The Policy sets out the direction of travel for Guernsey and provides a clear path for the actions now needed to ‘decarbonise’ the Island’s energy supplies.
Earlier in the year, Guernsey Electricity set out, through its Climate Change Statement, the long-term aim to decarbonise electricity usage on-Island and outlined a plan for transition in its five-year Environmental Sustainability Strategy. The company has already taken its first step to a greener future by ensuring 100% of the electricity it imports comes from renewable and sustainable sources.
The Energy Policy echoes Guernsey Electricity’s long-term strategy for an energy system that supports the development of local, renewable, electricity generation alongside secure supplies of imported renewable electricity into the Island, whilst continuing to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. To facilitate the Island’s transition, the Policy supports a second subsea connection to Guernsey with the optimum route being directly from France.
Guernsey Electricity’s Chief Executive, Alan Bates said,
“Whilst we have a more reliable supply, following the replacement of the existing subsea cable last year, a second connection will provide more resilience, enable us to securely import affordable renewable energy and also allow the development of more local renewable energy projects which are typically intermittent supplies.
“Environmental sustainability remains at the core of our business. This means we need to ensure the energy transition is managed to allow us to reach our environmental aspirations whilst ensuring our electricity remains affordable for everyone. The policy helps this by setting direction which will allow the local renewable energy market to develop in line with the energy transition and security.
“The policy also includes an action to set a local renewables target, which we hope will detail the generation by source as well as the amount. This may, for example, introduce the possibility of wind and tidal energy alongside small and large scale solar energy generation. We ideally need to aim for a portfolio of renewable generation sources, both local and imported, to be less impacted by increasing prices and intermittent supply sources which could cause more supply interruptions. This target is crucial for future planning to achieve
Demonstrating that renewable generation does not need to increase the price of electricity or reduce reliability, the company is already providing locally generated, renewable energy.
Guernsey has two of the largest community scale solar arrays installed in the Channel Islands which feed into the grid, and a pipeline of future solar projects being actively progressed.
Guernsey Electricity plans to continue to invest in distributed solar arrays across the Island with the goal of reaching a total installed capacity of up to 20MW by 2050.
Mr Bates added, “At Guernsey Electricity, we firmly believe that the energy sector should take the lead in creating a more sustainable world in which to live and at the same time help tackle climate change.
“The Energy Policy is an important step and shows that small jurisdictions such as Guernsey can take the initiative moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and in doing so protect the environment for future generations.”
“Furthermore, the energy transition is changing significantly and at great pace. It is important that we do not experience further delays to this Policy and the important actions and changes it will bring when implemented.”
You can listen to the States' Meeting online at https://www.gov.gg/StatesMeetings and BBC Guernsey also broadcast the audio of the meeting live through their website here or you can listen via BBC Radio Guernsey's 1116MW frequency.