Tuesday 05 September 2023
The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure is calling on States Members to approve an alternative pathway of supplying electricity, which will be approximately £200 million cheaper than continuing with the way in which electricity is currently supplied.
The strategy, which was shaped through extensive consultation with industry and has received strong support from industry bodies, explored six potential pathways for how Guernsey could manage and meet increased electricity demand whilst balancing security of supply and affordability.
Continuing the supply of electricity in the way it is delivered today will cost approximately £1,910 million, making it the joint most expensive option out of the six.
By comparison, the Committee's preferred pathway is expected to be approximately £200 million cheaper between now and 2050 and gives the island greater energy security as well. It also delivers more flexibility to use alternative technologies such as tidal stream generation if it becomes economically viable and is far less reliant on the use of polluting fossil fuels.
If the States agree the strategic direction, the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure will work with the Committee for Economic Development, the Policy & Resources Committee, the States' Trading Supervisory Board and Guernsey Electricity Limited to carry out further work, including more detailed consideration of how this will be funded. It's worth noting that historically the island's electricity supply has been wholly funded by electricity consumers through individuals' and businesses' electricity bills, rather than through any investment by the States, and the expectation is that this will continue to be the main funding mechanism going forward.
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said:
"Using electricity already costs us - the consumers - at least £60m a year, and there's no getting around the fact that this will have to increase as our population and electricity demand grows over the coming decades. Whichever pathway we take, we need to invest in our infrastructure to maintain a secure and reliable supply of electricity. The least affordable option is to continue as we are, which is what will happen if the States fails to make a decision. However, we're recommending an option that is far cheaper than continuing as we are. As well as being more affordable, it's also more flexible for the future and it happens to be more environmentally sustainable as well.
"Energy providers, business groups and potential investors are still waiting for a decision from the States. We need a strategic direction. Once we have that, we and all the other stakeholders will be able to make progress towards a more affordable, more secure and more sustainable electricity supply going forward."