Responding to the Government taking part in talks to build new offshore wind farm “islands” in the North Sea, Sam Richards, campaign director for pro-growth campaign group Britain Remade, said:
“Britain Remade welcomes the Government’s involvement in talks to develop new offshore winds farms with our European neighbours, and the group’s commitment to quadruple the amount of energy generated from offshore wind over the next five years.
“However, without overhauling the planning system, which has for too long held back the delivery of major infrastructure developments in the UK, it is hard to see how such a commitment could be met.
“40% of all major infrastructure projects have been delayed at the planning stage since 2017. The Norfolk Vanguard offshore wind farm was subject to a 26-month delay after having to wait over two years for approval from the Secretary of State. And in February the Hornsea Four project was hit with a last-minute 5-month delay, despite being in development since 2018.
“If we want to reduce energy bills, cut our dependency on expensive foreign gas and be energy secure in less than 7-years’ time, we need to end these delays.
“Our recently published Powerbook report, which sets out how Britain can be energy secure by 2030, calls for the time it takes for new offshore wind farms to be built to be slashed from up to 12 years to just 5 and a half years. And for at least 50GW of energy from offshore wind generation by the end of the decade.
“Government must also move at pace to drop the ban on new onshore wind farms, the cheapest source of energy available.”