Tuesday 19 September 2023
The Policy & Resources Committee's recent letter of comment on the Electricity Strategy (debated and approved by the States Assembly earlier this month) clarifies that it is taking forward work on the seabed leasing arrangements which will enable the potential exploitation of wind power.
The work is progressing, but is at an early stage, and engages multiple stakeholders such as the Crown, potential energy partners and other jurisdictions, including Alderney, Jersey and the United Kingdom.
Whilst there is significant potential, it would be wrong at this stage to guess at possible future income streams. This is a long-term project that will rely on multiple factors falling into place, and any income stream for the States is impossible to predict from current circumstances.
It may be in the long-term, perhaps in around a decade, that Guernsey sees some financial benefit from any wind farm exportation. It is worth noting that the proposed tax package which will shortly go before the States would require it to be reviewed again by 2032 if it is to be extended further into the future. This means any alternative ways of ensuring public finances are sustainable that become realistic in future years will certainly be considered at that stage.
But right now, it is no more than conjecture to claim there is an identifiable income stream from wind farm exportation. Given the importance of Guernsey addressing the unsustainability of public finances and the need to invest in essential infrastructure, such conjecture is unwelcome, unsubstantiated and potentially a damaging distraction.