G-CAN Chairman Appointed to Guernsey Renewable Energy Commission

January 12th, 2009 by Professor Nicholas Day

Mr. Babbé Chairman of the Shadow Commission is delighted to announce that Guernsey Climate Action Network Chairman Professor Nick Day has been appointed to the shadow Renewable Energy Commission. Professor Day retired as Professor in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge. Since returning to Guernsey he has taken a keen interest in the effects of climate change and brings to the Commission a considerable knowledge of the renewable energy opportunities in Guernsey.

The role of the GREC will be to license large scale renewable energy projects in the territorial seas around Guernsey, this could include tidal or wave power, and offshore wind farms. The role of the Shadow Commission is to promote the project until legislation is put in place.

Mr Babbé has said “Renewable energy has received a lot of media attention recently. Much of the interest locally is centred on the generation of electricity by arrays of generators situated in the tidal currents around the Channel Islands.  Whilst this is a very exciting development, it should be borne in mind that many of the tidal stream technologies are still at an early stage of development and are as yet unproven. Wave power is at a similar state of development. Offshore wind power is already a proven technology and if it proves acceptable environmentally in Guernsey waters, then there could be more rapid deployment.”

“As a consequence, it is anticipated that it will be some years before Guernsey will be able to receive energy from tidal power, but it is important that the GREC and islanders are ready to embrace these new technologies, where appropriate, when fully commercial systems become available.”

Mr Babbé continued “We are acutely aware of the impact that any renewable energy development will have on the environment and marine users and will be actively engaging with members of the public and stakeholders to ensure that we develop a licensing regime in Guernsey that satisfies industry’s needs and protects our precious natural environment.”

“This will be achieved through the setting up of a separate forum to be known as the Guernsey Renewable Energy Forum which will facilitate research and development, and debate the best technical, sustainable and publicly acceptable options. Several key stakeholders have already agreed to participate in the forum and I am delighted that this sub-group will be chaired by Professor Day.”

The Shadow Commission (and later the GREC) will prepare the licensing framework and co-ordinate all the relevant stakeholders in the Island so that when the time is right the Island will be in a position to take advantage of the marine power opportunities as and when they arise.

The Shadow Commission is creating a website where more information about the work of the Commission can be found.  The website will be in place by February 2009. In the meantime there is information on the States website  www.gov.gg and an area where members of the public or interested groups can contact GREC.

Notes

A Shadow Commission has been established by the Commerce and Employment Department as directed by the States of Guernsey following the States’ June debate on the Policy Council’s Energy Policy Report. The Policy Council Energy Policy Report was debated by the States in June and can be found in Billet d’Etat No. VIII 2008.

The Shadow Commission members are Mr Richard Babbé, Acting Chairman, Mr Jeremy Thompson and Professor Nick Day.  Mr. Peter Neville has stood down from the Commission due to other work commitments.

For further information and to arrange interviews please contact Mr Jon Torode, Commerce and Employment Department Tel. 01481 234567 or email jon.torode (at) commerce.gov.gg

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