The viability of net zero will hinge on breakthroughs in technology, says Shepherd and Wedderburn’s Joe Fitzgibbon, who will share his future vision of climate-friendly innovations being embraced across all sectors at the upcoming All-Energy conference 2024 in Glasgow 

The Herald:

Joe Fitzgibbon, a Senior Associate with Shepherd and Wedderburn. Joe will be hosting a panel session at All-Energy 2024, exploring innovation in the clean tech sector

SCOTLAND’S target for net zero by 2045 remains ambitious and the Scottish Government has been clear – a rapid transformation across all sectors of our economy and society is required if this target is to be achieved. 

This requirement for transformation leads us to converge on one key theme: innovation. 

Understanding how we can collectively accelerate innovation in a way that leads to the adoption and deployment of clean and climate friendly technologies will determine how close Scotland comes to achieving this target. 

But just how can we shape a future with innovation at its core? 

This will require a coherent narrative to emerge across the public and private sectors to demonstrate that we all have a stake in net zero. 

We need innovation, not just in our core clean and climate friendly technologies, but in our approach to investing in our critical infrastructure and supply chains. 

Shaping policy in this area remains vital to its success. 

The Innovation Critical Report by Prosper set out seven major challenges that Scotland faces in achieving its ambitious vision for climate tech in Scotland. This report asked probing questions about how we can deliver an ambitious vision and strategy for Scotland’s climate tech sector. 

It also offered ten recommendations on how to deliver change, including strengthening innovation in early-stage innovation and “high risk” climate businesses.

Critical to achieving this transition is maximising “high risk” innovation in offshore wind. This is the technology that is going to help the UK reach the net zero target faster than all others. 

Innovation in this sector has been nothing short of remarkable, in no small part thanks to the work of innovation accelerators. The Offshore Renewable Energy’s Launch Academy is now in its fourth year of offering companies both cutting-edge technology development and business support under one roof. 

Every year it provides a cohort of up to ten companies the opportunity to participate in a structured and comprehensive programme, delivered in conjunction with key industry sponsors and external delivery partners over nine months. But how do innovative companies graduating from these technology accelerators begin to interact with complex supply chains? 

How do they become part of a pipeline for a construction project many years in the future? Bridging this gap is a role being filled by supply chain experts, native to the renewable energy industry.

They understand the critical role innovative companies will play in achieving net zero. While this innovation challenge is vast, Scotland is making steady progress. On 16 May, Shepherd and Wedderburn will host a panel session at All-Energy 2024 exploring innovation in the clean tech sector. 

Industry voices from Prosper, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, Orsted, Reoptimize, and equiwatt will analyse the clean tech eco-system and offer insights into how Scotland can continue to start, scale, and fund innovative new technologies. 

Joe Fitzgibbon is a Senior Associate in Shepherd and Wedderburn’s media and technology team. He is a confirmed speaker at All-Energy, the UK’s largest renewable and low-carbon energy exhibition and conference in Glasgow on 15-16 May.