Environmental Impact

Indefensible Impact on Biodiversity

These words in the Energy White Paper stand in stark contrast to the devastation inflicted if the current onshore plans for East Anglia One North (EA1N) and East Anglia Two (EA2) go ahead.

Any onshore substation and cable corridor will have an adverse impact on biodiversity but the current plans to connect EA1N and EA2 to the grid are excessively destructive, gouging 9 km inland through the Thorpeness Cliffs, Suffolk Coastal Path, the Suffolk Sandlings and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to arrive at the substation site of Friston in the midst of untouched countryside.   This destruction is set to be replicated and exacerbated for Nautilus, Eurolink and Sea Link Interconnector and quite possibly Five Estuaries Offshore wind farm and SDC2, resulting in multiple expansions to the cable trenches.

There is a real and tangible risk of further destabilisation at Thorpeness Cliffs as a consequence of drilling. In addition, the fragile Coralline Crag is threatened from subsea cable work.

This degree of damage to an environmentally sensitive, diverse and legally protected landscape brimming with biodiversity, is unmitigable, unacceptable and given the availability of better industrialised or alternative brownfield sites either on the coast or using existing cable routes, indefensible.  Given that there are less environmentally harmful onshore solutions available, the onshore works, as they stand, should never have been consented.

The Way Forward - A Split Decision For EAST ANGLIA ONE NORTH and EAST ANGLIA TWO

At the beginning of 2022  SEAS called upon the Secretary of State to:

1. Take a more strategic approach to the location of all onshore infrastructure for offshore wind so that onshore energy hubs are built on brownfield sites and our unspoilt and protected landscapes are saved.

2.  To reconsider his decision on East Anglia One North and East Anglia Two and recommend a ‘split decision’ so that:

(i)  The offshore turbines are recommended for consent.
(ii) The onshore infrastructure is rejected in favour of full consideration of better locations for this infrastructure where the adverse impacts are minimised at a brownfield or industrialised site.


The Way Forward - Offshore Integration

The benefits of an integrated offshore transmission network far outweigh any benefit gained from continuing with a radial transmission system.

Key Documents

East Anglian MPs write to the Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change calling for an offshore grid. 20 May 2022

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

The Offshore Co-ordination Phase 1 Final Report, NGESO, 16 December 2020, NGESO:  “Adopting an integrated approach for all offshore projects to be delivered from 2025 has the potential to save consumers approximately £6 billion, or 18% in capital and operating expenditure between now and 2050”. Importantly, footnote 5 states, “This means applying an integrated approach to all offshore projects that have not yet received consent”.

Energy White Paper, Powering our Net Zero Future, December 2020

On 6 November 2020, in response to Mr Duncan Baker’s adjournment debate, the then Energy Minister, and now the newly appointed Secretary of State for the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Mr Kwarteng, made a very encouraging response and said, amongst other things:
- The offshore wind industry had evolved since 2015;
- There was a shift in the industry towards integration.
- Point to point transmission was recognised as having severe detrimental impacts onshore
- Technology was available to build an offshore integrated network
- Industry was engaged through the OTNR
- The argument for some form of offshore network has been won

In July 2020 the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy announced a major Review, the Offshore Transmission Network Review to address the barriers it presents to further significant development of offshore wind, with a view to achieving net zero.

The findings of the Integrated Offshore Transmission Project (East) 2015 Report concluded that an integrated offshore solution was in the interests of the UK as a whole.

It is illogical for further radial connections to the grid to be approved. The acutely detrimental impacts of radial connections must now be properly recognised in the Planning Balance.

What is a 'MOG'?  Is it the answer?, SEAS, June 2020

In the Press

UK National Grid in talks to build an energy island in the North Sea, New Scientist, 11 October 2021
'Money can't compensate' for disruption caused by offshore wind, campaigners say, EADT July 2021
Prime Minister says coast could be the 'Riyadh of offshore wind' in PMQs, EasternDaily Press, 24 February 20021
U.K. Power Grid Moving Offshore to Support $27 Billion Wind Boom, Bloomberg, December 2020
Outdated regulation is slowing investment in onshore electricity grid, The Guardian, 1 November 2020
Offshore Wind in UK – Roadmap Required, Offshore  Wind, October 26 2020
Change the way offshore wind farms connect and save billions - report finds, Eastern Daily Press, September 20 2020
Offshore wind blows hole in case for National Grid electricity role, The Times, October 8 2020
Modular Offshore Grid (MOG) - Can these ideas stop the countryside being dug up? Eastern Daily Press, June 27 2020
Norfolk MPs lobby Kwasi Kwarteng, Energy Minister at BEIS, SASES, 11 June 2020
Greenpeace suggests taking a more 'strategic approach' to offshore wind grid infrastructure, including increasing the number of grid connections to land shared between several projects, ReNEWS.BIZ, June 4 2020
Offshore Ring Main (ORM) feasibility study announced after Norfolk MPs met with Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng to discuss their concerns, Eastern Daily Press, June 2 2020


North Sea EU countries step up plans to harness wind power, Financial Times, 20 May 2022
Plans for Offshore Wind-to-Green Hydrogen Energy Islands in Germany and Denmark Offshorewind.biz, 20 May 2022
Denmark maps seas for future offshore wind farms and energy islands, Recharge, June 8 2020
Denmark confirms massive wind plans for 'world's first energy islands' in North Sea and Baltic , Recharge May 20 2020
Denmark eyes 10GW offshore wind 'islands' in $45bn plan, Recharge, December 2019
North Seas ministers seek rules for meshed offshore wind grid, Recharge, December 4 2019


Growing chorus’ endorses multi-user transmission system, Riviera May 2020
Multi-user US offshore grid could 'save $1bn' ReNEWS.Biz,  May 2020
Report Finds $1B in Grid Upgrade Savings, Other Benefits in Planned Transmission Approach to Offshore Wind, Yahoo Finance, May 2020





SEAS Biodiversity Submissions to the Examination

Thoughts on the Suffolk Sandlings ... by a local resident


Key Documents

The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review – Government Response, HM Treasury, 14 June 2021
The Dasgupta Report, Final Report of the Independent Review on the Economics of Biodiversity led by Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, 2 February 2021
‘Powering Our Net Zero Future: Energy White Paper’, Energy White Paper, HM Government, Dec 2020
The 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, HM Government, November 2020

In the Press

Can Offshore Wind Development Avoid Harming Nature? Greentechmedia, 11 January 2021
Big UK offshore windfarms push risks harming habitats, say campaigners, The Guardian, 14 November 2020
18 Environmental Groups write to the PM, Wildlife and Countryside Link, 13 November 2020

Campaign With Us

We are asking you to write, to the Secretary of State for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), see full details HERE

Cable trenches, over 60m wide will gouge 9km inland through the Thorpeness Cliffs, the Coastal Path, the Suffolk Sandlings and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  As multiple projects connect to the grid at Friston these trenches will be expanded, dug, and re-dug .  Indefensible given that there are less environmentally harmful solutions available.

Yes to Offshore Wind Energy, Let's Do it Right