Interactive Event

Smart Grid: Powering a Decarbonized Future Together

Join us online for Smart Grid: Powering a Decarbonized Future Together on Tuesday 23 November at 10.00 a.m. CET (Central European Time). If you’re a start-up, corporate or cleantech investor you can:

  • Connect to a new partner with the investment remit or technology that can accelerate your progress
  • Meet companies developing technical and commercial solutions and the corporates ready to invest in them.
  • Gain expert insight on the future of energy.

If your goals are enhanced knowledge and cross-border collaboration that deliver decarbonization, get your invite now.


Find out what we're exploring

10.00-10.45 Plenary: Challenges for Powering a Decarbonized Smart Grid

In the coming decade, integrating more volatile renewables into the electrical grid will present challenges. Nothing less than creative thinking and transformative ideas from innovators, incumbents and governments will get us to our goals. This plenary session will outline what a future smart grid will look like and assess the technical, market and regulatory challenges in decarbonizing the electrical grid.


  • Molly Web, Founder, Energy Unlocked
  • James Johnson, CEO, Piclo
  • David Shipworth, Professor, UCL Clean Growth Fund

10:45-11:05 Randomized Networking

Meet experts, entrepreneurs, investors and corporates during a fast-paced session.

11.10-12.00 Showcase: Meet the Smart Grid Innovators Transforming our Planet

The innovation showcase will feature  start-up and growth-stage companies poised to address the major challenges presented by electricity grids today. Expect Q&A from investors and corporates.


  • Beverly Gower-Jones, Clean Growth Fund
  • Louis Brasington, Lead Analyst, Cleantech Group

Companies Presenting:

  • Irene, Di Martino, Head of AmpX
  • Jürgen Mayerhofer, CEO and Co-Founder, enspired
  • JoJo Hubbard, CEO, Neuville Grid Data
  • Ulfert Höhne, CEO, OurPower Coop
  • Akshat Kulkarni, CEO Oxra Grid


12.05-12.45 Roundtable 1: Managing Data Integration and Accessibility within Smart Grids

How can we manage increasing volumes of data to maximise value within the smart grid? From security to monitoring, we’ll explore the challenges associated with smart grid data and how stakeholders can best approach data handling as we transition to decentralised energy networks.

12.05-12.45 Roundtable 2: From Local to National, What are the Emerging Business Models for Energy Flexibility?

This discussion will dive into the grid flexibility business models arising from the transition away from a siloed energy model. From local flexibility models including community microgrids and peer-to-peer trading to national flexibility marketplaces, which models are likely to take center stage, and what is the role of traditional grid stakeholder in these new frameworks?

12.05-12.45 Roundtable 3: How do We Solve for an Increasingly Volatile Grid?

We’ll assess the solutions for dealing with the volatility, harmonization and system strain issues electricity grids with high renewable penetration will face this decade. From seasonal storage to virtual power plants, how can new technology assist with this transition and what challenges need to be overcome if countries wish to reach their renewable integration targets?

12.50-1.50 Speed Nettworking

Ready to meet the people who can help you take the next step? Speed networking gives you plenty of opportunities to get to know a range of different experts.

1.50-2.00 Closing

Join us for final remarks and bring any questions you might have,


Dr. Irene Di Martino — Executive Vice President of Amp, Head of Amp X

Irene has over 20 years of experience in the energy sector, with a robust engineering background and an industry-sponsored PhD in the power generation domain. She has spent most of her career to date at Engie where she was a global Key Expert, leading strategic technical programmes to increase the profitability of the Engie generation portfolio.

Whilst at Engie, Irene also gained a number of Innovation awards by contributing to some ground-breaking technology developments in the field of power generation. Prior to Engie, Irene worked at QinetiQ on cutting-edge development projects for aerospace applications. More recently, Irene was at the World Energy Council leading an international programme on energy blockchain and authoring a report that has been widely referenced across the sector.

Irene has been leading Amp X since it was established in September 2019, focusing on the delivery of a data-rich digital energy platform which caters for a number of autonomous interoperable products to future-proof the grid, unlocking flexibility through non-wire-alternatives, whilst improving system resilience and stability at the lowest possible cost.


Clarke V. Simmons BSc MSc — Founder & Managing Director of Neuville Grid Data

With over 30-years of experience relevant to smart grids and renewable energy, Clarke is a veteran leader with the demonstrated ability to assemble, grow and lead high-performance teams. He successfully started, built and sold two data-driven information service companies in the USA. US Government service as a White House research analyst.

Student internships at three US government laboratories including the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) that involved instrumentation and data gathering. Previous executive director of two UK renewable energy companies. Prior employment also includes: BP Petrochemicals Strategic Technology Venture Manager; Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Program Manager; and Commercial Director of PelaStar – an offshore wind technology company. Education: BSc Information Systems, Carnegie-Mellon University 1986; Sloan MSc in Management, London Business School 2004; Venture Capital Institute 2004; and the Electricity Markets Program at London Business School 2006.  Member of CIGRE and the RORC.  American, married with two sons, offshore sailor, patent holder in laser physics and electrical monitoring systems.

His most recent technical paper, Solar farm voltage anomaly detection using high-resolution μPMU data-driven unsupervised machine learning, was recently published in Applied Energy.


Jürgen Mayerhofer — CEO & CO-Founder, enspired

Jürgen Mayerhofer is the CEO and co-founder of enspired, a fully digital energy trading company. He was CEO of VisoTech, a leading algorithmic trading software provider for European power and natural gas spot markets.

