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Energy Policy: Managing the Energy Transition

Contact Us - Energy Policy Team

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The Energy Team has reviewed the current Energy Resource Plan which was published in 2011, with a view to bringing an Energy Policy to the States Assembly for debate in the first quarter of 2020. The new Energy Policy will provide direction to the energy market for long-term planning and investment, to manage the transition to decarbonisation and increased electrification for consumers. This will ensure that Guernsey keeps up to date with global decarbonisation trends, regulations, technologies, industry practises and innovation.

The Committee have published a 'Statement of Intent on Energy Policy'. This explains the findings of the research undertaken as well as the Policy Considerations and intended Policy Outcomes of the energy policy. The 'Statement of Intent' can be found in the downloads section of this page.

Over the last year, the energy team engaged with stakeholders across the Island and energy markets. The discovery and engagement period was a chance for energy providers, industry experts, and members of the public to discuss their current energy market experience and their role in the future.

  • Discovery & Engagement

    • The energy team held a variety of events with different stakeholders. One of these events was a two-day workshop in October 2018. A pre-questionnaire was sent out to all attendees to respond to and each group took part in an individual 30 minute feedback session with the Energy Team and members of the Committee for Environment & Infrastructure to present their feedback and to answer any questions raised. A copy of attendees and the pre-submission headings can be found below. Feedback was summarised and anonymised for publication, and commercially sensitive comments removed.
    • pdf icon Energy Workshop Attendees & PreSubmission Headings [447kb]
    • pdf icon Media Release: Energy Workshop [569kb]
  • Energy Forum

    • Energy industry representatives were invited to join an Energy Forum. This Forum met for the first time on 22nd November 2018 to discuss the feedback that came out of the workshops. The Energy Forum will meet again once the Energy Policy has been published in order to progress the Energy Policy Outcomes and Initiatives.
    • The Energy Forum met on the following dates and discussed a number of key topics:
      • 22 November 2018 - Industry Representatives and Workshop feedback.
      • 17 January 2019 - Update on Policy progression, CICRA: Regulation, what makes a positive regulatory environment and relationship with organisations in a regulated market, States of Jersey: Challenges faced by the energy market from a government perspective.
      • 21 March 2019 - Presentation of Draft Energy Policy.
      • 9 August 2019 - Review of the Draft Energy Policy.
  • Energy Focus Groups

    • Island Global Research held three Focus Groups Island Global Research (IGR) during the first quarter of 2019 with stakeholders recruited from the IGR market research panel with a range of interests (agriculture, commercial business, boat owners, housing and property developers and home owners) with a mixed demographic profile by age and gender.The objective of engagement with Focus Groups was to explore what principles, values and assumptions this stakeholder group held with regards to the 'Energy Trilemma' and what behavioural changes they would be willing to make to reduce reliance on hydrocarbons and to improve  energy efficiency.
      • Focus Group 1, 'An exploratory session on Workshop feedback, the Energy Trilemma and the Draft Energy Policy pillars' 28 January 2019;
      • Focus Group 2, 'A problem-solving session' 13 February 2019; and
      • Focus Group 3, 'Feedback/Reaction session on the Draft Energy Policy' 13 March 2019.
    • pdf icon Focus Group Report April 2019 [5Mb]
  • Energy Ideathons

    • The Energy team worked collaboratively with the Guernsey Innovation Network (GIN) and the Digital Greenhouse to host two Ideathons on energy use. Young stakeholders from the Grammar School, and Graduate Officers from the States of Guernsey, took part and were primed to think about their energy habits and behaviours.
    • pdf icon Ideathon Report 2019 [696kb]


  • Why is Energy Policy important?

    • Energy is a requirement for everyday life - it powers the vehicles we use to transport ourselves and goods, it provides us with the heat in our homes, it allows us to light our homes, cook our food and enables the constantly connected society we now enjoy.  Energy Policy is important to ensure we have secure energy supplies whilst supporting an energy market that can deliver affordable and sustainable energy. Energy policy sets a framework for which all energy providers will operate in Guernsey, allowing them to invest into the islands future. Energy policy also offers guidance on energy efficiency measures which can reduce bills.
  • What is the 'energy trilemma'?

    • The energy trilemma consists of three interconnected variables;
      • Security: the reliability of energy infrastructure, and the ability of energy providers to meet current and future demand;
      • Affordability: Accessibility and affordability of energy supply across the population;
      • Environmentally Sustainability: the supply of energy from low-carbon and renewable sources, and the further development of energy efficiency.
    • Energy policy looks at finding the balance between these variable that benefits Guernsey.
  • How does the energy trilemma effect Guernsey's energy policy?

