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) are consented.

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.  If consented, this destruction will be replicated and exacerbated for Nautilus and Eurolink and quite possibly Greater Gabbard Extension, SDC1 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 not be consented.

The Way Forward - A Split Decision

SEAS has called on the Examining Authorities to recommend to the Secretary of State a 'split decision' so that:

  1. The offshore turbines are recommended for consent.
  2. 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.

SEAS Submission to the Planning Inspectorate Re: The 'Split Decision'  February 2021

Therese Coffey MP campaigns for a 'Split Decision' and to reject the Friston Substation February 2021

Wasteful windpower firms will feel the force, Janice Turner, The Times, 29 October 2020

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

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

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 INTEGRATION

North Seas ministers seek rules for meshed offshore wind grid, Recharge, December 4 2019

EUROPE

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

The USA

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

 

 

 

Biodiversity

SEAS Biodiversity Submissions to the Examination

 
 

Key Documents

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 Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, calling for him to recommend a 'split decision' so that:

  1. The offshore turbines are recommended for consent.
  2. 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.

Email: secretary.state@beis.gov.uk

cc: beiscorrespondence@beis.gov.uk
therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk
psrobertjenrick@communities.gov.uk
robert.jenrick@communities.gov.uk
offshore.coordination@beis.gov.uk
offshore.coordination@ofgem.gov.uk
minister.state@beis.gov.uk

bcc: info@suffolkenergyactionsolutions.co.uk

or

Send a Letter:‍ 1 Victoria St., London SW1H 0ET‍

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

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