Jürgen brings 20 years of experience in the energy industry based on various roles from software engineering, energy trading, and management consulting. Since 2019, Jürgen is a guest lecturer at the Vienna University of Economics for algorithmic energy trading. He holds an MBA in Energy Management from the Vienna University of Economics. Jürgen obtained the Stanford GSB LEAD Certificate for Corporate Innovation in 2019 and globally represented Austria as Mission Innovation Champion 2020. He is also an active member of the EPEX Exchange Council, where he has a real impact on shaping the future of the power market.

David Shipworth — Professor at UCL Energy Institute and Chair of User-Centred Energy Systems

David Shipworth is Professor of Energy and the Built Environment at the UCL Energy Institute and Chair of the User-Centred Energy SystemsTechnology Collaboration Programme by the International Energy Agency. He is also the UK Government’s Industry and Academic representative to this TCP.

As Chair he is responsible for strategic leadership of the TCP’s international research programme covering its 17 member nations and for helping inform the work of the IEA in this area. As UK Representative he is responsible for disseminating the work of the IEA to the UK industry and academic community.

He has been a consultant and advisor to the UK government and industry on smart metering over the last 15 years having done work for BEIS; SEGB; ETI; ESC; EdF; E.ON; SSE; UKPN; Bosch; PassivSystems; and other organisations focused on the role of users in the energy system.

He is currently an investigator on around £20M in research grants in the Demand Side Management area including leading the synthesis workstream in the UK’s largest research programme on Smart Local Energy Systems.

His research focuses on demand side response and peer-to-peer energy trading, and roles of consumers and buildings in delivering these. He has a particular interest in the design and evaluation of field trials for providing evidence to government and business, as well as testing the consumer acceptability of, and response to, different energy flexibility offerings such as local energy trading, time of use tariffs and home energy management systems.

Akshat Kulkarni — CEO, OrxaGrid

Akshat Kulkarni, CEO, OrxaGrid, has 11+ years of experience working in the European, Chinese, Indian and American electricity sectors. He is a technical entrepreneur skilled in smart grids & electricity networks, demand-side management, power systems and renewable energy.

His business acumen and electricity sector background are critical for spearheading OrxaGrid to be a leader in the changing electricity sector. Akshat has an MBA focused in strategy from London Business School and an Electrical and Computer Engineering degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign.

James Johnston — CEO & Co-Founder, Piclo

James Johnston is the CEO and Co-founder of Piclo, the UK’s leading online marketplace for local flexibility trading. Prior to Piclo, James spent 3 years researching microgrids at University of Strathclyde. James is also the founder of Solar Sketch, a design company for the solar industry and worked at international engineering firm Arup.

James is a published author contributing chapters to Academic Press books on peer-to-peer energy and local flexibility trading.

Matthew Williams — Founder, Ionate

An electrical and control engineer by background, Matthew spent most of his career managing technical development teams, SMEs, and start-up companies. A scientific mindset combined with decade in the front seat of global systems-engineering companies gave Matthew a unique insight on how to build the most efficient electrical systems.

Setting out to enable a power grid ready for the energy transition, Matthew has been working on innovative power flow technologies since 2016. He is the author of numerous patents; has founded and is leading the energy technology start-up, IONATE. With IONATE, Matthew and his team present a state-of-the-art technology solution for the critical power control issues faced by DSOs, renewable generators, and industrial asset holders.

Ulfert Höhne, Co-Founder & CEO, OurPower SCE

Ulfert Höhne is co-founder and CEO of OurPower SCE, a European Cooperative (Sociatas Cooperativa Europaea) based in Vienna. OurPower is developing and operating, an innovative peer-to-peer marketplace for green power, and an engagement platform for citizen energy. Ulfert is an experienced serial entrepreneur in the field of energy and environment.

After earning a degree in physics of the University of Vienna, her worked with Greenpeace as a climate and energy campaigner, founded the Austrian association of renewable energy and managed it until 2000. As a committed visionary, he co-founded and managed oekostrom AG, the leading green power supplier of renewable energy in Austria, from 1999-2008. Subsequently he initiated and accompanied many projects and start-ups in the field of energy and sustainability, i.a. HEI Solar Light, KlimaGut AG, or UCarver. In 2013/2014 Ulfert was CEO of Greenpeace Energy eG, one of the largest Energy Cooperatives and green power suppliers in Germany. Since 2018 he is working full time on OurPower Energiegenossenschaft SCE to establish a radically new approach of citizen energy.

Meet the Partners

The organizations supporting Smart Grid: Powering a decarbonized future together

Energy Systems Catapult was set up to accelerate the transformation of the UK’s energy system and ensure UK businesses and consumers capture the opportunities of clean growth. The Catapult is an independent, not-for-profit centre of excellence that bridges the gap between industry, government, academia and research. We take a whole systems view of the energy sector, helping us to identify and address innovation priorities and market barriers to decarbonise the energy system at least cost.

In addition to promoting the use of renewable energy sources, one of the main strategies of Austria’s energy policy is to reduce the demand for energy, through sound use of energy and by improving the efficiency with which energy is employed.

The Swedish Energy Agency is leading society’s transition to a sustainable energy system.We contribute with facts, knowledge, and analysis of supply and use of energy in the society, as well as work towards security of energy supply.

About Cleantech Group

At Cleantech Group, we provide research, consulting and events to catalyze opportunities for sustainable growth powered by innovation. We bring clients access to the trends, companies and people shaping the future and the customized advice and support businesses need to engage external innovation.

The company was established in 2002 and is headquartered in San Francisco with people based in London, Paris and Boston

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