Monday 02 March 2020
Guernsey will seek to have net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, if the States agrees an Energy Policy published today that sets a platform for the island to transition towards the ultimate goal of decarbonisation.
The Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure has submitted the policy letter with the aim for it to be debated by the States in April.
Globally, governments are taking steps to move towards decarbonisation of energy systems and a low-carbon economy, set against a background of successive international agreements which seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to tackle climate change. The Energy Policy sets the framework to create the conditions for the local energy market to support the island's transition to a low-carbon economy.
The policy aims to reduce carbon emissions, maintain security and resilience of supply, increase consumer value and choice, increase equity and fairness, support a vibrant economy, and increase energy independence. The Committee engaged extensively with industry stakeholders during the development of the 'four pillars' of the policy. These pillars are:
- To manage and support change in the energy market in line with global efforts to reduce emissions;
- To allow for an open energy market with all suppliers having shared responsibility for security;
- To facilitate a competitive energy supply market using shared critical infrastructure as appropriate; and
- To establish a secure supply platform as an enabling factor for the growth of renewable technologies.
To meet the objectives of the Energy Policy one of the most crucial investments will be a second electricity cable linking to the European grid. The Committee proposes that a business case should be evaluated by Guernsey Electricity for this. Consideration should be given to the ability of a second interconnector to satisfy the island's energy objectives for security and resilience of supply and to enable and support growth of on-island (including offshore) renewables.
Deputy Barry Brehaut, President of the Committee for theEnvironment & Infrastructure, said:
"There is firm scientific evidence to show that the climate is changing because of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity. The bulk of those emissions derive from our demand for energy. The largest contributor is carbon dioxide (CO2), emitted when fossil fuels are burnt to meet those demands.
With the world moving away from hydrocarbons, most of Guernsey's energy supplies will need to come from clean, low-carbon sources, with residual emissions offset. We will need to use energy wisely, so as not to waste precious resources.
Conscientious use of on-island natural resources will safeguard our healthy environment and clean air, whilst protecting Guernsey's unique surroundings, biodiversity, and natural beauty. The Energy Policy supports the generation of on-island renewable, clean, affordable energy and will provide value and choice for everybody. It will help Guernsey play its part in mitigating climate change.
The Energy Policy seeks to ensure Guernsey's energy supply will be resilient and secure as well as sustainable, in order to meet reasonable demands. Guernsey will be aligned with global efforts to reduce emissions and the development of renewable technologies.
The 2018 Budget Report indicated that the development of the Energy Policy would include a consideration for related taxes. However, the Committee believe that the Policy may be introduced without energy related taxes."
The Energy Policy can be read at https://gov.gg/StatesMeetings