CAROLINE ANSELL MP: We need a good energy mix in the UK

Last week the Government announced its British Energy Security Strategy to ensure we can meet our long-term energy needs.


Many of the headlines were centred around the plans for new nuclear energy – something I support - to give us reliable and clean high-density power to meet our net zero commitments but other sources of energy were also earmarked for expansion.

We need an energy mix in the UK and the paper spelt out that there were opportunities to grow hydrogen, solar and offshore wind.

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Despite the expansion of renewable energy in the last decade, the recent rise in the cost of energy has shown us that we are still too dependent on others for our energy and we must put this right.

When it comes to solar and offshore wind, Eastbourne has a part to play in this green power revolution and in the long-term plans to secure our energy in the decades to come.

Eastbourne has consistently been one of the sunniest places in the UK since records began to measure it back in the 1930s.

We need to start harnessing this clean source of energy and be innovative about it.

I share concerns about large solar farms and with our geography, they can only really go on the South Downs, which is unacceptable.

There is however plenty of rooftop space in Eastbourne that might be suitable to carry solar panels.

This sort of thinking is crucial to making renewables work and I would very much like to see if we can fund a feasibility study to look into Eastbourne’s sunshine to power our town.

We also have the coast and just down it we have the Rampion offshore wind farm, which is looking to expand.

Rampion 2 could create renewable energy for more than a million homes.

The cost of offshore wind per megawatt hour has tumbled dramatically in the last eight years due to larger turbines further out to sea and other technology breakthroughs.

This source of power is made for the UK – the windiest country in western Europe and, again, this is a clean energy and vital to the mix we need.

In the future the development of tidal power could also be something we can look to be involved in.

Parliament goes back next week so I will be back in Westminster during the week after some time out and about in Eastbourne.

Many thanks to all those places I have visited in the last few weeks as we get back to normal. I

t is a pleasure to meet local people, and hear their stories and help with their problems. If you need my help, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

I would also like to wish you all a Happy Easter, and I hope you enjoy the bank holiday weekend.