Onshore Wind Strategic Leadership Group minutes: 24 May 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 24 May 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Neil Gray MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy
  • Gillian Martin MSP, Minister for Energy and Environment
  • Claire Mack, SR Chair, Scottish Renewables
  • Ragne Low, SG Deputy Chair, Scottish Government
  • Morag Watson, Sector Deal Lead, Scottish Renewables 

  • Mark Richardson, Sector Deal Deputy, Scottish Renewables

  • Neil Douglas, Scottish Renewables Sector Deal Support, BVG Associates

  • Graham Gow, Scottish Renewables Sector Deal Support, BVG Associates

  • Leo Bertels, Scottish Renewables Sector Deal Support, BVG Associates

  • Simon Gill, Legislative and Regulatory Barriers Lead, The Energy Landscape

  • Chris Morris, Community Energy Lead, Local Energy Scotland

  • Barry Carruthers, G12 Representative, Scottish Power Renewables

  • Marcus Trinick KC, Planning Considerations Lead

  • Sam Johnson, Techincal Barriers Lead, Renewable Energy Systems Ltd

  • Robbie Kernahan, Land Use and Environmental Considerations Lead, NatureScot

  • Paul Wheelhouse, Supply Chain, Skills and Circular Economy Lead, South of Scotland Enterprise


Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Scottish Renewables (SR) Chair thanked Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy and Minister for Energy for their attendance and continued support of the onshore wind Strategic Leadership Group (SLG). SR Chair then gave an overview of the draft Sector Deal and the purpose of the SLG, in terms of capitalising upon the benefits of onshore wind for just transition and economic growth in Scotland.

Sector deal themes overview 

BVGa then summarised work on the draft Sector Deal to date and emphasised the importance of achieving agreement across the themes. 
It was discussed that the drafting of the Sector Deal is not a closed door process, and that all industry players (beyond the G12/S5) are welcome to join, feedback and input to the process and ultimately sign up to the final agreed Sector Deal.

Planning considerations overview

Key developments related to planning considerations include the importance of achieving timely development determinations in order to meet Scottish Government’s ambition for 20GW of installed onshore wind capacity by 2030. Minister for Energy noted that the Scottish Government is taking forward work looking at options to increase the capacity of planning authorities.  

Community Energy considerations overview

There are good examples of community benefit, engagement and shared ownership and many developers have pride in supporting community energy. The Cabinet Secretary highlighted the importance of communities being aware of these opportunities and stressed the need for communities to feel involved and listened to.
Ministers departed

Sector Deal latest draft high level overview

BVGa gave a brief overview of the other themes and highlighted the complexity of the legislative and regulatory barriers theme due to the makeup of relevant reserved and devolved powers.  

AOB and confirm any actions, decisions and key messages

SR Chair reviewed the actions from the meeting: 

  • SG deputy Chair, SR Chair and SLG members to organise separate meetings on technical and planning themes. 
  • SR to set up meeting with Scottish Government and relevant stakeholders to discuss how planning resourcing could be progressed. 
  • Scottish Government to continue to facilitate engagement with relevant internal policy areas.  
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