16 May 2023
Offshore Wind Infrastructure Campaign – Update

As has been widely publicised in recent years, the East is at the forefront of the offshore wind revolution that is already strengthening our UK energy resilience and driving forward the decarbonisation of our energy network. 

That’s why, having been a leading figure over several years calling for a proper offshore solution for delivering this crucial Offshore Wind Infrastructure, I welcomed the opportunity on Monday to be involved in the latest meeting of OffSET MPs – this time with Andrew Bowie MP, the Minister for Nuclear and Networks at the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Together, the OffSET team reaffirmed the need for the Government to do everything it can (as well as encourage key stakeholders like National Grid, National GridESO, OFGEM and developers) to ensure the Offshore Transmission Network that it previously agreed to commit to is delivered as soon as possible – and in a manner that encompasses as much infrastructure as possible. The group also made clear it was vitally important that people and local communities are properly included in, and given a say in, consultations about how electricity infrastructure is delivered both onshore and offshore – most notably in the case of East Anglia Green.

While the news that the ESO have opened a new public consultation on East Anglia Green is very positive indeed (see more here), there remains much more to be done. The Minister himself acknowledged that, praising the work of the OffSET team and local campaigners thus far – making clear that it has focussed the minds of the key stakeholders, who are taking the points being raised very seriously indeed.

The Minister also reassured us that, while there will always be a need for a certain amount of electricity infrastructure onshore, the Government is committed to the Offshore Transmission Network concept it has agreed to (see more here) and believes that the work to achieve that is moving forward positively. He also emphasised his belief that the communities hosting major pieces of Nationally Significant Infrastructure should also be fairly recompensed in terms of community benefits by the relevant developers.

Rest assured, this remains a key campaign for me here in Norfolk – and I will also continue to do all I can to support local communities now engaging in the community benefit discussions being held by Vattenfall.

To read more about my ongoing campaign on this, please visit my website here.