Land-based wind turbines may be Alderney’s best short-term solution as the Island seeks to become less dependent on fossil fuels for its energy supply while reducing the cost of electricity bills.
That was the headline conclusion of the Energy Working Group set up by the Policy and Finance Committee (P&F) to focus on achieving the renewable energy goals set out in the Island Plan which was approved by the States of Alderney earlier this year.
Reporting the findings to the States of Alderney on Wednesday (May 18th 2022), P&F Chairman Bill Abel said wind power would provide “significant benefits” including a reduction in household bills – potentially the provision of energy at around half of the current Fuel Cost Component on Alderney Electricity Ltd (AEL) bills – and the Island’s carbon footprint would be reduced.
Although these would be medium-sized wind turbines and may need to be sited away from housing, the visual and environmental impact of wind turbines would need to be assessed, the community consulted at every stage, and Planning and Land Use processes followed, Mr Abel added.
Solar arrays – possibly in the harbour industrial area – will also be considered for their relatively low investment outlay, while improved home insulation especially for older properties will be investigated to offset the use of heating oil.
In the medium-term, solar thermal panels for households and ground or air heat pumps will be considered to further offset the use of heating oil.
Longer-term, hydrogen and tidal power would be considered although for both the technology costs currently outweigh the financial benefits. The Energy Group will continue to monitor developments in tidal energy, in particular projects on the French side of the Alderney Race.
“A hybrid mix of power supply and storage technologies would be needed to meet the island’s objectives of minimising the cost of energy, reducing or mitigating energy supply risks, and minimising or eliminating the use of carbon-emitting energy sources,” said Mr Abel.