Onshore Wind Strategic Leadership Group: terms of reference

Terms of reference for the group.

Strategic context

The Scottish Government’s Onshore Wind Policy Statement published in December 2022, set out the ambition of having a minimum installed capacity of 20GW of onshore wind in Scotland by 2030.

The Scottish Government is committed to achieving our climate change targets in a way that maximises the economic and social benefits of a just transition to a net-zero economy. We need a collaborative approach across government, industry, community representatives and other stakeholders to deliver on this onshore wind ambition. To this end, the Onshore Wind Strategic Leadership Group (OWSLG) has been formed to take forward the aspirations of the onshore wind policy statement and develop an Onshore Wind Sector Deal for Scotland. 


The purpose of the OWSLG is for Government and key industry and wider stakeholder representatives to come together to identify solutions to onshore wind deployment challenges, establish opportunities to maximise benefits to Scotland, and foster a collaborative spirit across the sector, all in the context of ensuring a just transition.

Roles and responsibilities

The OWSLG will be jointly chaired by Mr Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport and Claire Mack, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Renewables. Where the chairs are not available, they may nominate deputies to chair the meetings on their behalf.

Initially, the OWSLG will be structured as follows, with changes to this structure permissible only by agreement of the chairpersons.

There are two chairs, a secretariat and leads for:

  • technical barriers
  • land use and environmental considerations
  • legislative and regulatory barriers
  • planning considerations
  • community energy
  • supply chain, skills and circular economy
  • sector deal
  • developer and OEM group chair

OWSLG members will each have a specific and defined area to lead, and each workstream lead will be responsible for engaging with key workstreams that fall under their remit and engaging with relevant stakeholders. The workstream lead will be responsible for developing Terms of Reference for their subgroup (where applicable). The workstream leads will also be responsible for ensuring read across to other existing groups, ensuring efficiencies and reducing duplication of effort.

The OWSLG will provide strategic level collaboration and communication on key issues facing the onshore wind sector and help put in place the conditions to ensure that onshore wind is developed in Scotland in a manner which maximises the benefits to the people of Scotland and to the Scottish economy. To do so, the OWSLG will be expected to:

  • understand and articulate the group’s view on a variety of issues (ensuring the views of those not on the group are adequately represented)
  • enable rapid response to changes in the operating environment
  • identify issues for discussion and on which to provide advice to Government 
  • implement and co-ordinate the action of subgroups to inform policy and delivery.
  • identify and agree the actions needed across parties to deliver the vision set out in the Onshore Wind Policy Statement

Decision making will be made jointly by the Scottish Government and the industry Co-Chair, in consultation with the OWSLG members.

Key deliverables

A Scottish Onshore Wind Sector Deal to be developed over the first half of 2023 and implemented from Autumn 2023.

To enable and strengthen the collaboration between the Scottish Government and industry in the delivery of the Onshore Wind Policy Statement and subsequent onshore wind Sector Deal. 

Timing and review 

The group will initially meet once per month while the Sector Deal is being developed, and thereafter will meet four times a year, at a time set by the secretariat in consultation with the chairpersons, with interim meetings as necessary and workstream meetings convened by the workstream leads as required. 

The OWSLG will have an initial life span of 18 months, at which point the requirement for the group will be reviewed.

Accountability, governance and support

The group is not established on a statutory basis. It is therefore not subject to the formal public appointments process and the requirements of the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland. Members are appointed by Scottish Ministers, taking into account the views of the Chair and existing members.

Participation in the group will not be remunerated. 

The OWSLG is aligned with other existing energy strategic leadership groups (Oil and Gas, Energy Networks, Scottish Offshore Wind Energy Council and the Energy Consumers Commission) and is nested under the Scottish Energy Advisory Board. 

OWSLG members are selected based on their knowledge and expertise of the sector, within OWSLG meetings they are to act in the interests of the sector as a whole, regardless of individual commercial interests.

Where required, and upon approval by the secretariat, OWSLG members may invite guest speakers to support discussions. 

To enable the swift development of the Sector Deal, the first 5-6 meetings will be held in person. Following the agreement of the Sector Deal, and to support modern working practises across multiple organisations, the group will meet virtually via Microsoft Teams. If it is appropriate to facilitate in person/ hybrid meetings this will be discussed by OWSLG members, and in person meetings set only with their approval.

OWSLG meetings will be held in private, however in general, meeting papers, including meeting notes will be made public upon finalisation. Exceptions to this may arise on occasion, with the agreement of the chairpersons. Regardless, the Scottish Government remains subject to Freedom of Information (Scotland) legislation which will apply to all information held about the work of the OWSLG.

Members will agree to abide by the following group norms:

  • attend the majority of meetings
  • observe good time keeping
  • take individual responsibility for engaging and completing tasks within their area of responsibility

Should an OWSLG member be unable to attend a meeting a written update must be provided to the secretariat in good time ahead of the meeting. Members will not send substitutes or forward invites to non-group members without prior approval from the deputy co-chairs. 

Secretariat function will be provided by the Scottish Government for the overall lead group, with the agenda drafted by the secretariat in consultation with OWSLG members and subject to the approval of the chairpersons. The Secretariat will endeavour to issue papers and agenda one week in advance of each meeting.


The group will agree any press releases and communication materials. Individual OWSLG members must seek the permission of both of the chairpersons to represent OWSLG in media releases.

Onshore Wind Strategic Leadership Group: terms of reference
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