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The big debate

The wind industry is constantly evolving and new ideas and innovations are a welcome source of change and regeneration. We asked five pioneers in the field – from five diverging sectors – to give us their views on where we’re headed and how they are helping to encourage the evolution of an industry.

Once again, we present our exclusive roundtable interview…

Martin Sweeney, Strategy & Marketing Manager, Schneider Electric

Phil Grant, Partner, Energy Advisory at Baringa Partners

Steve McMahon, GM EMEA, Orenda Energy Solutions

Haydn Scholes, Regional Director, Wardell Armstrong

Fraser Gillies, Head of Renewables, WJM LLP

PES: Can you explain a little about your background and how you ‘serve’ the wind industry?

Fraser Gillies: As a firm we’ve been involved in acting for wind energy developers for around 20 years, from the earliest days of the wind industry in Scotland. We help our clients deliver wind projects by offering advice on the whole lifetime of a project from securing the necessary land rights, through to taking the project through the planning and consenting process, and to financial close. Our knowledge of the industry allows us to deliver more than just legal advice however. We know what is important to our clients and what the key challenges facing the industry are.

Phil Grant: Baringa Partners are advisors to numerous stakeholders across the wind and energy industries, including Government and policy makers, investors, developers and manufacturers. We help clients make better-informed decisions in light of complex regulatory frameworks, challenging political environments and uncertain fundamental conditions. We work across all technologies and for stakeholders throughout the wind supply chain. Much of our work is in quantifying the costs and benefits of alternative policy decisions and the impact this has on the three core areas facing the industry – security of supply, sustainability and affordability.

Haydn Scholes: I’ve been in the renewables industry for over 30 years with experience in a wide range of technologies from wind to geothermal hot dry rocks. In that time the industry has grown from a few enthusiasts with green tinted spectacles to a serious commercial player that’s now challenging conventional power sources for market share.
I currently lead Wardell Armstrong’s Energy and Climate Change service sector where most of our business is in onshore wind and large scale solar PV farms, primarily planning and environmental services but also site finding, feasibility and design, some civil engineering and more recently acting as client’s engineer during tendering and construction.


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