We covered GEL's role in the Energy Policy in a previous article and in this follow up, we demonstrate how Guernsey Electricity has already taken steps to support it.
Earlier this year, Guernsey Electricity started the journey by switching the imported supply of electricity into the Island, from a mix of nuclear and hydroelectricity, to now be from 100% renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydro.
This local initiative shows how small jurisdictions such as Guernsey can lead the way in the energy transition, and in doing so protect the environment for future generations. It is a pioneering development, creating a ripple effect by shifting demand for electricity suppliers and ensures Guernsey plays its part in mitigating climate change and aligning with global efforts to reduce emissions.
We have also announced through our Climate Change Statement, a long-term vision of further decarbonising energy usage and our plan is set out in our five-year Environmental Sustainability Strategy. We are not on a ‘do nothing journey’ and our aim is for Guernsey to be completely supplied by renewable and sustainable energy just five years from now with an energy system that supports renewables and reduces the reliance on fossil fuels.
This would see the power station used for emergency generation only with a second, direct cable link to France which will maintain resilience and security of supply. This same cable is what is needed for Guernsey to further invest in local renewables as it gives security behind renewable energy systems which are innately more intermittent in nature (for example when the wind is weak or on a more cloudy day).
We believe in renewables for all and as such are continuing to add to our expanding portfolio of community scale photovoltaic projects. Solar arrays installed on the roofs of Electricity House, Guernsey Post’s headquarters, Longue Hougue Waste Transfer Station and the clubhouse at the King George V playing fields are now generating renewable electricity into the network for the benefit of all Islanders.
The target is to install up to 20MW of community solar PV which, depending on future demand and ever-evolving technological advances, is estimated will provide up to 10% of Guernsey’s annual electricity requirements.
We are also supportive of plans to protect and build the resilience of the Island’s natural environment through the recently announced biodiversity strategy. The Strategy for Nature seeks to connect Guernsey’s community with nature to strengthen awareness, understand and support, make biodiversity mainstream and integrated into decision making and drive the long-term management of nature. Our Environmental Sustainability Manager led the review and redesign of the strategy during a six-month secondment to the States.
As a company, we are committed to leading the way in promoting environmental sustainability as we look to provide an affordable and sustainable supply and maintain a responsible attitude towards the environment.
We believe it is important that we all play a role in positively contributing now and into the future.