Energy Capital is the smart energy innovation partnership for the West Midlands. By responding to the needs of our vibrant manufacturing economy and diverse local markets, we aim to make the West Midlands one of the most attractive locations to build innovative clean energy technology companies in the world. Our partnership combines world-leading academic expertise with ambitious local authorities, diverse businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs. Energy Capital provides a single point of contact for investors, project funders and potential partners across the West Midlands geography. Energy Capital are also responsible for delivering the Regional Energy Strategy (attached) and supporting the WMCA with their decarbonisation agenda.
Our Board are vital to the work that we do.
Meet the Board
As Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA), Jade engages with the development of a range of energy efficiency policies and is dedicated to the decarbonisation of homes and buildings. She joined the SEA with a wealth of experience within a policy and regulatory affairs capacity after working with Government, Parliament, and industry at the heart of some of the biggest challenges facing the sustainable energy sector.
Having experienced the good and bad of political interventions over the past decade whilst the climate emergency has worsened, Jade recognises just how important it is to bring industry and policymakers together to design policy that works. Her efforts in engaging with policymakers has been dedicated to driving improvement in the performance of buildings to enhance the wellbeing of occupants and minimise the long-term impact of our built environment on the planet. For more information please visit https://www.sustainableenergyassociation.com/
Mark has executive management responsibility for the delivery of the ED2 Business Plan for WPD and for interaction with the High Speed Project (HS2). In his previous role, he was the Network Services Manager with responsibility for the West Midlands’ Licence Area of WPD serving 2.4 million customers.
He started as graduate management trainee in 1990 and has 29 years of service with WPD. He is a graduate of Plymouth University, a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.
Western Power Distribution is the electricity distribution network operator for the Midlands, South West and Wales. It delivers electricity to over 7.9 million customers over a 55,000 square kilometres service area and employs over 6500 staff.
Western Power Distribution supports the West Midlands Regional Energy Strategy by using our expertise and experience from owning and operating the electricity distribution network. WPD are keen to be involved with innovative projects which will shape the future of clean energy technology.
For further information on WPD please visit www.westernpower.co.uk
Stephen has had experience in project management, strategy, finance, regulation and commercial roles since joining National Grid in 2001. Stephen is currently director for innovation at National Grid Partners, a corporate innovation and venture capital arm of National Grid. He has specialised in innovation delivery, energy-system analysis and scenario planning, and business strategy. He has worked in various businesses including Gas Distribution, GB System Operator (power and gas) and Corporate Development functions. Stephen continues to work alongside start-up companies and expertise in future heat, transport and power technologies. Stephen has a PhD and Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham (UK), is an Associate Member of the IChemE and has an MBA from Warwick Business School (UK). For further information on National Grid please visit ngpartners.com
Martin Freer is head of Nuclear Physics, and Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute (BEI) at the University of Birmingham. He is also Director of the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), which comprises eight internationally-renowned Midlands universities which are part of the Midlands Innovation partnership, together with the British Geological Survey.
Martin is former Director of the Birmingham Centre for Nuclear Education and Research, which he established in 2010. He has overseen the development of the BEI, helped establish Energy Capital and has co-led the establishment of the joint University of Birmingham–Fraunhofer Germany research platform.
In 2015 he co-led the BEI Commission “Doing Cold Smarter” chaired by Lord Teverson, and in 2012 he led the Policy Commission “Future of Nuclear Energy in the UK” chaired by Lord Hunt. His main research area is the study of the structure of light nuclei, using nuclear reactions. He received the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Prize, Humboldt Foundation, in 2004 and the Rutherford Medal in 2010. For further information please visit https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/energy/index.aspx
Having held a similar post at Aston Business School for 10 years which included a spell as the dean of the business school. He has a PhD from Reading University, and has published some 75 academic papers across a range of disciplines including international business, regional science, finance, and economics.
His main areas of interest are:
The links between firm internationalisation and firm performance
The impact of inward investment on host locations
International technology transfer
Policy responses to globalisation
He now holds a £1m investment from ESRC looking at productivity in the West Midlands. The collaboration with Birmingham Business School and WMG at Warwick focusses on how productivity growth through investment, skills and supply chain collaboration can be translated into inclusive growth.
He recently held a Prestigious Leverhulme Fellowship, investigating the impact of internationally mobile capital on both home and source countries, particularly in terms of competitiveness and labour markets.
More generally, he has held 5 other ESRC awards, and has carried out research and consultancy projects for UNCTAD, World Bank, European Commission, OECD, and in the UK several Government Departments and local Regional Development bodies. Locally, he has worked with the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP since its inception, serving on the economics strategy board, chairing the academic advisory group, and on the executive steering committees for both the Heseltine Report and the Strategic Economic Plan.
More recently he was the academic lead and deputy chair of the West Midlands Productivity and Skills commission, and is currently leading a project “From Productivity to Prosperity”, with a focus on the West Midlands region. He has written extensively on the prospects for inward investment post Brexit.
He was on the Business and Management Sub-panel for the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise, and is a member of the ESRC grants panel. He is on the editorial review board of the Journal of International Business Studies, the “World Elite” journal in the area of international business, as well as the Journal of World Business and the Global Strategy Journal. For further information please visit https://www.wbs.ac.uk/
Before joining the Catapult, Philip worked for BP for over 30 years in Asia, North and South America, and Europe. He moved into the cleantech sector in 2002, initially building BP’s portfolio of Biofuels businesses and technologies, latterly becoming CEO of BP Alternative Energy. Philip is a Commissioner at the global Energy Transitions Commission, a member of the Global Futures Council on Energy at the World Economic Forum. For further information please visit https://es.catapult.org.uk/about-us/
WMCU is a formal and legal partnership between Birmingham City University, Coventry University and the University of Wolverhampton – three leading West Midlands universities who have joined forces to meet the demands of devolution across the region and to provide a platform for joint working on research, training, CPD, investment and development opportunities.
Our vision is for the three universities to share assets and expertise to build on the impressive established strengths we already have individually to collectively make an economic impact of a scale and reach previously unseen across the region. For Further information please visit http://www.wmcu.ac.uk/
Head of Climate Change & Sustainability
Coventry City Council
Chairman, Westley Foundries
Cllr Danny Millard
Cllr Waseem Zaffar
Birmingham City Council
HS2, Birmingham City Council
Business Development Manager, The West Midlands Growth Company
Head of Business Development, Black Country Housing Group
Director of Policy, Strategy and Innovation, Transport for West Midlands
Future Gas Strategy Manager, Cadent Gas
Innovation Lead, Climate-KIC
Strategic Development Manager, Engie UK
Renewable Energy Manager, Severn Trent Water
Sarah Jane Loughran
Jaguar Land Rover Limited
Member Director, Make UK
Director of Engagement at the Energy and Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI)
Professor of Power Electronics, University of Warwick
Head of Local Energy at Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Senior Manager – Energy Systems Transition, Ofgem