Jenny Curtis joins Vattenfall Heat UK as Director of Commercial and Development
We are delighted to confirm that Jenny Curtis will be joining the leadership team of Vattenfall Heat UK in the new year as Director of Commercial and Development.
Previously Jenny worked at the investor, developer and fund manager Amber Infrastructure, where she was co-Head of the Sustainable Energy business.
Jenny has led several high-profile public procurement processes including:
- the London Energy Efficiency Fund (LEEF), which financed £112m of projects;
- the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centers fund (SPRUCE) which invests in low carbon heat and commercial real estate in Scotland;
- the PF2 Aggregator Vehicle for the Education Funding Agency and
- the National Digital Infrastructure Fund delivered in partnership with HM Treasury.
Jenny has worked with stakeholders across the District Heating market in the UK including Central and Local Government, developers and housing associations, and on technologies including decentralised energy, EV charging, energy efficiency and battery energy storage.
Prior to her role at Amber, Jenny worked as a consultant in Regeneration and Housing advisory at Navigant Consulting and started her career in Public Sector finance at PwC after graduating from Oxford.
She has two young daughters and lives with her Aussie husband in a slightly falling down house in Kent.
What made you decide to leave the investment world and join Vattenfall Heat UK?
Crucially, I don’t necessarily see it as leaving the investment world – but moving to a company that can provide investment in the context of hands on, end-to-end services, which is increasingly what I see customers wanting from their energy partner. I am fortunate to have worked with the Vattenfall Heat UK team over the last few years and have been impressed by the enthusiasm and fresh perspective they’ve brought to the District Heating market.
I am committed both personally and professionally to the creation of high quality, long term, low carbon infrastructure; and I can see no better place to do this than from a position in industry, in a company that embodies these values and can back it up with a great track record, new ideas and a strong multi-disciplinary team.
What do you think you will bring from your background that is new, and different to the Heat UK team?
It’s nice to be able to say it’s not that I am a woman! Vattenfall has a great cohort of female leaders and role models who I’m looking forward to working with. My USP though will be ten years of experience from Amber Infrastructure working with investors, developers, local authorities and asset owners to structure and deliver financial and commercial solutions for complex projects; ideally in a way that makes them simple.
Financial viability doesn’t need to be a barrier to large scale UK district heating. If we can bring together best-in-class technical and engineering solutions, with robust and fair contracts that deliver value for money throughout the supply chain, I will be happy and so should our clients and customers.
What are your expectations for 2021?
It's going to be busy! Whilst Brexit and Covid may continue to dominate the headlines, the Green Recovery and Building Back Better initiatives will be fundamental to delivering on the UK’s net zero objectives and supporting businesses and communities to rebuild. We are at a pivotal point where district heating is on the cusp of scale with widespread acceptance by developers, and where the industry can position itself positively with end users.
Government policies and initiatives to be launched this year; from the Heat Strategy and zoning to the new BEIS ‘BHIVE’ funding framework give the opportunity to put in place the tools we need to accelerate the decarbonisation of heat.
Is 2021 the UK year of the heat pump? Maybe, although the collaboration agreement recently bringing together Vattenfall with Viridor is also exactly the sort of innovation and collaboration we need to support cities in developing larger networks and utilising existing waste heat sources better.
What is something that not a lot of people know about you?
I am very good at driving in mud, through rivers and round camels, having navigated an extremely small car from Kent to Mongolia in 2013 as part of a charity rally. Not very green but the best adventure ever!
How long till you can do that in an EV?