Mr Iain Wright
- Research Fellow (Accounting & Finance)
Iain Wright is part-time Research Fellow at the Adam Smith Business School. Iain’s appointment to the University follows on from a career spent mainly in the electricity industry, working in Scotland and Ireland. From an initial role as a civil engineer maintaining hydro electric assets for the state-owned North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board, Iain developed his commercial expertise through senior roles in energy supply, wholesale electricity market design, generation economics and regulation in the private sector.
His professional expertise has been recognised through his election as Chair of the committee advising Regulatory Authorities on proposed design changes to the wholesale single electricity market for the island of Ireland, and as Chair of industry body, the Electricity Association of Ireland. In addition to working for the University, he currently undertakes private consultancy work.
Iain is a graduate of Strathclyde University, a Chartered Civil Engineer and has an MBA awarded by the one of the Glasgow University departments that later evolved into the Adam Smith Business School.
Areas of expertise:
- Energy policy;
- Economics of electricity generation and supply;
- Electricity market operation;
- Utility regulation; and
- The impact of BREXIT on cross-border trade.
Expertise gained through commercial participation in senior roles in these areas provides particular insights on factors shaping one of the key facilitators of civilised living.
Iain is a member of the Accounting Research Cluster within the Adam Smith Business School.
Iain is currently working with David Heald (Professor of Public Sector Accounting), Tom Mullen (Professor of Public Law) and Gordon Marnoch (University of Ulster), on the ESRC-funded project; “Communicating Brexit’s Impact on the Law, Governance and Public Finances of the UK Devolved Nations and the Republic of Ireland”.
This Impact Acceleration Account project applies and communicates insights, based on earlier research in the fields of public finance and law, to the potential impact of Brexit in these areas.
The breadth of Iain’s experience in the electricity and the broader energy utility industry, over more than 30 years, provides him with special insight into the range of ownership structures, business scale, strategic objectives and organisational cultures that have existed within this single industry. His role as Head of Regulation in an Irish utility drew on his detailed knowledge of wholesale market design, retail pricing (and price control), renewable generation development and energy policy/legislation at both EU and national level, in both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland.
This breadth of expertise has led to his inclusion on industry panels advising Regulatory Authorities, in both Ireland and Northern Ireland, on deregulation of retail energy supply (RoI, 2004-05) and (NI, 2006-07), design of the wholesale Single Electricity Market (2005-2007) and its redesign for compliance with the EU Third Energy Package.
His 1989 MBA dissertation (Private Electricity: Structure and Regulation of the UK Market) investigated the initially-proposed design for the post privatisation wholesale market. His many contributions to development and operation of the electricity market on the island of Ireland are available on the CER and NI Utility Regulator websites.