Business and Energy Secretary, Andrea Leadsom, is to launch a review into the impact offshore windfarms are having onshore.
On 10 November, The Telegraph reported that Leadsom had announced the review after meeting with a delegation of MPs from Suffolk and Norfolk in October. George Freeman, looking to be re-elected as MP for Mid Norfolk, has written to activists that have been campaigning against proposals in the East of England. Freeman explained that the review will analyse the environment impact caused by a network of cable trenches and substations. Freeman added that such a review will also look at an alternative offshore ring main – suggested by the campaigners – which would see the wind farms come online at the coast instead of inland.
Freeman said that following the election, they would be able to properly look at the overall environmental implications for the offshore and onshore wind infrastructure as a whole. Freeman said: “Norfolk and Suffolk has some of the most beautiful, valued and recognised wetland and onshore coastal habitats. It would be madness to damage these special environments by bringing renewable energy onshore in an environmentally damaging way.”
The move has been welcomed by campaigners, who have expressed concerns that major onshore plants have been being rushed through without proper consideration.
Fiona Gilmore, of the Suffolk Energy Action Solutions group, said: “We are totally in favour of offshore renewables and wind energy but the delivery of that energy needs to be implemented in a responsible way, avoiding unnecessary devastation. We need to be world leaders in the delivery of green energy not just in terms of producing that energy, otherwise that energy is no longer green.”