Guernsey’s rising tide of renewable energy

February 18th, 2011 by Richard Lord

The States of Guernsey is working on various energy saving and renewable energy initiatives.

The Guernsey Renewable Energy Commission is laying the foundation for the development of a macro-renewable energy industry in local marine waters.

The States of Guernsey Treasury and Resources Department has hired a highly qualified Energy Conservation Officer to try and reduce the amount of energy wasted by the Guernsey government as identified by Tribal Consulting.

Individual States of Guernsey Departments are making progress to reduce their energy consumption.  The Culture and Leisure Department has greatly reduced the energy use at Beau Sejour Leisure Centre.

The Guernsey Housing Association is developing energy efficient housing estates with the help and support of Guernsey’s Housing Department.

Regrettably the States of Guernsey Energy Policy was only ‘noted’ so no funding was made available for the identified work streams.

Unlike Jersey, Guernsey doesn’t offer home owners grants or subsidies to insulate their homes.  Guernsey has about 22,000 homes which will need to be insulated to a high level.  Over the next few decades this could require an investment approaching £1 billion based on UK estimates of what it may cost per home.

So it is good to see a growing number of Guernsey residents and businesses that recognise the need to insulate their homes and businesses to a high level, and if funds allow to install micro-renewable energy capture equipment.

Guernsey companies are seeing the commercial opportunities for energy efficiency driven by rising energy bills and environmental concerns.

Guernsey is fortunate to have the local company e-si that has been installing air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal and photovoltaic panels for some years.  David Hubert of Future Energy Systems (C.I.) Ltd. also installs solar thermal energy systems.

Guernsey Electricity Ltd. sells Dimplex solar thermal collectors.  Norman Piette supplies Velux and Kingspan solar thermal panels.  Recently Sarnian Roofing has joined with Solar UK to offer local installations of solar thermal and photovoltaic panels.

Bicycling around Guernsey one notices more solar panels on Guernsey roofs.

This is particularly evident at new Guernsey Housing Association developments at Mont Arrive and Le Clouet, St Peter Port, where solar panels are the norm rather than the exception.

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