The 18th Ezra Memorial Lecture 2024

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The 18th Ezra Memorial Lecture 2024

Inaugurated by The Lord Ezra MBE


Wednesday 13 March 2024


Attendees may find the following paper 'What happens if we ‘burn all the carbon’? carbon reserves, carbon budgets, and policy options for governments' useful which was published yesterday - click here to read it

The 18th Ezra Memorial Lecture was held on Wednesday 13th March 2024 at City & Guilds Building, Imperial College London. It was being given by the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Professor Michael Mainelli.

For a colourless gas, hydrogen generates a lot of colourful prose, from blue to grey, green, black, brown, yellow, turquoise, white, and pink, if not purple. In this talk, Professor Michael Mainelli took as his basic theme that the profusion of hydrogen colours is due more to the optics of economics than science and engineering. This lecture examined various energy economic sub-systems from production, to transportation, to storage, to use. Increasingly these economic sub-systems lead the hydrogen markets to interact with the carbon markets. Along the way, the lecture touched on market gaps, particularly the lack of baseload markets for electricity and financial tools for long-term government policy commitment. The lecture concluded with some observations on how hydrogen economics is analysed, in particular using option theory and learning curves. The hope is that the lecture has provided ways to see the future of hydrogen through an economic prism, less darkly.

Professor Michael Mainelli MStJ FCCA FCSI(Hon) FBCS, The Lord Mayor of the City of London
Michael is a scientist and economist trying to promote societal advance through better finance and technology. Originally a research scientist in aerospace (rocket science) and computing (architecture & cartography), educated at Harvard, Trinity College Dublin, he gained his PhD from the London School of Economics, where he was also Visiting Professor in innovation and IT. He became a senior partner of accountants BDO Binder Hamlyn, and Corporate Development Director for the Ministry of Defence’s Defence Evaluation & Research Agency. During a mergers & acquisitions spell in merchant banking with Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, in 1994 he founded Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading think-tank. Z/Yen is renowned for its Global Financial, Green Finance, and Smart Centres indices, as well as notable ‘firsts’ in technology research including energy transmission. Michael has advised numerous governments and municipalities around the world, including four years as International Financial Services Advisor to the Office of the Taoiseach and developing sovereign sustainability-linked bonds. Michael is a fellow of Gresham College, Kings College London, and Goodenough College, visiting professor at UCL’s Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple, and non-executive director of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service and a listed mining company. He is active in fourteen livery companies, past Master of the World Traders, an Alderman of the City of London for Broad Street, and late Sheriff of the City of London 2019-2021, with charity interests in the environment, education, and care. His third book, written with Ian Harris, The Price Of Fish: A New Approach To Wicked Economics And Better Decisions, won the Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize. Michael was installed as the 695th Lord Mayor of The City of London on 10 November 2023.

Panel Speakers

    • Jon Clark, Partner at EY | EMEIA Energy and Resources - Strategy and Transactions | Chair of the Fuellers' Industry Group
    • Professor Stephen Skinner, FRSE, FRSC, FIMMM, FHEA, CEng, CSci, CChem | Ceres/RAEng Research Chair in Electrochemical Devices for a zero-carbon economy - Imperial College London | Professor of Materials Chemistry | WPI Principal Investigator, International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University, Japan
    • Dr Angela Needle FEI, Strategy Director at Cadent | Vice President of Hydrogen UK


    1745 - Doors open
    1820 - Lecture starts
    2005 - Reception
    2115 - Carriages

    Lecture Theatre 200, City and Guilds Building,
    Imperial College London, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2AZ
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    Lounge suit and Livery badges


    Gratefully supported by Cadent Gas