Monday 03 July 2023
The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure is surprised by the Sursis proposed by Deputy Bob Murray given the decision just over a week ago by the States to debate this item at the July meeting.
The Sursis seeks once again to unnecessarily delay debate on the Electricity Strategy.
The Electricity Strategy was shaped through extensive consultation with industry and has received strong support from bodies such as the Confederation of Guernsey Industry, the Chamber of Commerce and individual energy businesses.
Guernsey needs to decide how it will manage and meet increased electricity demand whilst balancing security of supply and affordability. We need to agree the strategic direction as soon as possible so the States can start the next phase of work developing specific proposals, and so that industry and potential investors can make the commercial decisions we know they are very keen to make.
Without a strategic direction, which the policy letter facilitates, this work cannot be progressed for at least the next three months, delaying businesses from making commercial investment decisions and committees from progressing focused exploratory work.
The States agreed at its last meeting to debate this matter in early July to avoid unnecessary delay. The Committee is puzzled by Deputy Murray's apparent unwillingness to accept that result and his appetite to debate the same issue over again when nothing has changed in the interim.
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said:
"This Sursis embodies everything that I suspect Guernsey people do not want to see from this government - inaction, indecision, a lack of joined-up working between political members, and a disappointing lack of appetite to invest in our infrastructure, support local industry and prioritise energy affordability for Islanders.
"We are keen to agree a strategic direction to resolve the vital issues around energy security and the affordability of electricity now. Our local energy industry needs the States to decide on the way forward for our future electricity demand, supply, and market framework.
"There is no good reason for delay, as the States is not being asked to agree any specific plans with resource implications: those options can only be properly assessed once the strategic direction is agreed. Now is the time for the States to agree that strategic direction so we can continue to take action and maintain the momentum of the extensive work already undertaken."