IES 2022 - Hydrogen in the Energy Transition: Between ‘Silver Bullet’ and ‘Mere Hype’

IES 2022 - Hydrogen in the Energy Transition: Between ‘Silver Bullet’ and ‘Mere Hype’

Recorded On: 09/29/2022

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Originally presented at the AIEN 2022 International Energy Summit in London

Manuel Manrique, Hydrogen International Business Development Manager, Repsol 
Gunther Newcombe OBE, Project Coordinator, Orion Clean Energy Project (Shetlands) 
Emily Sykes, VP Energy Transition Fund, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners 
Moderator: Nuno Antunes, Partner, Miranda & Associados 

The energy transition, as a paradigm shift of energy systems, cannot succeed unless multiple variables are aligned. Hydrogen is one such variable. A ‘silver bullet’ for some, mere ‘hype’ for others, its realistic role and feasibility are still debated.

Manuel Manrique

Hydrogen International Business Development Manager, Repsol

Manuel Manrique Villanueva is a Chemical Engineer with a wide experience in the energy industry. Following a period working in the fertilizer industry after graduation, he joined Repsol back in 2003 and spent 7 years in one of Repol's refineries in Spain, where he occupied different positions from Process Engineer to Plant Manager.

Manuel moved to the Trading Business in 2010 and traded LPG for a few years in a period of big fundamental changes in the market. He was the Global Head of LPG trading until 2018,  before being appointed as Business Development Manager for the Trading business. Manuel led several projects involving different oil and oil products until, being highly motivated to be part of the energy transition and society decarbonization, he moved to the Repsol Hydrogen business unit a few months ago. Now Manuel is responsible for Hydrogen International Business Development, based in Madrid.

Gunther Newcombe OBE

Project Coordinator, Orion Clean Energy Project (Shetlands)

Gunther has over 40 years experience working in the energy sector spending 35 years working with BP, in areas ranging from exploration right through to decommissioning in a number of senior leadership positions, followed by 5 years as Operations Director with the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), including working on the development of energy hubs.

At the end of 1Q 2020 Gunther stepped down from the NSTA and started working on the development of an energy hub project called ORION (Opportunity for Renewables Integration with Offshore Networks), centred around the Shetland region, with an ambition to develop and produce green H2 for use on Shetland and export, transform Shetland dependency on fossil fuels to renewable energy, and facilitate decarbonization of the oil and gas sector.  

Gunther is married with four children and lives in Aberdeen and was awarded an OBE for his services to the oil & gas industry in the Queens 2020 New Year’s Honours list.

Emily Sykes

VP Energy Transition Fund, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners

Emily is Vice President in Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners’ Energy Transition Fund, the largest dedicated clean hydrogen fund globally. She has over 12 years’ experience in the renewables, gas and infrastructure industries spanning across Australia, the UK and Europe. Emily is experienced in all aspects of greenfield project development from idea stage to financial close, navigating the evolving regulatory and geopolitical landscape for renewables and green hydrogen, as well as traditional mergers & acquisitions and joint venture activity. Emily started her career as an energy/infrastructure projects lawyer in Australia and has degrees in Law and Finance. 

Nuno Antunes (Moderator)

Partner, Miranda & Associados

Partner at ‘Miranda & Associados’, a Portuguese international law firm with strong presence in Africa. Co-head of the ‘Energy and Natural Resources’ department. 

Primary focus on the energy sector, notably upstream oil and gas, LNG, gas/LNG-to-power, power, renewables, and energy transition (hydrogen, CCUS). Legal advice to IOCs and State entities, on international, constitutional, regulatory, contractual, tax, M&A, project structuring, environmental, ESG and dispute resolution matters. 

Lead of the recently established AIEN Hydrogen Taskforce. 

Member of the International Bar Association’s Oil and Gas Law and Power Law Committees. 

Former petroleum legal advisor to the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste. 

Law of the sea specialist. Member of the list of arbitrators of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

Earned a PhD (International Law) and MA (International Boundaries) from the University of Durham (UK). Guest Professor at the Catholic University (Lisbon, Portugal). 


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