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Geosciences and the Energy Transition: Resources on a Finite Planet

06 - 07 September 2021
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Event type:
Conference, Virtual event
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, Energy Transition, Energy Group, Mineral Deposits Studies Group, Critical Minerals Association
Event status:

Geosciences and the Energy Transition: Resources on a Finite Planet

This September event is focused on the resources needed for future energy systems. Contributions are requested on the challenges, future technologies and advances in responsible recovery and stewardship of key resources (including strategic minerals, hydrocarbons, water and soil health)  that will all under-pin a successful energy transition.  In addition, presentations linked to the investment, circular economies, public awareness and policy needs associated with the future use of earth resources, are all welcome.  

The virtual meeting will run on the afternoon of the 6th Sept and the morning of the 7th Sept. Presentations will include an introduction and scene setting from Mike Daly (President of the Geological Society) and Julian Kettle, (Senior Vice President, Metals and Mining, Wood Mackenzie).

The aim is to cover science progress and achievements in critical areas, the context of geosciences in society awareness, Government policy, finance, insurance, and economics linked to the Energy Transition.

This webinar is the third of a series in 2021 leading to a Discussion Meeting on the Energy Transition in April 2022.

Series Overview and Purpose

The series of meetings will provide updates and discussions on the geological science needed to underpin future energy changes and to promote the systems approach for the collaborations needed for efficient integration of geosciences into the ET.

The series of Webinars/Meetings is aimed at addressing the following questions:

1. What are the recent advances and future needs in geoscience areas critical to the Energy Transition?
2. How can Geosciences contribute more effectively to the Energy Transition?
3. What advances in Geoscience integration into societal needs and public awareness of the Energy Transition are possible?
4. How well is the Geosciences community integrated with other sciences and engineering, and how can a more multidisciplinary, systems approach be achieved?

The outcomes of the series are aimed at:

• Increased and accelerated awareness of the role, contribution and importance of the geosciences to the Energy Transition.
• Highlighting the need for rapid and robust planning and action on responsible resource usage and the use of geoscience skills in the Energy Transition. 
• Generating a platform for multi-disciplinary engagement and collaboration across the geosciences and with other sciences as a foundation for future interdisciplinary meetings/engagement on the ET.
• Publications in the online open access journal; Earth Science, Systems and Society (ES3).

Provisional Programme

6 September 12pm - 4.30pm

Introduction  (12pm -12.45pm)

  • Mike Daly, (President, Geological Society)
  • Julian Kettle, (Senior VP, Wood Mackenzie)
  • Frances Wall, (Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter)
Outline of the Energy Transition Webinar Series and Meeting Objectives.

Geosciences and the Energy Transition (12.45pm - 1.10pm)

  • Murray Hitzman, (Irish Centre for Applied Geosciences) Resources on finite planet: An Overview. 

Hydrocarbon Stewardship and Hydrogen Economies (1.10pm – 2.50pm)

  • Iman Hill, (IOGP) Enablers of the energy transition: the role of oil and gas in a low carbon future.
  • Paul de Leeuw, (Robert Gordon University) Building a better and greener world.
  • Mike Simmons, (Halliburton) Demand for ‘Advantaged’ Hydrocarbons during the 21st Century Energy Transition.
  • Sian Loveless, (Environment Agency) Environmental regulation for the Net Zero agenda.
  • Speaker TBA, (Ernst and Young) Investment landscapes emerging from the transition from hydrocarbons to a hydrogen economy.

BREAK 2.50pm - 3.10pm

Water and Soil Resources  (3.10pm – 4.30pm)  

  • Alan MacDonald, (BGS) Groundwater resources in a net zero economy. 

  • Helen Gavin, (Ricardo) The UK water industry and Net Zero.
  • Christian Davies, (Shell) The many roles of microbes in soil and their importance for increasing soil carbon in nature.


7 September 9.30am to 12.50pm

Introduction/Announcements  (9.30am – 9.50am)

  • Frances Wall, (Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter)

Minerals and the Energy Transition (9.50am – 11.10am)

  • Dan Smith, (University of Leicester) Barriers to sustainability in metal supply.
  • Brett Grist, (Critical Mineral Association) The UK and mining: the opportunity to support the Green Industrial Revolution through domestic production. 
  • Simon Gardner-Bond, (TechMet) Financing resource projects for the Energy Transition.

  • Erika Faigen / Gavin Bridge, (Durham University) The battery mineral production network.

BREAK  11.10am to 11.30am.

Circular Economies and the Energy Transition  (11.30am – 12.30pm)

  • Peter Hopkinson, (University of Exeter)Why we need a circular economy for a resilient and secure energy transition.
  • Andy Samuel, (Oil and Gas Authority) The North Sea: Energy Transition in action.

General Discussion   (12.30am – 12.50pm)

  • Future Meetings – Nick Gardiner

CLOSE 12.50pm.



  • Rob Knipe (University of Leeds) 
  • Jon Gluyas (University of Durham)
  • Stuart Haszeldine OBE (University of Edinburgh) 
  • David Reiner (University of Cambridge) 
  • Frances Wall (University of Exeter) 
  • Nick Gardiner (St Andrews University and Geological Society Theme Leader)
  • Jen Roberts (University of Strathclyde) 
  • Mike Stephenson (BGS)                   
  • Jo Coleman OBE (Shell)
  • David McNamara (University of Liverpool)

Additional Co-ordinators for ‘Resources on a Finite Planet’:

  • Dan Smith (Mineral Deposits Studies Group)
  • Jeff Townsend, Kirsty Benham (Critical Minerals Association)


Registration for this conference is open now via the link on this page, or contact [email protected] to request a registration form.


The abstract deadline has now closed. Thank you for your submissions.


Please contact [email protected] with any enquiries.

Register now

Registration rates

£ 30.00
£ 45.00
£ 10.00

Geolsoc Contact

Conference Office

The Geological Society
Burlington House

Event sponsors
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