The decision by the the Business and Energy Secretary to green light the construction of a massive wind farm off the coast of Norfolk has already come under fire and branded “disappointing in every way”.
Greg Clark granted Scottish Power, which is owned by the Spanish firm Iberdrola, planning permission to construct a vast new wind farm 43 miles from East Anglia.
Under the plans 172 turbines 247 meters (810ft) tall – two and a half times the size of Big Ben – will be up and running by 2025 and become one of the world’s largest renewable facilities covering almost 190 square miles, supplying energy to 989,200 households.
Ukip MEP and party leader hopeful Jane Collins branded the decision as being “disappointing in every way.”
She told the Express.co.uk: “There was hope that since we are leaving the European Union (EU), provided the current crop of MPs don’t completely put a spanner in the works, we could drop the environmental targets which are causing increased prices for businesses and consumers and making us uncompetitive.
“Wind power not only blights the countryside and the seascapes it is an unreliable source of power. Wind energy is also a massive transfer of money from the poor to the rich.
“If you want to see a direct impact of climate targets, look at British Gas’ price rises.
“And we couldn’t even give the job to British workers.
“People in my constituency in Grimsby were promised their future lay in the renewable energy industry yet here we are with a Spanish company getting the work.”
Norfolk’s landowners, farmers and local community leaders have also spoken out over the construction of the offshore wind farm by the Spanish firm, as well as two others in the same part of the sea.
Farmers are angry at the prospect of their land having cables running underground, affecting their ability to get on with their job.
Fraser Paskell – one of the region’s most experienced property lawyers working in the offshore wind and renewable energy sectors – said: “It quickly became apparent landowners are being increasingly frustrated by the developers’ inability to make a commitment to either the AC or DC power option.”
An extensive study published in May this year by scientists at the University of Maryland Centre for Environmental Science’s Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Cornell University and Duke University revealed that marine mammals may be negatively impacted by the construction of wind farms, especially those that use sound for communication, navigation and finding food.
The scientific study found dolphins, porpoises and whales were impacted by the construction of the wind farms – largely due to the loud noise created by pile-driving into the sea bed.
It said the animals and fish are left disorientated due to the noise and marine life would leave the area due to the disruption.
RenewableUK’s executive director Emma Pinchbeck, said: “Not only will the wind farm use the latest, innovative turbines, but it will also provide a massive boost for local businesses to grow.”
Work on the company’s first project, East Anglia One, is under way and the wind farm is due to be fully operational in 2020.
In April, Government insiders suggested The Renewable Energy Directive, which sets EU green energy targets, would be one of the top policies from Brussels which would be scrapped once the UK leaves the bloc.
Scottish Power have been contacted for a comment.
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