An Energy Working Group set up to explore how Alderney can have a resilient, sustainable and clean energy supply has set out a series of proposed policies and mapped out a future that is less dependent on fossil fuels.
Alderney is highly reliant on imported oil as an energy source for electricity, heating and transport. Bill Abel, Chairman of the five-strong Energy Group explained: “This is not only unsustainable for environmental reasons but will continue to make energy expensive with limited expectation of being able to reduce the costs to consumers.”
Alderney Electricity Ltd (AEL) is now investigating the use of solar and wind renewable energy options to reduce diesel oil usage, contain costs and reduce the Island’s carbon-footprint. Site selection will be discussed with the community as soon as optimum layouts can be developed.
Working with AEL, the Group has explored the use of excess solar energy from arrays installed by private individuals. However, the current tariff structures need to be revised to provide an appropriate feed-in tariff to encourage domestic and commercial provision of renewable energy.
An earlier proposal for medium-sized wind turbines on the south-west corner has been put on hold because of its proximity to the airport, and instead the community will be consulted about placing smaller wind turbines at various locations around the Island.
The report highlights its observation that the use of tidal and wave energy resources are currently constrained by technology development and higher costs and that the technology and opportunities will be continually reviewed.
The report presents six policy sections:
- Energy security to ensure the Island’s needs can be met, especially mitigating fuel supply risks.
- Energy resilience by encouraging efficiency while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
- Creating an energy system which maximises the use of renewable energy and minimises the island’s carbon footprint.
- Reviewing and revising tariffs to provide an equitable allocation of costs for all consumers and providing guidance and support to improve energy efficiency through home insulation, modern boilers and solar thermal technology.
- Assessing opportunities through robust contacts with universities and technical institutes to take advantage of research which can provide a self-contained energy system and offering Alderney as a test bed for pilot schemes.
- Keeping a close watch on tidal and wave technologies including small-scale projects for the supply of energy.
The report goes on to present a ‘roadmap’ to ensure the Island has sustainable, economic energy supplies for electricity, heating, transport, agriculture and shipping while minimising the use of carbon fuels and reducing climate impact. It is based on short-, medium- and long-term strategic recommendations by consultant Ore Catapult Development Services.
Mr Abel added: “For this roadmap to be achieved, the Island will need to maximise the use of economically viable renewable resources and maximise the efficiency of the grid and the Island’s energy usage.”
The draft policies and roadmap will be submitted to the States of Alderney in December or early in the New Year following public consultation.
Public comments can be submitted by email.
The Energy Group report is now available online here. There will be a drop-in event at the Island Hall on Friday November 11th (2 – 6pm).