By: Janice Turner Published: The Times, 29 October 2020
On a clear day in Aldeburgh, the wind turbines twirl on the pale horizon. On a clear night, their red lights wink. Hundreds of them, and I'm thrilled the Suffolk coast's raucous energy is being tapped for the public good.
But what I'm viewing is a gold rush. Out at sea, around 50 companies have planted their windmills. Now these prospectors are desperate to get their product to market by disgorging wind power on to the national grid. You'd assume green firms would strive to do this in the greenest possible way. Alas, their only care is the bottom line.
Nations with proper infrastructure planning, such as Germany and Denmark, ensure that wind companies bring their energy ashore at a single point, usually in a brownfield site. But our National Grid is privatised, with shareholders to please. So instead of one hub, each competing energy company plans its own massive substation in unspoiled countryside. A cable trench as wide as a motorway will be drilled under fragile cliffs, disrupting bird sanctuaries, throwing farmland into a decade of excavation
Such stupid vandalism. How can clean energy be so dirty? Especially when there's a brownfield site available at the disused Bradwell power station.
That would cost energy companies more in cabling, but what they haven't factored in is that campaigners will stall them for years. Suffolk has a tireless army of retired barristers, engineers, civil servants, artists and spies who care about every pebble on the beach. As the energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng considers this scheme, he might also remember that the East Anglian coast is one long Tory shire.
“The government is very good at rhetoric, but we want to see action" Greentechmedia.com 11 January 2021
National Grid ESO (NG ESO) has issued its final Phase 1 report, which assesses the most beneficial approaches to offshore grid networks in order to deliver better outcomes for consumers and coastal communities.
Executives from National Grid Plc meet government officials on Thursday to discuss how a growing tangle of projects offshore can be best connected to the network on land. At the moment, wind farms at sea are each linked individually with separate cables. Combining some of those links could cut the amount of new infrastructure needed in half.