We have sent the following letter to the Right Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Dear Mr Rees-Mogg
Will you support the call of East Anglians for a strategic offshore grid that benefits consumers, communities and countryside?
We would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This is both a challenging and exciting time to take the reins.
Here in East Anglia, we are at the heart of the renewable revolution. Off our coast, the North Sea is playing a huge part in Government’s goal of generating 50GW of offshore wind power by 2030. We welcome this.
However, in the big strategic question of how to transmit that electricity, East Anglia has been, to put it bluntly, thrown under a bus. The current, piecemeal, approach means that each wind farm makes landfall separately. The result is energy infrastructure and the digging up of our countryside all around the coast and has led to the proposal for 180km of power lines and towering, 50-metre pylons. This infrastructure will wreak havoc on the environment, farms and countryside of the beautiful, rural counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.
We therefore ask you to support our solution – one that is good not just for our region but for consumers everywhere. It is a solution that has been supported by MPs across the region, the three county councils, district councils and by the 22,000 people who have signed our petition.
STRATEGIC OFFSHORE GRID
The solution is a strategic offshore grid. National Grid ESO itself published a report in 2020 that demonstrated that instead of the piecemeal, ‘radial’ approach currently employed, a strategic offshore grid would:
- Save consumers £6bn
- Be beneficial for communities
- Be better for the environment.
Yet, despite this, BEIS’s Offshore Transmission Network Review (OTNR), which published a Holistic Network Design this summer, did not include a strategic offshore grid in East Anglia.
Instead, it relies on gentle encouragement for wind farm operators to coordinate. That is not good enough. Nor do we believe that it meets the Terms of Reference, which were supposed to take into account four factors – of which communities and environment have been overlooked in East Anglia.
We are therefore seeking a re-opening of OTNR. We urge you to support us and to arrange a meeting with the OTNR expert panel.
Yes, we need offshore wind power, fast. But we need to get it right, and government must not ride roughshod over communities.Your department must not preside over the unnecessary and irrevocable industrialisation of our region.
We would be delighted to welcome you to beautiful East Anglia, with its important wildlife sites, big skies and historic towns, villages and farms, and we seek a conversation at the earliest possible opportunity.
Founder, Essex Suffolk Norfolk Pylons