Thursday 16 February 2012
The authorities of Guernsey, Jersey and Sark have agreed a Joint Statement of Intent to work together on aspects of marine renewable energy with Alderney as an active participant in ongoing discussions.
The islands' authorities recognise that each may face different circumstances on some aspects of marine renewable energy and that there may be a degree of competition on some aspects. They also recognise however that there are several aspects of marine renewable energy on which they have common interests and that collaborating on pursuing those common interests can bring mutual benefits.
In a Joint Statement of Intent they have:
- Committed to collaborate on sharing expertise on the development and implementation of statutory licensing and regulation regimes and to assess the possible benefits of achieving compatible regimes that facilitate the sharing of licensing, monitoring and enforcement resources whilst respecting the constitutional status of each jurisdiction.
- Committed to collaborate on representing and promoting their joint interests in securing "constitutional and regulatory" access for Channel Island based operators to export markets for electricity produced from marine renewable resources through the BIC work streams and to externally promote the joint interest of the islands in marine renewables in any other appropriate forum.
- Agreed that at least once a year or more often if circumstances dictate, a political level meeting of representatives of the islands' authorities will be held to receive updates and to jointly sign off any policy issues or specific initiatives.
- A staff level Channel Island Marine Renewable Energy Group (CIMREG) will meet regularly to discuss matters of mutual interest and support the political level meetings.
The States of Alderney Policy and Finance Committee has declined to be a party to the Joint Statement of Intent but has confirmed its willingness to contribute and participate in discussions wherever possible.
The inaugural meeting of the political level group was held in Guernsey on 15 February 2012, chaired by Deputy Carla McNulty Bauer, Minister of the Commerce and Employment Department. Deputy McNulty Bauer also chairs the Policy Council's Energy Policy Group of which Deputy Marc Laine, Commerce and Employment, is also a member.
Attending from Jersey were Deputy Rob Duhamel, Minister Department of the Environment and Constable Dan Murphy, Chairman of the Renewable Energy Commission. Roger Olsen a member of the General Purposes and Advisory Committee represented Sark. Roy Burke, Chief Executive or the States of Alderney sat in on the meeting.
Deputy Carla McNulty Bauer said:
"I was delighted to welcome to Guernsey the delegates from the other Channel Islands and to Chair what I hope will be the first of ongoing regular meetings between the authorities responsible for progressing the inter-government and regulatory policy aspects of exploiting marine renewable energy. There have always been ad hoc discussions between each island but this Statement of Intent represents a formal commitment to work more closely together.
"The Commerce and Employment Department has been tasked with leading Guernsey's marine renewable initiatives and, through its Renewable Energy Team (RET), has made considerable progress in preparing the island for when locally generated marine renewable energy becomes a technically practical and affordable proposition. The Commerce and Employment approach has been reflected in the Guernsey Energy Plan approved by the States earlier this month."
Deputy Rob Duhamel commented:
"I am delighted to be able to work alongside the other Channel Islands on the renewable energy. There is no doubt that in the future the right project can bring significant environmental and economic benefits to the Channel Islands as a whole and it is essential that we work together from these early stages to ensure that we achieve the best possible outcome in the long term."
Roger Olsen said:
"The General Purposes and Advisory Committee welcomes this opportunity to formalise working with, Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey on marine renewable energy, so that our regulatory regimes harmonise to the greatest extent possible. We especially appreciate the opportunity to share environmental information and research so that the effects of harvesting marine energy are well understood and properly mitigated."