Why we (still) need an offshore ring main

by Steff on 18 July, 2023

Today I spoke in favour of a Full Council motion that called for the common sense option for the future of our renewable energy generation.

This is an issue about which there is significant agreement in Norfolk.  In my communities in Melton Constable, the issue hasn’t so much been about pylons as carving up the countryside with cable corridors every time a new offshore energy project is given the go ahead.  Either way, the obvious solution is to build an offshore ring main.

My erstwhile opponent George Freeman has consistently supported the need for this.  The MP for North Norfolk was enthusiastic at the start of his term. But nothing has happened.

That’s not good enough for me – and it’s not good enough for the thousands of people involved, across Norfolk, who have been campaigning tirelessly for the obvious alternative.  They have navigated the sclerotic, intimidating statutory processes surrounding infrastructure projects and they will be proven to be on the right side of history.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey, as energy minister in the coalition government, commissioned the detailed research on how to make an offshore ring main possible.

And I have been campaigning for this since I was first elected in 2017, leading a joint submission on behalf of six of my affected parishes, local councillors, as well as Sir Norman Lamb to the Planning Inspectorate in connection with what is now Orstead energy’s offshore wind development. 

There is no way around it: with grid connections facing a 10 year backlog, we simply need more investment in infrastructure for our country’s changing energy generation and consumption needs.  The current commissioning model is wasteful, destructive, and unnecessary.

We have, as Councillor Kiddie said when proposing the motion, a 2020s problem, being met with a 1950s solution. I’d add that we’re facing it through the lens of of a defunct 1980s privatisation and commissioning model.

   Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>