Onshore Wind Conference 2023 Programme


Registration, Exhibition & Networking


A1: Onshore wind - a pathway to achieving net-zero and a just transition

With the cost-of-living crisis deepening and energy security focusing minds, onshore wind is back on the Westminster agenda for the first time in nearly a decade. With hints of planning reform in England which could lift the de-facto ban on onshore wind, alongside a Labour commitment to unblock onshore wind should they win the next election - there is cause for cautious optimism. Yet there remains a huge amount of work to be done. Gridlock challenges remain, no more so than in mid-Wales, and continue to hamper the connection of new onshore wind sites.

The Scottish Government Onshore Wind Policy Statement 2022 set out an ambition for a minimum installed capacity of 20GW of onshore wind in Scotland by 2030. But this still relies heavily on key policy changes which need to be made in Westminster and highlight the still lacking UK-wide target for onshore wind which would help to secure long-term investment certainty for suppliers and developers alike.

In this session we will cover:

  • What the UK Government must do to enable deployment across the country to reach our onshore ambitions
  • Actions the onshore wind sector can take to turn ambition into reality
  • Scottish Onshore Wind Sector Deal: achieving 20GW of onshore wind by 2030 in a way that benefits communities, workers and Scotland
  • What industry needs from The Scottish Government to achieve 20GW of onshore wind by 2030

Claire Mack  Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

Barry Carruthers  Managing Director Onshore UK & Ireland / Industry Lead (Sector Deal), ScottishPower Renewables
Heather Donald
 Onshore Renewables Development and Construction Director, SSE Renewables
Jon O’Sullivan  Director Onshore Wind & Solar, EDF Renewables
Ragne Low  Deputy Director - Onshore Electricity, The Scottish Government


Exhibition & Networking Break


A2: Land-use and environmental - pass it on down

Session sponsored by ERM

The climate and nature emergencies are inextricably linked, with onshore wind – if done right – offering solutions to both.

With governments seeking increasing Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) commitments from developers, and a genuine desire to deliver, now is the time to realise the benefits of nature-based solutions for all sides.

This will require appropriate levers and clarity on the differences between biodiversity, carbon and environmental compensation, how enhancement is best demonstrated, what the expectation on industry is and what the industry can expect from both UK and Scottish governments.

In this session we will cover:

  • Measuring success - Biodiversity Net Gain and metric development
  • Peatland restoration - opportunities for the sector to progress best practices and research in tandem with deployment
  • What does biodiversity enhancements, peatland, forestry and woodland management look like in practice?
  • Future-proofing repowered sites through design and layout

Nicholas Wright  Technical Director - Onshore Renewables Biodiversity Lead, ERM

Neil Douglas  Director, BVG Associates 
Rebecca Rylott  Landscape Architect & Urban Designer Technical Director, WSP
Mark Mulqueeney  Onshore Ecology Manager, SSE Renewables


B2: Community - get to know your neighbours

Session sponsored by Fred. Olsen Renewables

Discussions to unblock onshore wind in England once again have pushed the tricky issue of community engagement and benefit up the agenda in Westminster. With a strong track record of working with communities in Scotland and Wales, it is imperative that industry maintains these high standards and act as ‘good neighbours’ wherever development takes place - working in tandem with local communities to establish positive relations, ensure a just transition and progress projects efficiently.

In this session we will cover: 

  • Best practices for community benefit funds - and how they can be used more strategically
  • Defining and considering the specific needs of communities through engagement
  • How we align approaches across the UK and learn from each other
  • How effective community packages can help communities thrive and improve local acceptance of onshore wind
  • Whether Scotland's £5,000 per MWh guidance is realistic in a post-RO world

James Robottom  Head of Onshore Wind, RenewableUK

Finley Becks-Phelps  UK Development Director, Fred. Olsen Renewables
Victoria Allen 
Head of Onshore Development – Scotland, RWE
Rachel Searle 
Head of Communities and Impact, Foundation Scotland
Sarah Merrick  Founder & CEO, Ripple Energy
John Boyce 
Development Director – Wind, RES


Networking Lunch & Exhibition


A3: The wind beneath our wings - aviation co-existence

Session sponsored by Aviation Investment Fund Company Limited (AIFCL)

To meet the UK's energy security and net-zero targets, co-existence and collaboration between onshore wind developers and aviation stakeholders is essential. Scotland’s draft Onshore Wind Sector Deal sets out that a collaborative and mutually beneficial plan with the aviation sector will be established to boost onshore wind capacity, contribute to UK energy security, net-zero and maintain aviation safety.

