Offshore Wind Energy Debate

11th March 2019

I am a major advocate for offshore renewable energy, but we need a proper plan for the necessary infrastructure to connect the electricity from offshore wind farms to the National Grid.

Instead of a proper strategic connection plan, we’ve got a chaotic free for all of any major cables and substations being brought onshore, with major environmental and planning implications.

Last month, I was forced to cancel an Adjournment Debate I had secured in Parliament on this issue in order to speak at an Open Floor Hearing concerning one of the major offshore wind farms currently in the pipeline – Vattenfall UK’s Norfolk Vanguard Offshore Windfarm project.

I am delighted to be able to report that this debate has now been rescheduled for this evening – and a number of other MPs from across Norfolk and Suffolk have signalled their desire to support it.

Given that UK energy bill payers and taxpayers are paying billions in subsidies to fund these offshore wind farms, I believe that the least local communities can expect is to be properly consulted on where the onshore infrastructure is situated, and how it is delivered. Indeed, it is clear that most people understand offshore wind energy is a key part of our energy production in years to come – and will have major benefits of the East Anglian economy. However, they struggle to see why this free-for-all is being allowed to take place (by National Grid, the Crown Estate and others) when a proper strategic solution (for example, an Offshore Ring Main) could deliver the energy required and prevent swathes of our countryside being needlessly damaged.

I am firmly committed to continuing the fight for a proper strategic plan both locally and nationally.

To follow the progress of tonight’s debate in Parliament, please tune into BBC Parliament or Parliamentlive.tv at about 8pm.

Offshore Wind

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