Tuesday 26 September 2023
The Policy & Resources Committee has agreed to appoint a new chair to the sub-committee recently formed to investigate the future potential of wind energy.
The sub-committee has been chaired to date by Deputy Carl Meerveld. However, following recent articles online and in printed media it is clear that at this stage his personal views do not reflect those of the sub-committee as a whole. As a result Deputy Chris Blin will serve as the chair going forward.
The Committee invited Deputy Meerveld to remain on the sub-committee as a member, however he is not willing to do so and therefore will no longer continue to be involved.
The Policy & Resources Committee is fully supportive of pursuing the possibilities of potential revenue-raising in the future. However, the reality is the sub-committee has yet to reach a stage where it can provide any evidence of the level of revenue that the project might generate, nor of the long-term timeframe in which that revenue could be generated. The Policy & Resources Committee believes it is important that the community and States Members have a realistic understanding of the potential of wind energy at this stage, and the many decisions and challenges that need to be dealt with before it can be known what the likely benefits and timeframes would be.
Firstly, the States are a number of notable steps away from finalising leasing arrangements for our seabed from the Crown, before it could then begin to look at exclusivity arrangements with a single partner. These are potentially significant obstacles.
Neither is it appropriate to assume previous UK renewable energy subsidy auctions are a reliable example for Guernsey either in terms of what would need to happen or the revenue raising possibilities. It is clear already that in terms of the geography alone, any developer would need to take a different approach in Guernsey. Importantly, the most recent UK auction for renewable electricity generation subsidies saw no bids for offshore wind and this has not been reflected by Deputy Meerveld in his public statements.
In addition, it is likely such unevidenced speculation could be viewed as unprofessional and could jeopardise potential partnerships with third parties interested in exploiting wind energy in the future putting long term benefits at risk. The Committee believes it is essential to any future wind energy project that these early discussions are handled as professionally as possible.
The Policy & Resources Committee would like to thank Deputy Meerveld for his contribution to the sub-committee, and will continue the work on exploring wind energy potential with Deputy Blin as the new sub-committee chair.
Deputy Blin said
"Our commitment is clear: we're here to ensure that Guernsey's exploration of wind energy is driven by professionalism, grounded in evidence a focused on responsible, long-term benefits for our community to maximise the opportunities within our local waters."