Offshore wind industry dismayed by new consenting delay

The government has delayed until 1July a decision on planning consent for two major wind farms off the Norfolk coast, Norfolk Vanguard and Hornsea Three. This is the third time the decision on Hornsea has been delayed.

The 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard project, 47km from the coast, is being developed by Vattenfall.  Danielle Lane, UK country manager for Vattenfall, said:”Norfolk Vanguard is one of the most innovative and ambitious offshore wind projects in the world. Yet this isnow the second time it has suffered a delay, despite addressing all of the major concerns raised during the planning process. Coming so soon after the decision on Norfolk Boreas was pushed back until October, the offshore wind industry will be left wondering about the government’s intentions for this sector.

“We’re in a race against time to reduce emissions and need to respond to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet crucial infrastructure decisions are being put on hold.

“While we appreciate the added difficulties posed by the current lockdown, some of the largest engineering projects ever built – capable of providing clean energy security and a vital economic boost to the UK – remain in limbo. For every day that goes by without a decision, there are consequences for the next phase of the project, so it’s vital that there are no further delays.”

Ørsted’s 2.4GW Hornsea Three project was originally due for decision on 31 October last year. It was put back to March, then 1 June , over bird and habitat issues.

RenewableUK chief executive Hugh McNeal said: ”Any delay in the decision-making process is disappointing. We want to work with government to achieve their ambition of 40GW of offshore wind by 2030 and the UK’s wider net zero target.

“Major projects like these are vital to generate clean power on the scale we need to decarbonise our economy. We need the Government to take decisions in a timely manner so that offshore wind can play a leading role in getting our economy back on track after the Coronavirus crisis”.




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