Energy firm Iberdrola to invest £6 billion in offshore wind development East Anglia Hub

  • WATCH: Tanya Mercer reports on green investments announced by the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister has laid out a raft of measures to combat climate change and create 'green growth', including £6 billion worth of investment in wind farm East Anglia Hub.

It's part of the government's Net Zero strategy which sets out how the UK will transition to clean energy and green technology.

The hub is a development of three off-shore wind farms along the Suffolk coast.

The most northerly, East Anglia Three, already has consent and construction is due to start in 2023.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a speech during the Global Investment Summit. Credit: PA

East Anglia One South is already up and running, whilst North and East Anglia Two are currently awaiting planning permission.

It is these that electric utlitiy company Iberdrola will invest £6 billion in through Scottish Power, once they've secured the planning consent.

This would be Iberdrola’s biggest offshore wind development anywhere in the world and would create 7,000 jobs.

Together the hub would supply clean green energy to 2.7 million British homes, about 7.5% of the government's target for off-shore wind power by 2030.

It is one of 18 deals announced by the Boris Johnson at the Global Investment Summit, which it says will create 30,000 new jobs in the UK and secure £9.7 billion of new foreign investment.

Company Global Marine is also set to invest £10 million in building hybrid engine crew transfer vessels and surface effect ships to service off-shore wind farms, creating 10 jobs in the East of England.

It is all part of the government's plans to get the UK to Net Zero, by targeting four areas: coal, cars, cash and trees.

Further announcements today included £5,000 grants for homeowners to install low carbon heat pumps and a £620 million investment in electric vehicles and charging points.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks at a product during the Global Investment Summit at the Science Museum. Credit: PA

The announcement comes just 12 days ahead of COP26, the UN's Climate change conference being hosted in Glasgow.

The issue for some residents though isn't so much what is off-shore, but what will happen on-shore if the plans go ahead.

Getting the power from the turbines of East Anglia Two and East Anglia North One could require a new connection at Thorpeness and a six-mile cable trench through the Suffolk Coast Area of Natural Beauty, to a 30 acre substation at Friston.

Though there are calls for broader investment in more energy sources than just wind, because of the unreliability of the weather.

An artist's impression of what Sizewell C will look like Credit: EDF Energy

Nuclear investment wasn't mentioned by the Prime Minister in his speech at the summit, sparking former Labour leader Ed Miliband MP to ask this question in the Commons, "On nuclear, I was surprised given the advanced publicity that the word did not even pass his lips. We have seen a decade of delay and inaction on the issue, can he tell us his reply, why there is still no decision on new nuclear?'

It led to further questions from campaigners and residents about the future of plans for new nuclear station Sizewell C in Suffolk.

So far the funding has been a key sticking point, but whilst Boris Johnson didn't give the project the go ahead today, it is being speculated that an announcement will be made in the Chancellor's spending review next week.

The COP27 climate conference - what you need to know

What is COP27? When and where will it be?

Each year, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meets at what is called the Conference of the Parties (abbreviated as COP) to discuss the world's progress on climate change and how to tackle it.

COP27 is the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties summit which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-18.

Who is going?

Leaders of the 197 countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty that came into force in 1994 - are invited to the summit.

These are some of the world leaders that will be attending COP27:

  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is attending the conference, after initially saying he wouldn't as he was too busy focusing on the economy within his first weeks in office.

  • US President Joe Biden and his experienced climate envoy, John Kerry, will appear at the talks.

  • France President Emmanuel Macron will also be among the heads of state from around the world staying in Egypt.

King Charles III will not be attending COP27, despite being a staunch advocate for the environment. The decision was made jointly by Buckingham Palace and former prime minister Liz Truss.

Elsewhere, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will not attend the talks just as they decided to do for COP26.

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What is it hoping to achieve?

1. Ensure full implementation of the Paris Agreement and putting negotiations into concrete actions - included within this is the target of limiting global warming to well below 2C.

2. Cementing progress on the critical workstreams of mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage, while stepping up finance notably to tackle the impacts of climate change.

3. Enhancing the delivery of the principles of transparency and accountability throughout the UN Climate Change process.

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