Onshore Wind Strategic Leadership Group minutes: February 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 22 February 2023.

Attendees and apologies

Members in attendance

  • Ragne Low, SG Chair, Scottish Government 
  • Morag Watson, SR Chair, Scottish Renewables 
  • Mark Richardson, Sector Deal Deputy, Scottish Renewables
  • Graham Gow, Scottish Renewables Sector Deal Support, BVG Associates
  • Neil Douglas, Scottish Renewables Sector Deal Support, BVG Associates
  • Sam Johnson, Techincal Barriers Lead, Renewable Energy Systems Ltd.
  • Mike Shepherd, Land Use and Environmental Considerations, Nature Scot
  • Simon Gill, Legislative and Regulatory Barriers Lead, The Energy Landscape
  • Marcus Trinick KC, Planning Considerations Lead
  • Chris Morris, Community Energy Lead, Local Energy Scotland
  • Barry Carruthers, G12 Representative, Scottish Power Renewables
  • Paul Wheelhouse, Supply Chain, Skills and Circular Economy Lead, South of Scotland Enterprise


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

Items and actions

Welcome and introductions

The Scottish Government (SG) Chair welcomed all Onshore Wind Strategic Leadership Group (SLG) members and each SLG Member introduced themselves.

Scene setting

The SG Chair set out the current context of onshore wind in Scotland. Noting the recent Onshore Wind Policy Statement (OWPS) and the ambition of 20GW of installed capacity of onshore wind by 2030, as well as the challenges and just transition opportunities presented by delivering this ambition. The SG Chair set out the three central purposes of the SLG: to bring together existing onshore wind workstreams, to work collectively to tackle barriers to deployment and to develop a sector deal structured around six key themes (‘supply chain, skills and circular economy’, ‘community energy’, ‘planning considerations’, ‘legislative and regulatory barriers’, ‘technical barriers’ and ‘land use and environmental considerations’) which SLG leads will take responsibility for.

Following this, the Scottish Renewables (SR) Chair outlined that the sector deal would be an agreement between the Scottish Government and industry. SR committed to continue to facilitate the progression of the SLG and sector deal, assist with engagement between the SLG members and SR working groups, and form the secretariat for the ‘G12’ group of developers and ‘S5’ group of original equipment manufacturers. The SR Chair thanked BVG Associates (BVGa) for their work compiling and consulting on the scoping document which presents an outline of the key themes and challenges for onshore wind, and forms a starting point for the sector deal development. It aligns to the SG deployment ambition, National Planning Framework 4 and the 2023 draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (ESJTP).

Sector deal themes

The sector deal consultants, BVGa, outlined the aim of the scoping document; which was to provide a mature draft of the key themes for the sector deal, which would provide the initial structure for further engagement, detail and/or adjustments. BVGa then talked through, at a high level, those key themes.

Roles and responsibilities

The SG Chair emphasised the importance of coordination between existing groups in the sector, and the ability for the SLG theme leads to establish sub-groups where required, and the need for broad consultation. The SG chair also described the deadlines for the progression of the sector deal and the need for the continued commitment of the SLG; in order to finalise the sector deal in Autumn 2023.

Terms of reference discussion

SLG members were asked for feedback on the draft Terms of Reference (TOR), which were agreed with minor changes. The SG Chair committed to recirculate the TOR for confirmation once adjustments were made, before publishing the final TOR on the Scottish Government website.

Any other business and confirm actions/decisions/key messages

SLG members requested an additional meeting on the scoping document prior to SLG 2, which the Chairs agreed to set up.
The SG and SR Chairs reviewed the action points for the meeting:

  • SR: organise requested engagement meetings for SLG members
  • SG: redraft and recirculate TOR
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