A preliminary study by the Xodus Group has concluded that offshore windfarms could be viable in several locations off the coast of Guernsey.
The report states a modest 30MW offshore wind project would help create an independent energy supply, along with other benefits, including price certainty and security for the Channel Island.
According to the report, while the cost of building an offshore windfarm would be higher than importing energy from France and on-island generation, it could be mitigated if the project is mostly funded by the Sates of Guernsey, which has access to cheap sources of finance.
Deputy Shane Langlois, who is a member of the State’s committee for the environment and infrastructure, said a 30MW offshore wind farm could generate around one third of the island’s energy needs.
“While the cost of electricity generated by wind turbines would, at the moment, be more expensive than importing or on-island generation, it is clear that the gap between the two is narrowing and will likely continue to do so, as the technology further evolves,” said Langlois.
“Indeed, recent tenders in northern Europe have been at very competitive prices.”
Guernsey Electricity’s head of assets, Stuart Blondel, commented: “We believe community-based macro-scale renewable generation, as identified in this study, combined with suitable means of energy storage, will be a commercially viable option within the 2020s and, combined with careful management of energy demand and other forms of embedded energy harnessing, the island will achieve its aims for a sustainable future’