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Not for homes in Mid Suffolk

Darebin is a relatively new city in the province of Victoria, Australia after only being formed in 1994. However on 5th December 2016 they became a first. They were the first council in the world to declare a climate emergency.

Today, over 1200 councils around the world have made a similar declaration, and in 2019 Babergh & Mid Suffolk made a joint Climate Emergency declaration, along with the rest of Suffolk. Making a further commitment for Suffolk to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Enso Energy claim within their brochure and website that their development will:

“assist Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils to urgently reduce greenhouse gas emissions”

“contribute towards the security of energy supply in Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils through the provision of significant amounts of local, competitive renewable energy”

However, what Enso Energy aren’t advertising in their brochure is that the development will connect into Bramford Substation through a Tertiary Connection at 33kV. This connection will require converting up to 400kV so that it can then travel along the overhead transmission lines. The transmission lines (pylons & overhead cables) then export the electricity generated out of Suffolk to the rest of the UK. Where it will then be converted back down to 33kV so it can be safely used in the homes and businesses there. It WILL NOT be supplying Suffolk with any electricity at all, and it WILL NOT reduce any emissions in Babergh & Mid Suffolk.

What’s more the conversion, up and down in voltage, results in a loss of approximately 1.5% of the electricity generated. Further losses are made due to natural electrical resistance in materials used in the transmission lines too. So the further it travels, the more is lost. This is a significant waste of generated electricity, which could be reduced if the electricity was generated closer to where it is going to be used. Part of climate emergency plans are to reduce waste.

Furthermore, along with their claim above of “significant amounts of local, competitive renewable energy”, Enso Energy state their development will:

provide “annual electrical needs of approximately 13,000 family homes.”

Let’s have a look at their “significant” contribution in context…

Project NameEnergy Production/ YearNo. of HouseholdsStage
Galloper Offshore Wind Farm353MW380,000Operational
Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm500MW530,000Operational
East Anglia ONE Offshore Wind Farm714MW630,000Partly Operational
East Anglia THREE Offshore Wind Farm1,400MW1 millionApproved
East Anglia TWO Offshore Wind Farm900MW900,000Stage 4 Planning Consultation
East Anglia ONE NORTH Offshore Wind Farm800MW659,000Stage 4 Planning Consultation
Sizewell B1,198MW2.2 millionOperational
Sizewell C1,600MW6 millionApplication Submitted
Energy From Waste Incinerator??30,000Operational
TOTAL12.3+ million

These are all renewable and low carbon energy sources, to potentially supply 12.3+ million homes. Suffolk has just over 346,000 homes.

With Suffolk already producing rather a lot more electricity than it consumes, and with more on the way, the pitiful amount of electricity generated by Enso Energy and EDF (who claim 9,690 homes) is going to need to travel an awfully long way before it gets used.

Such a waste. If only there was a way for solar energy to be built closer to the buildings that use it. It’s such a shame solar panels can’t be put on rooftops… oh wait…

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