    • Guernsey already looks to balance the trilemma in the electricity market, through the cable connection to France (via Jersey) which imports low cost and low carbon electricity. This provides Affordability and Environmental Sustainability. In addition to this, there is on island generators that provide Security in line with the current N-2 policy.With wider regards to energy there is emphasis placed on Security with MoU's with fuel companies providing fuel stocks.
    • Energy Policy must look to balance the requirements for Security and the desired Environmental Sustainability against the need to maintain Affordable energy for the island.
  • What is the 'energy transition'?

    • The 'energy transition' refers to the effect on energy sources that decarbonisation will have. In it's simplest form it is the transition away from fossil fuels to less polluting fuel sources, such as renewable energy - and so a trend towards increased electrification. There may be market disrupters, such as hydrogen fuel cells, which mean that alternative fuel sources to electricity remain.
  • How does Guernsey source its energy now?

    • Guernsey does not have any natural resources in terms of hydrocarbons, but is well placed to develop renewable energy in the future - currently a small amount of electricity is generated on island in the form of solar photovoltaic installations, primarily at household level, with GEL installing the first grid scale development in 2018.
    • Guernsey requires imports to satisfy virtually all of our energy requirements. These imports take the form of; petrol, diesel, gas and kerosene, as liquid fuels via the fuel ships discharging at St Sampsons harbour. The island also imports electricity through subsea cables to France, via Jersey, supplying certified low carbon electricity from hydro-electric (34%) and nuclear (52%) sources, the remaining 14% is generated on island often using imported hydrocarbon fuels. We also import solid fuels such as coals and woods, with a proportion of wood supplied from on island sources. More information about the Hydrocarbon Supply Programme can be found here.
  • What are the future options for energy in Guernsey?

    • We expect there will be a gradual shift towards electrification over time, subject to any unforeseen market disrupters.
    • Guernsey has advantages that some other islands do not, this is primarily due to it's proximity to a large energy market (France). We are already benefiting from imported low-carbon electricity, and one option is to further enhance the electricity infrastructure between Guernsey and France. Checkout GEL's GF1 project here.
    • The Hydrocarbons supply programme has looked into the future trends for the on-island requirements for hydrocarbons and, despite an international trend from reduction in hydrocarbons, it is highly likely that they will still play an important roll in energy generation for many years to come. as such a solution for the long term supply of hydrocarbons to the island is required.
    • Guernsey has the potential to exploit its renewable resources, with wind and solar power now considered cost competitive with hydrocarbons, and wave and tidal power continuing to be developed. Guernsey, with its west coast facing towards the Atlantic, has potential in all four areas.
  • Could Guernsey be energy independent?

    • Guernsey does not have any indigenous hydrocarbon fuel fields and so will always require the importation of natural Oil's and Gas. With advances in technology in both the hydrocarbons from CO2, and Hydrogen sectors this could change - however these are not ready to go technologies.
    • From an electricity perspective Guernsey has renewable resources that could be exploited in wind, solar, tidal and wave. However all of these sources are (independently) intermittent and in the case of tidal and wave they are still emerging technologies. The intermittency means that, for the purposes of full energy independence additional technologies would be needed - potentially batteries or hydrogen cells.
  • What are the risks with imported energy from foreign jurisdictions?

    • As with any import, when you do not control the source there are always risks - however Guernsey, as with other jurisdictions, imports fuel from various sources and so this reduces inherent supply risk. Similarly, by having both cable connections and on island generation, Guernsey has resilience in the electricity market.
    • Political risk is often a greater risk than supply shortages as it can affect the willingness of other jurisdictions to trade. Suppliers have assured Government that there is no risk to supply from Brexit.
  • Are energy prices likely to rise?

    • Energy prices are difficult to predict as they rely on a combination of market forces and policy. The Policy does not aim to increase the costs of energy, however at this stage it is impossible to predict the impact on energy costs.
  • Useful Links 



Statement of Intent on Energy Policy 2019 Summary of Feedback 2018 Media Release: Energy Forum 2019 Ideathon Report 2019 Focus Group Report April 2019 Guernsey Electricity Strategy 2015 UK Gov The Road to Zero 2018 UK GOV Clean Air Strategy 2019 BBC Briefing: Energy Hydrogen in a Low Carbon Economy Committee on Climate Change

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