The group intend to conduct a similar field visit in future years to update the strategic assessment as more information is gathered.

Renewable Energy students help Guernsey develop renewable energy strategy

Renewable Energy academics and students from the Cornwall Campus, near Falmouth recently visited Guernsey on a field trip to make a high level strategic assessment of the island's renewable energy potential.

This initiative is part of Commerce and Employment’s Renewable Energy Team’s (RET) long term strategic alliance with leading UK Universities to progress local macro marine renewable energy.

Twenty-four Renewable Energy undergraduates and four academics visited the island from 19 – 28 May in order to act as renewable energy consultants to study various aspects of Guernsey’s renewable potential. Focus was given to the strategic implementation of wind, wave and tidal energy to develop an energy management strategy for Guernsey.

The work, using both existing and new data, will focus on the potential for development of offshore renewable energy in Guernsey’s water. It will be assessed on:

  • Visual impact assessment of wind, tidal and/or wave devices
  • Resource assessment for offshore renewable energy deployments
  • Grid connection and power distribution
  • Infrastructure for offshore deployments and maintenance
  • Acceptability of renewable energy technologies by the Guernsey public.

Although RET has the mandate for macro marine renewable energy, it is important that this study understands this in the general context of renewables.

Mike Chapman, acting spokesperson on behalf of the third year renewable energy group said: “The Guernsey renewable energy field trip has given us an opportunity to apply all the knowledge we have gained over the duration of our degree. Our initial findings have found that Guernsey has well suitable wind, wave and tidal resources which if harnessed could provide secure and clean energy for the island. The team is excited by the prospect of producing a professional report and presentation that will have direct applicability towards the renewable energy aspiration of Guernsey state.”

Dr Lars Johanning, acting Academic Lead for Renewable Energy at the University of Exeter said: “We are delighted to be involved and to support Guernsey’s renewable energy aspirations. The field trip project involves strategic assessment of marine renewable opportunities and will be achieved by our exceptional Renewable Energy students. We hope that this is the beginning of a long term relationship between the University of Exeter and Guernsey State.”

Deputy Robert Sillars, Chairman of RET said: “We are pleased to welcome academics and students from the University of Exeter to assist us in further understanding renewable energy within Guernsey. We have done a lot of work already but this field visit will form an overarching view on the island’s renewable future and use information from past and current projects.”

The group will prepare a consultant’s report to a standard that is comparable with a professional submission and will deliver a presentation explaining project findings to an audience invited by RET at the end of May. There may also be potential to modify the presentation for a more public forum later in 2012.

The intention is that a similar field visit could be repeated in future years so that as more information and data is gathered about the local marine resource, the strategic assessment and conclusions are updated.

More information on RET’s works can be found on Guernsey Renewable Energy website.

For more information on this project, please contact Dr Lars Johanning.

To read a student's account of the trip, visit the Renewable Energy web pages.



Date: 29 May 2012