Events in the Middle East last year caused panic as oil supplies were threatened, while the spectre of nuclear meltdown at Fukushima offered a grim reminder of the risks posed by moving beyond ‘dirty’ fossil fuels. With renewable energy still a long way from being able to meet the shortfall, many gloomily predict a future of brownouts, deep-sea drilling disasters and even bitter resource wars. But others see shale gas and the ‘fracking’ process as a reason for hope. What role can innovation play in keeping the lights on? Speakers include Professor Gordon MacKerron, director of Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex; Tanya Morrison, government relations manager, climate change, Shell International; James Woudhuysen, professor of forecasting and innovation, De Montfort University.