Scottish Energy Networks Strategic Leadership Group minutes: March 2023

Minutes from the meeting of the group on 13 March 2023.

Attendees and apologies

  • Martin Cook (MC), National Gas
  • Steven McMahon (SMC), Ofgem
  • Keith Bell (KB), Strathclyde University
  • Ragne Low (RL), Scottish Government (SG)
  • representative, National Grid ESO
  • representative, SSEN
  • Scott Mathieson (SM), SPEN
  • SG officials, Scottish Government


  • Trisha McAuley, Independent Consumer Expert
  • Angus McIntosh, SGN
  • Julian Leslie, National Grid ESO
  • Rob McDonald, SSEN

Items and actions

  • share Deloitte Supply Chain Report - Representative (SSEN) - due by 13 June 2023 

  • Training and Skills Development approach to be developed - All - Due by 13 June 2023 

  • engage Skills Development Scotland and SG skills colleagues - SG Official - Due by 13 June 2023 

  • share documents on blending of Hydrogen. - MC - Due by 13 June 2023 

  • offered a briefing session on the Climate Change Committee (CCC) report. - KB - Due by 13 June 2023 


Welcome and introductions

Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (ESJTP): 

  • in what way does the ESJTP change what you are doing and how you are doing it? 
  • in terms of getting the skills to support delivery - how do we grow the supply of people across the different roles? 
  • what do you believe is fair to expect of industry and what are your asks of Scottish Government?

CCC report on delivering a reliable decarbonised power system: 

  • what are the implications for our gas networks and how does this align with future of Gas Network work from UK government?
  • what should the priorities be for the proposed ‘Minister-led infrastructure delivery group’? 

Major Electricity Networks Projects Group: 

  • overview MEPG project tracker and quarterly report.  

Transmission and Gas price controls: 

  • uncertainty mechanisms how are they working under T2 and thoughts/lessons for ED2. 
  • how have the lessons from Storm Arwen fed in to ED2?
  • what are the defining issues for RIIO 3?    

Any other business

Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (ESJTP)

All – Consensus is: it is a helpful strategy, and provides a clear direction.  However, it requires more detail on offshore wind and jobs, and more certainty required.  

There were also comments on the importance of taking a holistic approach across GB rather than focusing just on Scotland.

There was a comment that Scottish Government and UK Government policy doesn’t currently align, noting that Scotland’s climate targets don’t align with GB.

The global supply chain and lack of resources was discussed, with comments that supply was outstripping demand. It was noted that Europe and America have support packages leading to some of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) moving to Europe rather than UK.

There was comment from members that further progress is needed on planning and consenting, and the supply chain.  There is an opportunity for indigenous manufacturing and skills and there is considerable value in having local manufacturers and skills and training in the areas we require.

It was noted that workforce renewal and replacement is challenging due to the current competitive market for skills required with ‘wage wars’ leading to vacancies. More detail on the number of jobs that will be required, how many of each profession is needed and when they will be required is needed.

SLG will work together to develop a skills and training strategy to address the current and future challenges. Scottish Government officials will explore opportunities with Skills Development Scotland including Ofgem’s offer to engage.

It was noted that the Scottish Government has a coordination role, but that there is no single function focussing on skills and training in SG. In addition, it was flagged that local planning issues can be disruptive.

Hydrogen economy: agreement to explore GB’s future hydrogen requirements.

Major Electricity Networks Projects Group (MEPG)

The MEPG project tracker and quarterly report was talked through.

MEPG Tracker a valuable tool for SG and allows preparation of resource planning. 

Climate Change Committee (CCC) report

An overview was provided on the CCC report on ‘Delivering a Reliable Decarbonised Power System’. This was published on 9 March 2023.

It was noted that the system doesn’t completely decarbonise – 2% will be from unabated gas. In very rough terms it is 2 electricity systems: one for ‘when it’s windy’ and one for ‘when it’s not’. The electricity network needs to facilitate both and need for optimisation. The report set out a high level policy recommendation for a central body looking at delivery.

All – Consensus that this report provides clarity and will add momentum as energy system is broad and work is required on business models.

Transmission and gas price controls

There is an ambition for a single whole system plan that sets out all works required.  Then the price control delivers this in most efficient way.


Please pass agenda points for next SLG to Scottish Government.

Back to top