During this session, our expert panel from Industry and Government will share their thoughts about the challenges of integrating onshore wind farms with aviation and update on the latest from the Onshore Wind Sector Deal.

We will cover:

  • En-route aviation lighting and how we align safety with planning considerations
  • Aviation and radar: achieving a fair and equitable balance between all stakeholders
  • Regional solutions (learning from offshore)
  • Onshore wind developments in the Eskdalemuir Seismic Array region

Alexandre Davies  Head of Aviation, RenewableUK

Sam Johnson  Senior Aviation Manager / Technical Barriers Lead (Sector Deal), RES
Andy Liddell 
Development Director, Banks Renewables
Dujon Goncalves-Collins  Senior Strategy Advisor - Aviation, Vattenfall
Andrew Knill, Director  Extensity Consulting


B3: Pounds and pylons - deep diving into the legislation and regulation

Session sponsored by ERG

Onshore wind development is enabled by stable revenues and affordable grid connections.

Part One – Markets
The UK Government’s Review of Electricity Market Arrangements (REMA) will set the route to market for future onshore wind projects. As a wide range of options for wholesale markets, low-carbon support mechanisms, capacity markets, flexibility and operability are considered, it is critical that decisions reflect industry ambitions for onshore wind and the value it can bring to the wider GB system.

Part Two – Grid
Without new grid, onshore wind deployment stalls. In the last 12 months Ofgem, NGESO and the UK Government have acknowledged that the development of the network is lagging, and all are making moves to improve and accelerate the upgrade of the network. Whilst this is positive, more needs to be done, and quickly, to support onshore wind across the UK.

In this session we will cover:

  • How the revenue and route to market policy environment is changing – and how this will impact renewables businesses
  • The experts’ views on overcoming the challenges of land availability, grid connection, charging and investment
  • Policy changes affecting grid enhancement and their likely impact on network availability

Lynette Purves  Head of UK Legal Affairs, ERG

Kristina Rabecaite  Founder & CEO, PPAYA
Randall Linfoot 
Lead Commercial Manager, Ørsted
Simone Giacchè  Lead Power Trader, Renantis
Simon Gill
 Energy Consultant / Legislative and Regulatory Barriers Lead (Sector Deal), The Energy Landscape / Regen
Giles Scott  Deputy Director - Renewable Electricity Strategy Team, UK Government


Ministerial Address

Neil Gray MSP  Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy


Claire Mack
 Chief Executive, Scottish Renewables

Gillian Martin MSP 
Minister for Energy and the Environment 
Barry Carruthers 
Managing Director, Onshore UK & Ireland, ScottishPower Renewables


Exhibition & Networking Break


A4: A 9/ 12/ 24 month consenting process – bringing plans to fruition

With England and Wales still struggling in a planning quagmire, industry is looking to Scotland’s shiny new National Planning Framework 4 to deliver a bumper crop of turbines by 2030.

Like all public services, planning faces a cash squeeze with underfunded local authorities toiling to deliver at pace, if at all. Success will only be possible if a number of key commitments are made and acted upon with vigour.

In this session we will cover:

  • How the industry can optimise applications and ensure good practice principles to help reduce planning timelines
  • The experts’ views on fixing resource bottlenecks in key agencies and stakeholder organisations
  • Developers’ willingness to progress repowering and co-located projects to build investor confidence
  • NPF4 – the key changes this has provided for renewables
  • How planning policy can facilitate the modern, taller turbines needed in a climate emergency

Morag Watson  Director of Policy, Scottish Renewables

Marcus Trinick KC  Planning Considerations Lead (Sector Deal)
Carolyn Wilson 
Head of Planning & Consents - Onshore, SSE Renewables
Carmen Caminero, Country Manager UK & Ireland, EDP Renewables
Cara Davidson 
Head of Energy and Environment: Planning, Architecture & Regeneration Division, The Scottish Government


Event Close

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