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Our Annual Energy Conference, focusing on Energy Security in a Net Zero World, took place on Thursday 8 September in The Shelbourne Hotel and online.

Minister Ossian Smyth, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy, delivered a keynote address at the start of the conference and said:

“We are still on target for an 80% reduction in fossil fuel by 2030, and we need that more than ever. Our ambitions for climate action, our ambitions for decarbonising our economy, we can see that that’s absolutely vital now. This energy crisis is not about a crisis in renewables, it’s not about shortages in the renewable sector. It’s a fossil fuel crisis. We haven’t decarbonised fast enough.”

Pictured L-R: Keynote speakers Dr Gabrielle Walker and Minister Ossian Smyth, with Event Chair Eoin Cassidy, Partner and our Head of Energy Sector Group

He also commented:

"My colleague Minister Eamon Ryan is travelling to Brussels tomorrow to attend the emergency energy ministers' meeting where proposals to curb soaring energy prices and support householders and businesses will be discussed and hopefully agreed. Here at home the government has already provided a €2.4 billion supports package and we will do more in the upcoming budget to help all consumers, targeting particularly those who need support most."

Gabrielle Walker, author and climate strategist, delivered a second keynote address. The event included a spotlight session from Catherine Sheridan, COO of EIH2, focusing on the future of hydrogen in Ireland and the role it could play in Ireland's Energy security.

Journalist and host of the RTE energy and climate podcast Hot Mess, Philip Boucher-Hayes, was our MC and the event was chaired by Eoin Cassidy, Partner and Head of our Energy Sector Group.

Survey Results

The findings from our recent Energy Survey were announced at the event. The results highlighted that more than two-thirds of Ireland’s energy sector (69%) believe that the Irish Government’s delivery target for offshore wind is either extremely challenging (42%) or completely unrealistic (27%). Just 7% of industry professionals believe the target, which has increased from 5GW to 7GW, is ‘realistic and achievable.

However, the majority of respondents (79%) believe that Ireland can implement policy changes to avoid blackouts in the next 18 months. Read the full Energy Survey findings.

Panel Discussions

Panels of industry and legal experts examined a number of topics in the context of Ireland’s energy transition.

  • Financing Energy Projects

Issues and considerations when financing wind (on-shore and off-shore), solar and battery/storage in Ireland in the current environment.


  • Cyril Perrin, Managing Director, Neoen Ireland
  • Luis Duran, Director - Energy, Climate Action & Infrastructure, AIB
  • Muireann Hernon, Financial Services Partner, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP
  • Eoin Hartigan, Head of Origination - Project Finance, Bank of Ireland
  • Justine Bouyssou, Vice-President, Energy +, Societe Generale

This session was chaired by William Carmody, Partner and our Head of Financial Services.

Watch the recording of this panel discussion.

  • ESG Risks and Benefits

The importance of ESG to investors and the legal complexities of compliance and disclosure.


  • Muireann Lynch, Senior Research Officer, ESRI
  • Paul Carson, Managing Director, Strategic Power Connect
  • Professor Aoife Foley, Queens University Belfast & Editor in Chief, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
  • Peter Johnston, Partner, Dispute Resolution, Mason Hayes & Curran LLP

This session was chaired by Peter McLay, Partner, Energy.

Watch the recording of this panel discussion.

  • Offshore Energy Supply Chain

An analysis of the gaps and weaknesses in Ireland’s off-shore wind supply chain from a policy and investment perspective and what can be done about it.


  • Vanessa O’Connell, Head of Inis Offshore Wind
  • Jon Salazar, Founder & CEO, Gazelle Wind Power
  • Deirdre Nagle, Partner and Head of our Planning and Environmental Law team
  • Barry Kilcline, Head of Offshore, SSE Renewables Ireland

This session was chaired by Eoin Cassidy, Partner & Head of our Energy Sector Group.

Watch the recording of this panel discussion.

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