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An Energy Policy for Alderney

States of Alderney Press Release

Earlier this year the Policy Committee asked me to look at establishing an energy policy for Alderney. Energy is one of the most important economic issues facing a small island and given our reliance on fossil fuels for our energy we are inevitably paying a high price for electricity. There is no prospect of the cost of oil reducing and the cost of getting other fuel to Alderney means we pay more than our neighbours for petrol and diesel for cars and commercial vehicles and that leads ultimately to higher prices for consumers of other goods.

2. Bucking this trend will always be difficult unless we look at innovative ways of generating electricity and perhaps looking for alternative modes of transport.

3. So what are we doing about it? Last month Policy Committee announced a follow-up audit of Alderney Electricity Ltd to seek to dispel or confirm some of the myths about the company. We now know that Mike Richards is standing down as Chairman of AEL and the time is right to think again about the company and how we as an island produce our energy.

4. Fundamental to this discussion is alternative energy production. I am today publishing a report from the Energy Saving Trust who have completed a study to consider how they can support the development of an Island Energy Policy. This is a useful piece of work undertaken in a very short period of time but it shows what can be achieved with a little lateral thinking. It draws on other sources and suggests some possible alternatives for Alderney. What is clear from this document is that we need to change.

5. We are in discussions with a company who produce anaerobic digesters to try to establish whether that is a viable alternative to using fossil fuels, and whether we have enough waste to keep the biodigester fed. That is an exciting proposition for us and allied with a gasification plant which will deal with tyres and other recyclables there is a real chance that we could become self sufficient in electricity production some time before the cables to France are commissioned. That is a big ask and a lot of work but a very worthwhile aim. Nothing is ever free but if we can use our waste streams as an energy source, and we currently pay a lot of money to get rid of waste, I think that has to be a laudable objective.

6. I hope many people in Alderney will join in the debate on the future of energy in Alderney.

If you have any comments on the document please send them by 29th January 2014 to:
Energy Policy Consultation
Chief Executive's Office
PO Box 1001
Alderney
GY9 3AA

Robert McDowall

Chairman, Finance Committee