Crossed wires: East Suffolk for first pathfinder project

Jul 8, 2021 | Cumulative Impact, Politics

Policy Exchange

“Without reform, there is now a significant risk that local backlash against grid connections for offshore wind farm will grow, spreading from East Anglia to North Wales, Humberside, and the east coast of Scotland” This is the conclusion to a report endorsed by the Rt Hon Dame Andrea Leadsom DBE MP and Rt Hon Amber Rudd. SEAS would agree with this conclusion. The Government must act if we are to hit their 2030 target and put the UK on a path to Net Zero.

Importantly, this report singles out East Anglia as the region for the Government to focus on with regard to greater integration and engagement with the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR) ‘pathfinder’ projects.

However this report suggests weak and regressive caveats to fall back upon. The Government should compensate communities impacted by the construction of offshore wind farms and associated infrastructure such as substations and cable routesSEAS rejects this suggestion. No amount of money can compensate for the loss of our environment and rural communities.

The report does not go far enough. Integration in itself is not enough to protect our biodiversity and rural communities. Only if integrated grid connections are taken forward at brownfield or industrialised sites can the impacts of offshore wind farm infrastructure be minimised. In today’s world if our environment is not protected for our future generations, then the Government will not receive support for the UK’s decarbonisation efforts.
SEAS Analysis in Full
SEAS Summary Analysis

Money can’t compensate for disruption caused by offshore wind, campaigners say EADT, 8 July 2021

Crossed Wires: Maintaining public support for offshore wind farms, Policy Exchange, July 2021