On Wednesday evening the Fuellers' Company held their sixth Annual Energy Lecture at Drapers' Hall. Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, had been invited to speak to the challenging topic of The Future of UK Energy to the Fuellers, many of whom are leading experts and practitioners in this field, and their guests, including myself. The Minister faced a crowded Livery Hall.
The future of UK energy faces a wide range of big challenges: ensuring there is sufficient generating capacity for the future, national security issues as well as the huge challenge of achieving renewables and sustainabilty targets that are commercially viable. Charles Hendry tackled all these topics with gusto. It was clear that he was enthused by the topic and had already acquired a thorough knowledge of it. These perceptions were reinforced by a lively question and answer session where he made it clear that there were difficult decisions ahead that needed to be made. In his response of thanks Neil Upton of Greenberg Traurig Maher, who had generously sponsored the evening, reflected the consensus in the room that the Minister had given probably the best overview of our energy policies that he had ever heard from a politician. This was echoed by the Master Fueller, John Bainbridge, as he closed the formal part of the meeting.
Although the Minister has said that he would leave shortly after he had finished speaking it was clear that he much enjoyed the opportunity to meet such a wide range of energy experts and practitioners and stayed on to continue the debate for a further hour or so.
An informative evening where the Fuellers' Company had created an environment for a most interesting debate. We have links with the Fuellers both through our shared us of St Michael's, Cornhill and that they use our Hall for functions. We were delighted that the Hall was the venue for this successful event.