Campaigners fighting plans to route electricity from offshore wind farms across the Suffolk countryside have said an offshore energy grid is possible and councillors need to ‘catch up’.

Last week, the EADT reported how Steve Gallant, leader of East Suffolk Council, dismissed as ‘absolute fantasy’ calls for power lines to be laid across the seabed and carry electricity direct to where it was needed most, such as large cities like London.

But Fiona Gilmore, founder of Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SAES), which is opposed to the rural cables, said in 2019 South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge interviewed the head of a Belgian electricity network who explained that his firm had been able to create an offshore grid.

The modular network pooled energy from three wind farms at sea and carried the power to a shoreline brownfield site.

Mrs Gilmore said SAES met leaders of power company National Grid said in October and were told that a switch from ‘spaghetti connections’ across the countryside to a modular grid similar to the Belgian network could happen ‘tomorrow’.

“This is no fantasy. This is an imperative.

“The technology is available, it can be done in the same time span, assuming 2032 is now the realistic deadline and the cost efficiencies to be gained for the developers will deliver better value for money for the consumer,” she added.

Brownfield sites closer to demand should be used, she said.

“Energy security is one of the biggest issues facing the UK.

“It’s time for councillors to see the bigger picture and come together to support and call for the construction of the offshore grid through the North Sea corridor. Our MP Therese Coffey has seen the bigger picture. Our councillors need to catch up,” Mrs Gilmore said.

Mr Gallant said evidence from National Grid showed the seabed cables were not ‘technically possible’ while the cost of operating an offshore grid would be too much.

He was responding to a motion from Cllr Tom Daly calling for the grid to be created and for a letter to be sent to Government ministers calling for a review of offshore options.