Guernsey Electricity is leading the charge to ensure Guernsey delivers its net-zero ambitions and everyone has access to renewable energy
As an Island community, we are making positive strides towards our goal of becoming net zero by 2050. There is commitment from government and an energy policy that sets a platform for the Island to transition towards decarbonisation. To support this, Guernsey Electricity is exploring all opportunities across all business activities to encourage and drive environmental sustainability performance improvements and initiatives that benefit our community, the Island and our climate.
Renewables for all
At Guernsey Electricity, we believe that renewable energy should be for all. It is unrealistic, even impossible, that everyone will be able to install their own private renewable generation on their homes, but there is a way we can all benefit.
In 2020 over 93% of the electricity used on the Island was imported from Europe. And, since January of last year, 100% of this imported electricity was from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectricity. This was an exciting step for our Island and shows that we can lead the way in the transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy, and in doing so protect the environment for future generations.
The more communities – like Guernsey – choose renewables, the greater the demand for these sustainable energy sources, which in turn, will drive investment into renewable generation.
As a business, environmental sustainability is at the core of Guernsey Electricity. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense and benefits our customers and the Island.
We know that we have some way to go and have a responsibility, as guardians of the electricity infrastructure, to ensure we have the right ‘tools’ to enable Guernsey to deliver on its net zero carbon ambitions.
The subsea cable from France, which comes via Jersey, alone does not meet the Island’s electricity needs when energy demand is at its greatest. The power station is still required as both a top-up and backup. We know that using the power station in a top-up role to generate the level of electricity we need, as an Island, does not fit with the energy policy’s goal of carbon neutrality.
And the demand continues to grow as the trends towards electrifying heating and transport continues.
Longer-term, Guernsey Electricity is committed to providing the Island with 100% renewable and sustainable electricity.
We can achieve this through the installation of a second cable directly to France, supplemented by local community-scale renewable electricity from solar arrays. Recent examples of these include the installations at Electricity House and Guernsey Post.
Direct connections to France
Two cable links will meet the Island’s demand for secure, sustainable, decarbonised and affordable electricity and provide grid stability which enables more locally generated renewable energy.
Without the second connection, the backup and top-up role would remain with the power station. With the second connection, in the long-term Guernsey Electricity would look to decommission parts of the power station, start to increase battery storage capability and on-Island community power generation, and maintain the security of supply through making the grid smarter.
Achieving this major infrastructure project in the coming years, for the benefit of our whole community, is a priority for Guernsey Electricity.
Creating cleaner communities
The average home can save between four to five tonnes of carbon a year when switching to electric heating from fossil fuels. As more homeowners make the change to sustainable low carbon electricity, there will be a greater benefit to our communities.
Plus, more and more Islanders are switching to electric or hybrid vehicles and changing their transport patterns to reduce their impact.
We therefore all have a role to play in ensuring Guernsey is a clean and sustainable place for us to live.
It will be a team effort for Guernsey to reach its goal of net-zero carbon emissions and it is a challenge that Guernsey Electricity is proud to be leading.