Guernsey’s Commerce and Employment forging stronger links with Guernsey Electricity to develop offshore macro-renewable energy

December 16th, 2011 by States of Guernsey Commerce and Employment Department

The States of Guernsey Commerce and Employment Department is set to develop stronger relations with Guernsey Electricity Limited to progress macro renewable energy in Guernsey’s waters.

Commerce and Employment, under a subgroup called the “Renewable Energy Team” (RET), has the remit to progress Guernsey’s potential to develop local renewable energy supplies. This covers all large-scale renewable projects in the marine environment (not smaller projects or on land) and it is investigating all forms of marine renewable including tidal, wave and wind power.

RET will now be assisted on an informal basis by two senior members of Guernsey Electricity Ltd’s board who will complement RET’s existing members which include deputies, senior civil servants and independent advisors, including one from Sark.

RET also uses local and international experts to complement its membership. The GEL representatives will regularly attend RET meetings and actively contribute to its workstreams.

Robert Sillars, Chairman of RET, said “RET has the important task of progressing macro renewable energy in Guernsey and it is key that we have a focused group of experts to carry this out. We have always had close relationships with Guernsey Electricity Ltd. but we see that their regular attendance at these meetings and contribution to work streams will ensure Guernsey is well placed to progress renewables. ”

Alan Bates, Managing Director of Guernsey Electricity Ltd. explained “RET is carrying out excellent work to ensure that Guernsey will be ready to benefit from marine macro renewable when the time is right for Guernsey. GEL and in particular my fellow director Sally-Ann David have significant expertise in renewables and it makes perfect sense that we share this knowledge to benefit Guernsey PLC.”

Sally-Ann David is keeping a close eye on renewable energy development that could be deployed in Guernsey waters (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

RET is engaged in significant work to ensure that Guernsey has an appropriate legislative and commercial environment in time for commercial generation of renewable power. Commerce and Employment, through RET, is working on many fronts to ensure that Guernsey is ready when the renewable technology is at the right commercial stage. The various workstreams, include assessing all the local macro renewable resources available, carrying out environmental assessments, progressing legislation, considering the economic impact and conditions which may be necessary to allow renewable power to be affordable and working with other jurisdictions.

Alan Bates, Managing Director of Guernsey Electricity Ltd., speaks at a micro-renewable energy seminar organised by e-si (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Alan Bates said “Guernsey Electricity Ltd.’s focus remains on the daily task of supplying reliable and competitively priced electricity to the Guernsey consumer. However, in time renewables will have a part to play in the local energy mix and it is key that Guernsey progresses this. RET, now with Guernsey Electricity Ltd.’s assistance, can ensure this happens.”

Commerce and Employment has retained an open mind about all renewable energy sources and which is the best way forward for Guernsey. All options are being investigated to fully ensure that any conclusions are made objectively, based on the evidence presented together with public engagement and informed debate.

Deputy Sillars said “planning and delivering large infrastructure projects, such as renewable energy, cannot be accomplished overnight, and realistically it will take several years to implement. RET carry out various studies on how renewables will work together with existing generation and we need to tap into GEL’s expertise to progress this.

RET working with Guernsey Electricity Ltd. will ensure that Guernsey is well placed to carry out these large projects in the future.”

The work Commerce and Employment and RET are carrying out, including reports on the feasibility of wind and tidal power, is available on the Guernsey Renewable Energy website.

 

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