henrik Stiesdal of Denmark.


He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the IMechE and an Honorary Fellow of New College, Oxford. He is a Visiting Professor of Engineering Mathematics at Bristol University in the UK. 

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