Windfall of billions ‘on cards’ as region prepares for energy hat-trick

Delegates at a Southern North Sea (SNS) conference, East of England Energy Group's (EEEGR) flagship

Delegates at this year's Southern North Sea (SNS) East of England Energy Group's (EEEGR) conference may well end up celebrating the green-lighting of a hat-trick of huge energy schemes for the region, energy experts suggest Picture: EEEGR - Credit: EEEGR

A major regional energy conference looks set to coincide with decision day for Sizewell C nuclear power plant - raising the prospect of a hat-trick of major approved schemes this year.

The East of England Energy Group’s (EEEGR) SNS 2022 Energy Integrated in the East event at Norfolk Showground is set to take place on May 25.

The Planning Inspectorate submitted its report and recommendations on EDF’s plans for Sizewell C to business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on February 25. He has until May 25 to make a decision on whether to approve the Development Consent Order (DCO) application.

That means EEEGR’s two-day conference and exhibition could coincide with its approval – if, as has been widely predicted, it is given the thumbs-up.

The trade body is already celebrating recent planning approvals of two major offshore wind farm developments located off the coast of East Anglia, owned by energy giants Vattenfall and ScottishPower Renewables. 

If all three get the green light, it would be an “historic hat-trick” bringing billions of pounds of investment to the region, it said.

“The recently launched British Energy Security Strategy strengthened the government’s ambitions for the development of clean energy projects including nuclear, stating that they intend to increase their plans for deployment of civil nuclear to up to 24GW by 2050 which could see the nuclear sector progressing up to eight more reactors, delivering the equivalent of one reactor a year rather than one a decade,” said EEEGR. 

“Plans to build a new nuclear power plant in the UK have been backed by £100m of government funding to support the continued development of the Sizewell C project in Suffolk which, if given the go ahead, will create thousands of local jobs and contribute around £4bn to the regional economy.” 

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The group is urging the region’s energy, construction skills and services supply chains to get involved in its event to hear directly from key decision makers of these projects. Attendees will hear from representatives from ScottishPower Renewables, Vattenfall and Sizewell C. 

EEEGR executive chairman  Martin Dronfield said: “It’s crucial that the regional supply chain is as informed as possible about the development of major energy engineering and infrastructure projects across the East of England. 

“These projects are set to boost the local economy in a way we have never seen before, bringing with them a huge injection of investment, not only in the supply chain but also in skills and employment. We strongly encourage any businesses that are interested in being a part of the supply chain to come along to our event to ensure they’re fully represented.”