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Calls for major reform of offshore wind industry to protect coast and countryside  

Credit:  Norfolk and Suffolk MPs back calls to reform offshore energy legislation | Thomas Chapman | Eastern Daily Press | 02 November 2020 | www.edp24.co.uk ~~

Calls to protect Norfolk and Suffolk coastlines and countryside from being ripped up to accommodate offshore wind technology have been backed by MPs.

Campaigners have long proposed an integrated approach to offshore energy, averting the need for new connections to be created onshore for each wind farm.

In Norfolk, two vast cable trenches – each 60km long – are planned to facilitate a total of three wind farms.

One trench would be dug from Weybourne in the north to Swardeston, south of Norwich, for the Hornsea 3 wind farm, built by Danish energy company Orsted.

Two others wind farms, Vanguard and Boreas, would have a trench stretching from Happisburgh to Necton. They will be built by Swedish energy firm Vattenfall.

But a report published in September, the first of its kind, found the integrated method would save consumers £6bn and halve the amount of digging required across coastal communities.

National Grid ESO said changes would come too late for the aforementioned wind farms, with some of the necessary technology yet to be developed.

But now five Norfolk and Suffolk MPs have joined forces to back the report’s findings, citing the “detriment” to the East Anglian coastline and countryside.

Therese Coffey, for Suffolk Coastal, George Freeman, Mid Norfolk, Jerome Mayhew, Broadland, Duncan Baker, North Norfolk, and James Cartlidge, South Suffolk, issued a joint response to National Grid ESO’s consultation on the issue, arguing new rules must be introduced urgently.

Mr Freeman said: “The old approach of each wind farm installing massive cabling and a Wembley-sized converter station for each farm would ruin our precious Norfolk and Suffolk coastal landscapes.

“We need legislation now to provide a proper system for proper connection.”

Mr Cartlidge added that East Anglia’s role in driving forward renewable energy must be re-examined.

And Mr Mayhew argued that proposed alternatives should be applied to ongoing offshore schemes.

“The sooner the rules change, the better,” he added. “It is not just future projects that can be improved; this new approach should be applied to as many existing wind farm projects as possible.”

Source:  Norfolk and Suffolk MPs back calls to reform offshore energy legislation | Thomas Chapman | Eastern Daily Press | 02 November 2020 | www.edp24.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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