Griff Rhys Jones was among a number of celebrities to write a letter opposing the wind farm infrastructure plans

Celebrities slam 'needless destruction' as row grows over UK offshore wind links.

Comedian, artist and musician join calls for review of transmission strategy over onshore impact in eastern England.

5 March 2020 Recharge 10:45 GMT UPDATED 5 March 2020 10:49 GMT By Andrew Lee
A group of British celebrities including comedian Griff Rhys Jones joined a growing row over UK offshore wind transmission, claiming onshore work needed to support huge development off eastern England risks “needless destruction” on land.
The campaigners joined local politicians who are demanding a shift to shared offshore connection to replace multiple point-to-point links, which they claim are causing excessive disruption and environmental damage onshore.  Recharge reported last year how local members of parliament were calling for a shared connection – described as a ‘ring-main’ – with a single route to shore.  The campaigners’ focus is on the huge projects planned by Iberdrola subsidiary ScottishPower Renewables and associated onshore works in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. The developer is currently advancing its 3.1GW East Anglia Hub mega-project in the area.
UK may launch review as lawmakers call for offshore wind 'ring main'
In a letter to The Times newspaper a group including Rhys Jones – a British television stalwart best known for his 1980s comedy partnership with Mel Smith – artist Maggi Hambling and musician Sir Humphrey Burton, said:
“The UK’s position as a world leader in offshore wind power will be undermined if the government continues its piecemeal, outdated approach to onshore infrastructure.
“In the short term, brownfield sites must be used for onshore infrastructure. This will avoid needless destruction of ancient woodland, rare heathland habitats and communities."
“Landscapes destroyed by such development are not renewable.”
ScottishPowerRenewables told Recharge last year that while it would welcome discussions over a longer-term shift to a shared approach, projects should be allowed to proceed under the regulatory system currently in place, providing they have complied with all requirements.
UK offshore wind-link strategy unfit for 40GW Johnson pledge, says regulator
The UK’s offshore wind connection strategy is in any case up for review after regulator Ofgem said in February it would look at options for future shared and meshed connections, after declaring the current point-to-point links won’t support Britain’s burgeoning offshore wind ambitions or be
“economical, sensible or acceptable for consumers and local communities”.
The UK government said earlier this week that increasing environmental impacts and other pressures could slow future development of fixed-bottom offshore wind in the North Sea, leading to an earlier and larger adoption of floating projects.
UK may need faster floating wind build as North Sea offshore hits the wall
Barnaby Wharton, director, future electricity systems at industry body RenewableUK, said in a letter to The Times responding to the campaigners that the offshore wind sector is already working with other stakeholders on long-term alternatives, although a full analysis of the options is required before action is taken.  
“The existing process of linking single offshore wind farms is a legacy regime that urgently needs updating,” said Wharton.  “We want to make better use of shared connections which will be cheaper for consumers in the longer term and reduce onshore impacts.”
Read Article

Other news

Want to talk with the team?

Get in touch