Norfolk Liberal Democrats call for alternative to destructive cable corridors

National Grid should urgently reexamine the option of an offshore transmission network to take power from new wind farms around the coast, according to Norfolk Liberal Democrats.

The current projects in development by Orsted and Vattenfall, involve digging huge onshore cable corridors, creating hundreds of thousands of lorry movements on Norfolk's narrow roads, disrupting soil structures and wildlife, and adding large sums to the cost of construction.

The conference motion, proposed by South Norfolk Parliamentary Spokesperson Chris Brown, was voted for unanimously by Liberal Democrat Conference attendees at the Costessey Centre on Saturday 8th October.

Speaking in support of the motion at his party's County Conference, North Norfolk Parliamentary Spokesperson Steffan Aquarone praised the work of community activists along the route, who have been rallying against the fact that under the current system a brand new cable corridor has to be built for each new project.

Steffan Aquarone said:

"We are blessed with fantastic opportunities to develop sustainable, green energy from wind, tidal, and more. But the current system means this will involve carving an 80m cable corridor through the countryside for every development, without end.

"An offshore ring main would take this new, green energy round the coast and into the heart of the grid where it's needed.  

“Such technology is already used by other offshore wind generating countries.  

"Much of the research for how this could work in East Anglia has been done by none other than current Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey when he was a minister in the Department for Energy and Climate Change.  Even Rishi Sunak supports it. But, despite it affecting her home turf, Liz Truss has been silent. It's clear the solution to our energy security lies in renewables not extracting more oil and gas. We just need to approach it in a sensible, long term sustainable way."

The full conference motion passed is as follows: 

“Conference, recognising the ever-increasing impact of Climate Change, welcomes further efforts to generate electricity from non-carbon-based sources in Norfolk and beyond, including – off-shore wind farms and on-shore solar farms and, to cover the situation when these renewable sources are not available, nuclear power stations.

However, we are concerned about the impact of more and more high-energy transmission lines being used across Norfolk to transfer this energy to the National Grid system. We therefore call on National Grid to resume thorough investigation into the practicality of a new, buried, off-shore transmission network around the coast of East Anglia.”

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